Coffee is one of the drunkest drinks in the whole world. Coffee consists of water and the dried and roasted seeds of the coffee plant. Because coffee contains the stimulant caffeine, it is often drunk to get more energy. In a moment at work? Then a lot of people grab a cup of coffee. Caffeine is addictive, and that’s why people sometimes drink quite many cups of coffee a day. But is this bad or good for your health?
What substances are in coffee?
Coffee is made from coffee beans and is usually drunk on a water basis. The most well-known substance in coffee is caffeine. This is a stimulant, and therefore often an important ingredient of pre-workout boosters. The amount of caffeine in a coffee cup depends on the type of coffee bean and the cup’s size, of course. Coffee made with a paper filter usually contains about 85 milligrams of caffeine per cup.
Other substances in coffee are cafestol and kahweol. These can increase bad LDL cholesterol. Excess LDL cholesterol in your blood sticks to the inside of your blood vessels. This increases the risk of, for example, a heart attack or stroke.
Coffee contains per 100 ml:
- 98 ml of water, 0.2 grams of fibre, vitamin B1 and B2, salt, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium and 60 mg caffeine.
Healthy effects coffee
But is drinking coffee healthy or unhealthy? Many studies show that moderate coffee intake has several positive effects on your health. But what exactly does this mean?
- 2-4 cups per day = 10% less risk of coronary heart disease
- 5 cups per day = 30% less risk of type 2 diabetes
In 2015, the Health Council concluded that there is a lot of evidence for these beneficial drinking coffee effects. This image was confirmed in 2017 by the Annals of International Medicine. A large-scale study found that drinking 3 cups of coffee a day can contribute to a longer life. The group of coffee drinkers in the study had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.
Other positive effects of coffee related to improved mental performance, reduced fatigue, and improved athletic performance.
Caffeine and sports performance
A pre-workout booster often contains a hefty dose of caffeine. But how can caffeine improve sports performance? First, this increases the transport of intercellular calcium. Also, caffeine increases fat burning, and finally, caffeine reduces fatigue. Caffeine is very similar to the neurotransmitter adenosine. Adenosine binds to its own receptor to trigger further processes.
Caffeine does not stimulate the adenosine receptor but blocks it for adenosine. In the brain, adenosine causes delayed brain activity. This effect is now being negated, with the result that you experience less fatigue.
What effects does drinking coffee have on athletic performance?
- Improving focus and alertness
- Reducing fatigue in sports
- Caffeine promotes thermogenesis = higher combustion.
- Increase uptake of glycogen (fuel for muscles)
- Glycogen is important as fuel for the muscles to function. Helping muscles perform and recover better.
Is coffee healthy or unhealthy? There is a lot of evidence for the health effects of drinking coffee. But still, it is important to do this in moderation. Cafestol can contribute to an increase in LDL cholesterol in the blood. This can have negative consequences. This allows it to stick to the walls of blood vessels. Blood vessels slowly clog up and make it harder for blood to flow through.
This process is known as arteriosclerosis. In this way, too high LDL levels contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases. You can see the amount of cafestol per type of coffee (way of putting). You can also see the number of cups you can drink per day before it affects your cholesterol levels.
Please note that the number of cups per day does not look at other effects of coffee.
Are you already suffering from elevated cholesterol levels in your blood? Then it is wise to drink less coffee in addition to adjusting your diet. The amount of cafestol in coffee depends on the way of making coffee. Do you use a paper filter? Then the dust is left behind, and the coffee contains less cafestol. Espresso or Turkish coffee contains a lot more cafétol. If you want to buy a coffee machine, please take into account the way of putting. A vending machine with a paper filter is preferred over a machine with metal or nylon filter.
When looking at whether coffee is healthy or unhealthy, it is also good to dwell on acrylamide. This is a substance that arises when you heat starchy products. Acrylamide is not directly harmful, but it may be bad for your health with a high intake. A coffee cup contains very little of this substance, but when you drink a lot of coffee, the intake can become quite high. In the past, coffee pods and capsules have been tested for the amount of acrylamide. The values all fell within the signal values and are therefore not harmful to your body.
Coffee healthy or unhealthy
Drinking coffee, to a limited extent, can have a positive effect on health. This can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Also, caffeine has several benefits for mental and athletic performance. It is recommended to drink up to 4 cups of coffee per day.
Drinking too much coffee can be unhealthy, due to the greater amount of cafestol. This can increase the LDL cholesterol in your blood. But also a high caffeine intake is bad for you. You may have trouble sleeping, palpitations and headaches. Other guidelines apply to children, pregnant women and breastfeeding women. In these situations, it is recommended to consume up to 1 cup of coffee per day.
How much coffee do you drink a day?