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For many of us, coffee is an integral part of our diet. We grab a cup of coffee – as soon as we wake up, when chatting with friends, while reading newspaper, for ideas at workplace, catching up on an old friend, dealing with hectic schedules and skipping breakfast and lunch over a cup of coffee – and in many more situations in our daily life, we rely on coffee knowingly or unknowingly.
While it cannot be ruled out that coffee is a rich source of antioxidants and chemicals that impact our body in a positive way, we should also know how exactly a cup of coffee is affecting our body. As you move ahead in this post, you will understand how coffee is impacting your body and its functions.
Kicks out sleep
This is the most common experience for all of us. Caffeine keeps us alert and active and this is why we reach out for a cup of joe in most of the situations – to beat drowsiness, to stay alert and active.
This is how caffeine does this:
Caffeine binds with adenosine receptors in our brain, that are responsible for inducing sleep to us. As a result, the sleep-inducing effect of adenosine is sidelined and we again become alert and active, how we were just before the release of adenosine.
Have you noticed something? If you drink coffee late in the day, you may tend to become insomniac. This is because caffeine stays in our body for around 6 hours and keeps showing its impact all through its stay.
Protects and detoxifies Liver
Caffeine, in moderation, is a proven effective in protecting our liver from cancer. A cup of hot coffee also proved to be an effective laxative, aids in bowel and colon movements and cleanses out toxins from our body.
However, doctors suggest that two to four cups (approximately 8 ounces of each) of drip coffee would more than be sufficient in safeguarding the liver.
In this process, while it flushes out toxins from the liver, there are high chances that you may not be prone to any stones in your gall bladder too, as caffeine is helping you in stimulating the gallbladder muscles.
Trigger mood swings and restlessness
Drinking too much coffee or on an empty stomach can cause restlessness in individuals. Doctors also suggest that in persons suffering from depression, caffeine can worsen the condition. This is because caffeine interrupts with sleep patterns and lack of sleep triggers depressions even further.
To cut down the effect of caffeine in such individuals, it is best that they decrease the caffeine content gradually in steps rather than cutting down all of a sudden at once, doctors suggest.
Researchers identified that a minimum of 200 mg of caffeine per day can boost memory in the long run. They attributed this to the property of caffeine in blocking adenosine, that is known to stop the function of norepinephrine, which is actually responsible for good memory in the long term.
Can cause addiction
Caffeine, the main component of coffee, is a drug that directly acts on our nervous system. Regular consumption of caffeine can cause your body to be addicted to it.
For a normal person, who drinks two or more cups of coffee per day, sudden stoppage of caffeine can induce severe withdrawal symptoms that can range from headache to problems in concentration and irritability.
The good news is if you can bear these withdrawal symptoms that would last for a couple of days at the maximum, you can easily get out of coffee addiction.
Boosts your metabolism
Coffee contains many components that are responsible for boosting our metabolism:
- Caffeine: The key ingredient that actively stimulates our nervous system.
- Theobromine: Another metabolic booster that is also found in cocoa.
- Theophylline: This is also found in cocoa and boosts metabolism, besides treating asthma.
- Chlorogenic acid: Component of coffee that slows the absorption of carbohydrates and boost metabolism in humans.
Thus, when taken in the form of black coffee, at around 9.30 to 11.30 AM, coffee has shown very good results in boosting metabolism, thus helping in burning down fat quickly.
Gives relief from muscle pains due to workouts
Studies proved that drinking two cups of coffee can help in lessening the muscle pains that we experience after intense strength training. The result is around 48% improvement in relief from muscle pain and when compared to aspirin or ibuprofen, caffeine fared excellently in achieving this.
Spikes your blood pressure
Studies done on coffee drinkers and non-coffee drinkers revealed that the blood pressure in coffee drinkers is far higher. Though the exact reason was not precisely identified, researchers say that coffee may contain a chemical that could cause restriction of blood vessels causing impediment to the free flow of blood.
For better results, it is suggested that the daily dosage of coffee is kept within 200 milligrams a day. It would also be wise that patients suffering from hypertension get it clarified from their doctors about the limit of coffee that they can safely consume per day.
Dehydrating or non-dehydrating?
While some experts differ to come to a conclusion about whether coffee hydrates or dehydrates your body, it was proven that coffee can be a mild diuretic. It means you lose water from your body when you consume coffee, but the results are not harmful anyway unless you drink 8 cups or more of coffee, which is never advisable.
If you get doubt about dehydrating effect of coffee, it would be a wise idea to drink a glass of coffee, every time before you reach out for a cup of joe! This way you would be compensating the loss of water due to coffee and also safeguarding your stomach lining from the acidic nature of coffee.
On a final note
Irrespective of the effect that you are expecting from coffee, it should always be remembered that consuming coffee in limits will do no harm to your body and help you reap its benefits ranging from protecting your memory to boosting your metabolism. Beyond a limit, the effects would be more of damage causing in nature and hence over-consumption of coffee is never suggested. Patients, pregnant women or individuals suffering from any ailments are advised to seek the advice of doctors to know more about their safe limits of coffee consumption.
- R. Rameshwari Reddy, et.al, Effect of Caffeine on Heart Rate and Blood Pressure, International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 4, Issue 2, February 2014
- Jonathan A. Dranoff, Coffee Consumption and Prevention of Cirrhosis: In Support of the Caffeine Hypothesis, Gene Expression – The Journal of Liver Research
- Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, “Caffeine and depression: Is there a link?”. Mayo Clinic, Sep 21, 2017.
- Honor Whiteman, “Caffeine may boost long-term memory”, Medical News Today, 23 June 2015,
- “Caffeine Myths and Facts.” WebMD,
- Kris Gunnars,“Can Coffee Increase Your Metabolism and Help You Burn Fat?.” HealthLine, May 4, 2018,
- James Foster, “Caffeine Reduces Muscle Pain”, CaffeineInformer, January 27, 2015,
- Amy Marturana, “What Drinking Coffee Actually Does To Your Body”, Self, August 5, 2016,
- Sheldon G. Sheps, “Caffeine: How does it affect blood pressure?”, Mayo Clinic, Jan. 26, 2019.