All sorts of coffee

It’s hard to imagine life without coffee for most of us. Whether it’s the morning cup or the afternoon energy booster at work, this beverage has become part and parcel of the lives of millions. While coffee may be right up there in popularity stakes, not everything about the drink is positive. Coffee is known to be associated with scores of potential health risks. In fact, one gets to hear news or something bad about the adverse side effects of caffeine-related beverages these days, almost every passing day. Let us take a look at some of the side effects of coffee.

1. Coffee and dehydration

Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it is bound to leave you dehydrated. So, if you are a regularly drinking coffee, you are triggering your body’s mechanism to produce more urine. The effects of dehydration would be even more if you were to live in hot climatic conditions. Coffee drinkers should make it a point to drink extra water to stay sufficiently hydrated.

2. Coffee and blood pressure

A lot of people drink coffee to feel an instant energy boost. However, this may come at a cost. Yes, coffee is known to spike blood pressure levels. This is the case with even individuals who have normal levels. If you already have blood pressure cut down on coffee consumption.

3. Increased risk of heart attacks

Adults who already have hypertension are likely to increase their chances of having a heart attack if they consume more coffee. Since coffee is known to increase levels of bad cholesterol, it could potentially lead to blockages in the arteries supplying fresh blood to the heart. Along with hypertension, this could further increase chances of a heart attack.

4. Increased levels of bad cholesterol

A study conducted by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University shows that coffee has a direct impact on cholesterol levels. Coffee has been found to contain two substances namely kahweol and cafestol, both of which are known to raise cholesterol levels. Thus another reason to cut down or completely quit the consumption of coffee.

5. Caffeine affects fetus

Doctors often recommend pregnant ladies not to exceed drinking one cup of coffee per day. One just needs to think logically to understand the science behind this instruction. It is because the caffeine that you are drinking would also reach the fetus. If an adult’s body can be so sensitive to caffeine, it goes without saying that it is not something good for the fetus.

6. Caffeine can cause insomnia

A lot of people, particularly the ‘night owl’ partying kind, are known to depend on coffee to keep awake until the wee hours of the morning. However, regularly consuming equivalent to over 5 cups of coffee can lead to insomnia. This happens because that amount of caffeine can lead to disruptions in the secretion of melanin, the hormone that decides sleep patterns in your body.

7. Caffeine worsens depression symptoms

A 2003 study by The Department of Psychiatry, University of Chicago has found a connection between caffeine and depression symptoms. The study found that caffeine tends to bind to specific neurotransmitter receptors which help with regulating anxiety. Keeping track of coffee consumption and gradually cutting down is known to help in fighting the symptoms.

8. Coffee leads to panic attacks

Coffee is known to interfere with the production of adrenaline, the ‘fight or flight’ hormone. At higher doses, this could lead to a situation which confuses the brain resulting in panic attacks. Those who are already suffering from high levels of anxiety, therefore, need to cut down on coffee consumption.

9. Coffee causes ulcers and acidity

Ulcers are caused by the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. What drinking coffee does is that it weakens the stomach lining, especially in the small intestine. This, in turn, makes it an ideal place for these bacteria to settle inside the stomach. Reducing coffee consumption is therefore recommended for those suffering from stomach ailments.

10. Caffeine causes irregular heartbeats

Another one of the adverse side effects of caffeine is that it is known to lead to irregular heartbeats. The state of high alertness, followed by a period of lull, when the coffee leaves the system, leads to this pattern of irregular heartbeats.

11. Coffee leads to heartburn

Heartburn is another side effect of coffee. The sphincter duct acts as a valve and prevents anything that you put in the stomach from coming back. Whatever flows back is hydrochloric acid. This is the acid that causes heartburn. Drinking coffee is known to relax the sphincter duct. This automatically leads to more heartburn. Moral of the story is to drink less coffee.

12. Caffeine makes minerals go waste

Minerals going waste is another negative effect of caffeine. The more coffee someone drinks, the more difficulty his or her body will have absorbing minerals. Coffee is known to affect the absorption of minerals such as magnesium, iron and calcium. It is also known to have a direct impact on the kidney’s ability to retain such minerals.

13. Coffee and stress

A lot of people think that drinking coffee helps in bringing down levels of stress. Nothing could be farther from the truth, for coffee is only going to make your mind more ‘awake’. Being in a state of high alert most of the times is therefore not ideal relaxation. Substituting coffee with some other relaxing activity such as meditation, Yoga or Tai Chi can be a good idea.

14. Coffee is not a good laxative

There are a lot of people who think that coffee helps them with bowel movements. In scientific terms, the process that leads to bowel movements is known as ‘peristalsis’. Drinking coffee leads to a situation where you are triggering this process even before your body is ready. This would mean a complete mess of your digestion process. Fruit or vegetable juices would be a better option any day.

15. Coffee increases chances of miscarriage

A study at the National Institutes of Health and Ohio State University, Columbus, USA, has found that there is a link between coffee and miscarriages. Studies show that if a woman and her partner drank more than two caffeinated beverages during the weeks leading up to conception, the chances of miscarriage increased.

16. Coffee causes allergy

Coffee consumption is also known to cause allergic reactions. Hives are for example, are a common reaction among heavy coffee drinkers. It is therefore in their best interests that they cut down on coffee consumption.

17. Coffee leads to dull skin

Dull skin is one more side effect of coffee. Collagen is the protein that makes our skin firm and radiant. Heavy coffee consumption is known to interfere with the body’s natural process to synthesise this protein. This interference is known to happen in a dose-dependent manner, i.e., the more coffee you drink, the less collagen will be made.

18. Coffee affects the libido

Effect on sex drive is another one of the adverse effects of caffeine. Now, caffeine is known to disrupt blood sugar processes impacting the production of certain hormones. For example, it is known to lead to higher production of cortisol, which in turn inhibits the production of DHEA. This DHEA is in turn known to reduce the production of testosterone. The result is decreased sex drive.

19. Coffee causes brittle bones

Caffeine is known as leach calcium from bones. This, in turn, makes bones weak and prone to fractures. It is one of the reasons why doctors recommend drinking caffeine-free beverages for prevention of osteoporosis.

20. Caffeine causes increase in Homocysteine levels

Coffee consumption is known to increase the levels of Homocysteine, an amino acid in the body. High levels of Homocysteine are known to up the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Studies conducted at the Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon, have shown that drinking four or more cups of coffee is likely to push up the level of this amino acid.

21. Coffee consumption leads to incontinence

It is a well-known fact that too much coffee can lead to an increased urge to relieve the bladder. However, now research done at the University of Alabama has found that it also increases a woman’s chances of developing incontinence by as much as 70%. The study showed that women who consume the equivalent of four or more cups are at risk of developing the condition.

22. Coffee drinking leads to excess body fat

Not all people in the world drink their coffee black. A majority though like to enjoy their coffee with milk and sugar. An average cup of coffee with this potent combination would mean around 500 calories. Consuming four or more cups, as many people do these days, of this beverage would add up to several unwanted calories, which could cause havoc to anyone’s health. This is another reason to cut down on coffee consumption.

23. Coffee is addictive

While addiction to nicotine or alcohol is spoken and written about a lot, coffee too is addictive. There are millions of individuals around the world who have developed psychological, as well as a physical dependency on caffeine. In the interests of your health, it, therefore, makes sense to reduce the consumption of caffeinated beverages.

24. Coffee increases risk of developing gout

Another one of the harmful effects of caffeine is it increases the risk of someone developing gout. A recent study at the American College of Rheumatology has found that heavy coffee consumption leads to an increased risk of developing gout.

25. Coffee and blood sugar levels

It is well known that one of the immediate side effects of coffee is on the blood sugar levels. Sudden spikes in levels of caffeine could lead to higher blood sugar levels. Coffee drinkers who also have type 2 diabetes will, therefore, find it tough to manage their insulin levels, because of this fact.

26. Caffeine overdose can be fatal

Although rare, it is once again a well-known fact that caffeine overdose could lead to sometimes even death. The fatality rates increase particularly if someone already has other underlying medical conditions.

27. Coffee can lead to fatigue

This may come as a surprise to those who believe caffeinated beverages lead to higher energy levels. However, once the coffee leaves your system, the rebound fatigue can last for quite a while. In fact, to avoid this, a lot of people end up drinking more coffee, which in turn leads to addiction and increased chances of other health risks.

What about Coffee enema?

Now that you are aware of the several adverse side effects of coffee let us take a look at coffee enema. While drinking caffeinated beverages may be associated with several potential health risks, it is the right opposite in the case of coffee enema. What exactly is coffee enema? Well, it is a type of colon cleanse that is highly popular. The procedure involves taking a mixture of freshly brewed, caffeinated coffee and water, which is then released into the body through the rectum. This process triggers the production of an antioxidant enzyme called glutathione. This enzyme is known to fight off harmful, disease-causing free -radicals from the body, leading to improved health.

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