For many of us, the only way to start our day is with a steaming cup of coffee. With increasing pressures from work and cold, dark mornings to deal with, a caffeinated pick-me-up can seem like the only way in which to kick start the day and for a great deal of us, a morning started without a trusty cup of joe is not worth thinking about. As our bodies get accustomed to that early morning kick, however, the initial effects of the caffeine might start to wear off and over time, it is possible to need to consume increasing amounts of the stuff in order to feel alert. And while coffee certainly isn’t the worst vice that we could be putting inside of our bodies, it has long been associated with agitation, stress and increased tension.
Enjoying a break with a cup of coffee is something that money cannot buy but as our consumption of the stuff goes up and up, it’s worth considering what we’re actually doing to ourselves. Taste is all well and good, but how much coffee does our body actually need?
Despite coffee getting a bad reputation from some sources, drinking the stuff might not actually be as bad for your health as you initially thought. Much like other food and drink sources, the key to determining how much your body really needs is a very subjective process and will vary greatly from person to person. Findings published by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee stated that moderate coffee consumption (3 to 5 eight ounce cups per day) was not linked to long term health risks but even with this information, it’s important for you to understand how your body feels after ingesting the drink. If one cup is enough to get your heart pumping and your mind active, then it might be a good idea to stop while you’re ahead. If, on the other hand, you prefer a few cups staggered throughout the day and your body can handle it, you might be able to take a larger quantity.
At the same time, there are a few other factors to determine when calculating your perfect dose of coffee throughout the day. While coffee consumption has been determined safe, if you have an existing heart condition, then loading your body with the agitating effects of caffeine can be detrimental to your health. Similarly, those who suffer from anxiety disorders, or problems with their blood pressure should limit their intake; prolonged consumption of caffeine can aggravate symptoms and put your health at risk.
Finally, how your take your coffee should play a factor in deciding whether or not to take that extra cup. Adding extras like milk, sugar or cream to your cup can cause the calorie content of your drink to balloon and, consumed regularly over a period of time, your cup of coffee can add pounds to your scales. If you like to splurge and order your cup from a nearby cafe, consider your order. While an espresso is coffee in its most raw form, choices like vanilla lattes, mochas or cappuccino come with a whole load of added extras, sometimes in chemical form. Treats like this are great from time to time but, consumed every day, and you might experience weight gain and poorer health.
When it comes to coffee, it’s all about you and your body. Following the guidelines of health bodies like the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee can stand you in great stead but essentially, their research presents the middle ground of a large spread of results. Consuming up to 5 cups per day is within the safe territory but essentially, you should listen to your gut.