Coffee is a favorite drink for many people nowadays. Caffeine is a stimulant occurs naturally in coffee. Millions consume it everyday worldwide to increase wakefulness, alleviate fatigue, and improve focus and concentration. The Food and Drug Administration consider it to be safe. They recommend a maximum intake of 400 mg of caffeine per day.
Most of us consume coffee the very first thing in the morning for the extra boost. Coffee improves focus and concentration, burns fat, improves physical performance, treats type-2 diabetes, also manages blood flow and makes you sharper. Out of off these benefits, can coffee actually relieve stress???
Is consuming more coffee= less stress?
Although consuming coffee relieves stress in some people but it may not be the first thing that you think of when it comes to reducing stress. However, some studies have identified that drinking coffee can potentially reduce stress and anxiety. Coffee’s effect on brain not only keeps you alert but it also affects neurotransmitters by encouraging the brain to release more dopamine into the prefrontal cortex – an area of the brain important for mood regulation. Dopamine is typically lower in people with stress, anxiety and depression. So coffee encourages the brain to potentially fight off the symptoms and prevent the receptors from responding to stressful situations
One study found that women who consume caffeine on a regular basis were likely to become less depressed than women who weren’t. Therefore, it is potentially useful in reducing long term depression. Coffee is very rich in a compound called polyphenols which helps to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke, decrease blood pressure and increase blood supply to the brain.
However the above benefits of drinking coffee are still ok but too much of it can have detrimental effects on health.
Side effects of too much of it
As many of you already know that coffee is quite addictive so drinking it in large amounts can make it difficult for your body to leave its habit. Drinking excess amounts of it can cause digestive discomfort such as indigestion, diarrhea, constipation and heartburn. It also increases urinary excretion of important minerals including magnesium, calcium and potassium which are important for your physical and mental health.
Too much of coffee also binds to the adenosine receptors in brain stopping the sleep signals from getting through which is why it helps us all to stay awake for a longer period of time. What’s more, coffee also stimulates the nervous system directly and increases the adrenaline levels which cause an irregular heartbeat, jitteriness, nervousness, headache and high blood pressure. This overstimulation can cause severe problems with those who already have problem related to high blood pressure.
How Much Coffee Is Okay, Then?
As far as consuming coffee regularly, two cups a day works really well. More coffee tends to make people anxious and experience heart palpitations.
Oh, one more thing to note — it is probably healthiest to skip or minimize sugar in it. And if you are sensitive to dairy, switch to a plant based milk. You can also consume black coffee (without milk and sugar) that creates a more balanced boost to your mood.
Whether coffee is best or worst for you depends on your particular situation. But, it is most important to lay down a healthy foundation to cope up with stress and anxiety. Main ways to do this are:
- Psychotherapy/ talking to loved ones
- Good sleep
- Balanced diet
- Regular meditation or exercise
- Blood sugar balancing
- Healthy digestive health
- Proper nutrient and supplement intake