Coffee is, without a doubt, one of the world’s most popular beverages. It is enjoyed all around the globe and in some cultures, like Italy, it has almost a cult status. Coffee offers several benefits, mostly due to the caffeine in it. The main one being its energizing effect and the ability to boost wakefulness, concentration and focus. It also has significant antioxidant properties. However, coffee is not suitable for everyone because it has several negative side effects.
Side effects of coffee
One of the short-term side effects of coffee is a jittery feeling, restlessness, irritability and increased heart rate after drinking a cup of coffee. If taken in excessive amounts, coffee can lead to insomnia, anxiety and irritability. This is one of the reasons some people avoid coffee or restrict its consumption.
Coffee is also a diuretic. This means it stimulates water elimination through urination. For this reason, a cup of coffee should always be followed by a glass of water, to prevent dehydration.
Drinking coffee may become something of an addiction. People who drink more than three cups of coffee per day are at risk of becoming not only psychologically, but also physically addicted to it. If they skip a cup, they become anxious and frustrated, have headaches and even nausea.
Too much coffee increases the risk of cancer. It contains aldehydes, sulfides, tannic acid and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, all of which are considered as carcinogens, especially for the liver. In addition, drinking three or more cups of coffee per day increases the risk of fibrocystic breast cancer in women.
Another significant side effect of coffee is associated with the brain. Caffeine in coffee acts as a stimulant for the nervous system. Caffeine interacts with a brain chemical called adenosine, which has a calming and soothing effect. When adenosine and caffeine interact, the brain gets confused.
People who have drug abuse problems or addictions should avoid drinking coffee because caffeine can exacerbate the symptoms of addiction.
Coffee is not recommended for pregnant women, because it increases the risk of miscarriage and has direct negative effect on the fetus, even more so than nicotine and alcohol.
In women, coffee aggravates the symptoms of PMS and increases the risk of heart disease.
Another side effect of coffee is that, if consumed immediately after meals, it reduces the absorption of certain nutrients in food, especially iron.
All coffee lovers should keep these side effects in mind and maybe try to cut down on their coffee consumption to one or two cups per day.