Coffee is a popular beverage that is widely consumed. Since its introduction toArabia from Ethiopia many centuries ago, its cultivation has continued to flourish in three regions of our planet, namely, Africa, Latin America and Asia.

There are many nutrients in coffee preparations that vary depending on the type of techniques used in the coffee making processes. Coffee contains minerals such as Ca, K, Fe, P, Ni, Mg and Cr, polyphenols, caffeine and carbohydrates. It is also rich in many bioactive substances and its consumption has been associated with many beneficial effects. These include a reduced risk of hepatocellular carcinoma, an antiproliferative effect against certain human cancer cell lines, therapeutic properties against Alzheimer's disease, and antioxidant capacity by regulating the Nrf2 nuclear displacement of a gene that regulates.

Caffeine is an alkaloid and the most common stimulant, increasing dopamine and epinephrine levels. Dopamine and epinephrine are neurotransmitters that send messages to our cells to burn fat resulting in an increase in our metabolism. At the same time, many human studies show that coffee improves various aspects of brain function - including memory, mood, alertness, energy levels, reaction times and general mental function.

At the same time, the epinephrine (adrenaline) that increases after consuming coffee serves to enter our body in the state of  "fight or flight", through which the body is kept awake and prepared for intense exercise. Given these effects, it is not surprising that caffeine can improve physical performance by 11-12%.

Caffeine is found in many natural and processed products. Examples of these sources include green tea, bunch tea, chocolate and energy drinks. The amount of caffeine contained in a cup of coffee varies depending on its type. Also, the final amount of caffeine in the drink can be modified depending on how it is prepared. Greek coffee has a lower caffeine content, while at the top of the pyramid is filter coffee. The recommended daily consumption of caffeine according to EFSA for adults is 400 mg(3-4 cups of instant coffee).

However, we should be careful with coffee consumption and not exceed the recommended daily dose, as over-consumption of coffee is associated with several side effects, such as the following:

  • Increase stress

Extremely high for consumptions of 1000mg or more per day have been reported to cause nervousness, which occurs when adrenaline is secreted uncontrollably.

  • Insomnia

Excessive coffee consumption keeps the body awake, to a point where it can cause sleep disorders. Especially coffee consumption in the afternoon, causes insomnia or even restless sleep, as caffeine requires a reasonable amount of time to be metabolized and excreted by the body.

  • Fatigue

Even though coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages increase energy levels, they can have the opposite effect leading to fatigue after caffeine is removed from our system.

  • Addiction

A detailed review indicates that even thoug caffeine activates certain brain chemicals, as is the case with drugs, it is not addictive to those caused by these drugs. However, it can lead to psychological or physical exhaustion, especially in high doses. In addiction, the frequency of caffeine consumption seems to play a role in addiction.

  • Tachycardia

The stimulant effects of high caffeine consumption can cause tachycardia. However, this phenomenon does not seem to happen to everyone. Even some people with heart problems may be able to tolerate large amounts of caffeine without side effects.

In conclusion, coffee has impressive benefits for our health, when consumed in moderation. Very high doses, however, can put out our health at risk of disrupting the functioning of our entire body.


Flora Giatra, Biochemist specializing in Nutrition

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