Coffee is popular for its ability to help the body stay awake and improve performance during the day. However, you need to use this drink at the right time to enjoy the above benefits.
1. Effects of coffee on health
1.1 Helps reduce fatigue and increase energy
Coffee contains caffeine which is a psychostimulant. After drinking coffee, caffeine is absorbed into the bloodstream and from there travels to the brain. In the brain, caffeine blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine. This improves energy levels, mood and various aspects of brain function.
1.2 Coffee contains several essential nutrients
Coffee contains several essential nutrients needed by the body and is high in antioxidants. In a cup of coffee 240ml contains:
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 11% DV (daily nutritional value)
- Vitamin B5 (axit pantothenic): 6% DV
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine): 2% DV
- Vitamin B3 (niacin): 2% DV
- Folate: 1% DV
- Mangan: 3% DV
- Potassium: 3% DV
- Magnesium: 2% DV
- Phosphorus: 1% DV
1.3 Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease and the leading cause of dementia. Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative condition, right after Alzheimer’s disease. This condition usually affects people over the age of 65. This disease and dementia can be limited with a healthy, scientific diet and moderate exercise. Drinking coffee is also an effective preventive measure.
Some studies show that coffee drinkers have up to a 65% lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
1.4 Fighting depression
Depression is a serious mental disorder that significantly reduces quality of life. Modern life makes more and more people suffer from this disease. Approximately 4.1% of Americans currently meet the criteria for clinical depression.
In a Harvard study published in 2011, women who drank 4 or more cups of coffee a day had a 20% lower risk of depression. Another study of 208,424 people found that those who drank 4 or more cups of coffee per day had a 53% lower risk of dying from suicide.
However, in some cases in sensitive individuals, high caffeine intake can increase anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia. Stopping caffeine suddenly can cause headaches, fatigue, anxiety, and low mood for several days and can last up to a week.
1.5 Reduces the risk of certain cancers
Coffee can affect the development of cancer, especially liver cancer and colorectal cancer. Various polyphenols in coffee have been shown to suppress cancer cell growth in animal studies. Coffee has also been linked to reduced levels of estrogen, a hormone that has been linked to some types of cancer.
Studies show that coffee drinkers have up to a 40% lower risk of liver cancer and a 15% lower risk of colorectal cancer.
2. Time to drink coffee
Many people have the habit of starting their day with a cup of coffee right after waking up. However, experts say that you should delay the time to drink coffee until mid-morning.
Coffee contains caffeine, a natural stimulant that can increase cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol (also known as the stress hormone) is involved in the regulation of metabolism, the immune system, blood sugar, and many other functions.
Levels of the hormone cortisol typically spike 30-45 minutes after you wake up, helping to provide a natural sense of alertness at this time. Therefore, drinking coffee at this time is really unnecessary. A more appropriate time is a few hours after you wake up, between about 9-11 hours.
2.2 Before exercising
Drinking coffee before exercise is a simple way to provide energy, improve concentration and coordination during exercise. Coffee can also help reduce muscle soreness after a workout. Therefore, it is possible to drink coffee about 30 minutes before a workout to enjoy the above benefits of coffee for exercise to improve health.
2.3 After losing sleep
If you lose sleep all night and need to focus on studying and working the next morning, try drinking coffee. 1-2 cups of coffee at this time will help to achieve a state of alertness as if you had had a good night’s sleep. Note, this is only a temporary solution and should not be abused regularly.
3. When should not drink coffee
Caffeine can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb iron. Therefore, it is not recommended to drink coffee during or immediately after a meal. Drinking coffee on an empty stomach also negatively affects cortisol and blood sugar levels.
Besides its ability to stay awake, coffee has a side effect of causing insomnia. To ensure a good night’s sleep, you should limit drinking coffee too late. People who are sensitive to caffeine should not drink caffeinated beverages after noon.
4. How much coffee should be enough?
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends no more than 400mg of caffeine per day (equivalent to about 4-5 cups of coffee, each 240ml).
People who are sensitive to caffeine should limit, or completely eliminate, coffee from their daily diet.
Drinking too much coffee can cause cortisol levels to rise, leading to some “coffee drunk” symptoms such as unexplained anxiety, insomnia, restlessness…