How coffee affects the human body: health benefits and harms

Posted on Jun 28, 2022      394

How does coffee affect the body? In recent years, the scientific community has shown more and more interest in the study of this drink. It is gaining more and more popularity among students and freelancers.

The data about this flavorful drink is very contradictory. Where is the truth?

Some time ago, World Health Organization (WHO) experts classified coffee as a “potential carcinogen” and called to abandon its consumption, but because of new findings softened their recommendations.

The harm of coffee on the human body

Studies even support its effective effects on preventing cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, it’s not all that smooth.

Behind the tasty and invigorating drink are noticed shortcomings that can lead to a deterioration of physical and mental health. So what harm can coffee do to the human body?

Effects on the nervous system

Why is it harmful to drink a lot of coffee? Although the coffee drink gives a feeling of liveliness and increases mood, its excessive consumption overloads the nervous system and leads to neurological disorders. Caffeine excites the nervous system, raises blood pressure, speeds up the heart rate, has a diuretic effect and prevents falling asleep.

Nervous excitability, anxiety, and panic attacks may be experienced by avid coffee drinkers who drink 6 to 10 cups daily. The rush of energy and increased concentration is short-lived, to be replaced by palpitations and anxiety.

This is how the nervous system is stimulated. You may experience mild anxiety or severe panic. Over time, one faces problems such as insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

John Greden, M.D., of the University of Michigan, wrote in a research article, “We usually overlook the fact that high doses of caffeine, or ‘caffeinism’ can have pharmacological effects and cause symptoms that are essentially no different from anxiety neurosis.

How do you take away such side effects? It’s simple: you need to reduce coffee consumption, no one forces you to give up your favorite habit.


Coffee alcoholism and hangovers are present in most people’s lives if they are used to drinking it daily. Caffeine causes an increase in the hormone's release serotonin, which stimulates our pleasure centers.

It causes physical dependence, which is accompanied by withdrawal syndrome (withdrawal syndrome). Headaches, irritability and drowsiness are all consequences for giving up coffee.

A caffeine addict who gives up the drink for a few days will experience severe headaches, weakness, mood swings, nausea, muscle pain.

The hormone dopamine, the release of which is stimulated by caffeine, handles the feeling of satisfaction and everything associated with it. Therefore, with a coffee hangover, people experience a lack of this hormone, and the consequences: apathy and lethargy.

Stomach problems.

Coffee contains a huge amount of chlorogenic acids, which add a sour note to the aromatic drink. It is these acids that contribute to the secretion of gastric hydrochloric acid, which leads to the development of heartburn.

Caffeine has a direct effect on the organs of the gastrointestinal tract. This effect results in a laxative effect and unpleasant cramps. Caffeine also reduces the resistance of the gastric mucosa to Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which affects the stomach and small intestine.

People suffering from gastritis with hyperacidity are categorically not recommended to consume anything with caffeine, let alone coffee.

The mucosa of the stomach already suffers with this disease, and when it meets your favorite drink, heartburn sets in, the pain worsens, the effect of dietary diet and treatment with pills is blunted. If you often violate the ban on coffee with gastritis, it can also open ulcers.

Calcium Leaching.

Another hidden harmful property of coffee on the body is the leaching of calcium and delayed absorption of macronutrients such as magnesium, sodium, potassium.

From the obvious results of coffee, addicts can observe brittle nails, increased sensitivity of the teeth due to warn enamel, hair loss. You should not take calcium preparations immediately after a cup of coffee, it is better to wait for 2-3 hours.

In order not to speed up and aggravate this process, drink more water: for every 50 ml of coffee, drink 300 ml of water. Not all at once, of course, but throughout the day. Always keep in mind the following rule: The more coffee you drink, the more regular water should flow into your body.

The Benefits of Coffee

What is the benefit of coffee?

1. It can prevent illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, cirrhosis of the liver, gout, type 2 diabetes.

2. Coffee is excellent for people with allergies. Caffeine reduces the body’s production of histamine, which regulates many biological processes in the body, including allergic reactions. Therefore, reducing this compound leads to less allergic reactions.

3. One cup of coffee a day is beneficial to the human body, providing a boost of energy and increasing focus.

4. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health say that coffee increases levels of good mood hormones and reduces suicidal thoughts in people with depression by about 45%.

5. Increases productivity. This applies to both mental work and physical work. It also increases reaction speed and physical endurance. This is because coffee stimulates the flow of blood to the brain, because of which the efficiency of the human brain increases by almost 10%.

6. It has been noticed that 2-3 cups of coffee a day can reduce ringing and tinnitus, characteristic of tinnitus.

7. Many studies have found that people who drink 1-2 cups of coffee a day have a 40% lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

8. Studies have shown that those who drank 1 cup of coffee daily for 15 years were 12% less likely to suffer from fatal illnesses.

9. Protects against cirrhosis of the liver and gallstones. Drinking 1 cup of coffee a day is recommended to prevent this disease.

Some studies show that decaffeinated coffee increases life expectancy. That’s because the aromatic drink contains over 800 nutrients that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Diseases of the cardiovascular system

With diseases of the cardiovascular system, too, not everything is simple: we are told that coffee protects against heart attacks and strokes. On the contrary, they provoke. Tired of conflicting judgments, experts from the Center for Food and Health in Northern Ireland found out once and for all.

They looked at 1,277 studies and concluded: 2-3 cups of coffee a day have no negative impact on health and even bring moderate benefits. But we are talking specifically about coffee cups here.

In Turkey and Italy they are the size of a thimble, while we often pour coffee into the stomach from tea cups of 250-300 ml, thus drinking more than normal. Of course, you can bring yourself to hypertensive crisis, tachycardia, insomnia and exhaustion of the nervous system.


Analyzing the results of research carried out in recent years, the staff of Milan University concluded that coffee does not cause cancer.

In fact, according to Italian scientists, the drink can counteract several types of cancer, including oral, liver, endometrial, prostate and colon cancers.

How much coffee a day is safe to drink

How often can I drink coffee? Researchers at the University of South Australia have found the answer to this question. They followed 347,000 people from 37 to 73 years of age.

It turned out that the risk of cardiovascular diseases increases by 22%, if a person drinks 6 or more cups of coffee daily. It turned out that most people drink an average of 1.5-2 cups of this drink a day and rarely exceed the safe rate.

Keep in mind that we are talking about coffee cups. The optimal drink is 3 cups. But this recommendation is only for healthy people without chronic diseases. Adhering to these limits should not be an insurmountable obstacle for coffee lovers.

Interesting fact: it is believed that the coffee tree was discovered by shepherds from Ethiopia. They noticed the vivacity of goats that were eating coffee. And they tried these leaves themselves, feeling the same burst of energy afterwards. It was later found that the beans had an even greater effect.

Why some people need more caffeine to cheer up

True, the researchers noted, the value and individual susceptibility to caffeine - some people have the gene CYP1A2, which helps absorb caffeine. That is why some people can drink 2-4 cups in a row and not feel any effect, but for others, one cup is enough to stay awake all night.

By the way, to avoid caffeine overdose, baristas advise diluting strong coffee with milk, and to eat a banana or cheese.

Who should give up the flavorful beverage?

  • Coffee is contraindicated in acute, chronic gastritis and ulcers.
  • People with high blood pressure. Caffeine causes spikes in blood pressure, vasospasms and even hypertensive crisis.
  • People who have problems with the heart. The same caffeine intensifies the work of the heart, excites the vasodilatory center and increases the heart rate. People with heart disease (for example, coronary artery disease) should refrain from drinking coffee. If after drinking a cup of coffee you feel palpitations or headaches, which may show an increase in blood pressure, you should also give up coffee.
  • It is not recommended to drink coffee for the elderly and children. This drink is contraindicated until the age of five, because the child’s body is not yet stronger (in the next paragraph, this issue will be discussed in more detail).
  • Expectant mothers are not recommended to brew coffee too often, because caffeine can negatively affect the development of the fetus. In addition, this aromatic drink can reduce the effect of birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy on postmenopausal women.

If women abused coffee during pregnancy, their children are at higher risk of leukemia. However, this data is too conflicting to say for sure.

At what age are children allowed to drink coffee?

Before the age of five, children should not drink coffee because their bodies are not yet strong enough. It is worth making a choice in favor of water, compote or herbal tea. The drink affects the nervous system and may cause increased excitability, and finally, coffee can cause sleep disorders.

At 12-13 years, it is also worth refusing an invigorating drink, because during this period there is a huge load on the nervous system. At this age, the hormonal restructuring of the child begins. So coffee can lead to over-excitation of the nervous system and even to a disturbance of the heart rhythm. And also do not forget that caffeine washes calcium and slows down the absorption of important micronutrients.

Children can try coffee only from adolescence, i.e. from the age of 14-15. In this period, the body has already overcome the hormonal surge, so it will be easier to cope with caffeine. But it is worth remembering about the norm of consumption, especially at this age. Of course, the best period for the consumption of coffee is at 18 and older, when the body is almost formed.

How to drink coffee correctly

Not on an empty stomach.

This is the fundamental rule of coffee drinkers. Why is it harmful to drink coffee on an empty stomach? Drunk on an empty stomach, the invigorating drink will fill the body with additional acids and tannins, which will have a negative effect on the stomach. The habit of drinking coffee on an empty stomach can lead to irritation of the mucosa and the development of gastritis, ulcers, the occurrence of problems with the liver and pancreas.

Don’t forget that coffee drains liquid from the body.

Why should you drink water after coffee? Coffee is a powerful diuretic. When you drink a cup of coffee, after 20-30 minutes you will have the desire to go to the toilet. You shouldn’t drink coffee before you go somewhere. Or be sure that after 20 minutes there will be a toilet in your way.

This is something some doctors take advantage of. If a patient comes in for a bladder ultrasound with an empty bladder, the doctor gives a small cup of coffee. After 20 minutes, the bladder fills up and the examination can begin.

Since coffee is a diuretic, the body gets dehydrated. So be sure to drink a glass of water after your cup of coffee.

Did you know that Italian restaurants always offer a glass of water to accompany a cup of coffee?

Do not drink it too hot.

Coffee should be drunk below 60 degrees. Otherwise, your risk of esophageal cancer increases eightfold. This rule also applies to tea.

Don’t drink coffee right after waking up

You should not drink coffee in the morning, even if you have had breakfast before. It is better to wait for 2-3 hours. The fact is that the level of cortisol in the morning reaches its highest point in the body. Cortisol is the stress hormone that helps people wake up and be awake in the morning. Caffeine has a direct effect on cortisol production.

If you drink a cup of coffee early in the morning, our body relies on caffeine instead of producing cortisol. If this happens, you will become addicted to this drink and feel sluggish in the morning without it.

A little trick on how to feel more alert. If you urgently need a big energy boost, drink a mug of coffee and immediately lie down to sleep for 15 minutes. During sleep, the amount of adenosine acids in the brain that cause fatigue decreases, so it will be easier for the caffeine to block the rest.

Stress hormone production peaks at 7-8 a.m., 12-13 p.m. and 5:30-18:30 p.m. A person is naturally awake and fresh, while caffeine causes an additional blow to the nervous system. Also, if one drinks coffee at the peak of cortisol release, the body gets used to it and gradually stops producing it when necessary.

So, the best time for a cup of coffee is at 10-12 in the morning, and in the afternoon from 1:30 to 5 p.m. If you wake up in the morning and do not drink coffee and feel broken and tired, it is likely that you have a broken biological cycle of vivacity. Here, it is worth reconsidering the time of consumption of the fragrant drink.


Scientists are still arguing about whether you should drink coffee. If you do not exceed the daily norm, fragrant drink can bring significant benefits to the body. So follow the above recommendations and don’t worry about the harm coffee can do to your body.

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