4 Disadvantages of Drinking Coffee

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Coffee is society’s favourite go-to drink. Or, more accurately, everyone’s favourite drug, as the drink has addictive qualities and stimulates mental alertness. Many people rely on coffee to wake up on the morning and to maintain their energy throughout the day. Although coffee provides a temporary buzz, it also comes with a nasty crash and, when over-consumed, a number of negative health effects.

Just some of the disadvantages of drinking coffee include:

Irritated Digestive System

Do you suffer from IBS, gastritis, peptic ulcers, Crohn’s disease or any other illness that affects your digestive system? If so, you will probably find that drinking coffee makes your symptoms worse. This is because coffee increases hydrochloric and gastric acids. Although these acids are necessary for breaking down food, too much of them can exacerbate stomach conditions and cause problems like ulcers and acid reflux. This increase in acid is why coffee should never be consumed on an empty stomach.

According to LiveScience, it is also thought that coffee promotes the release of gastrin, a hormone that is produced within the stomach and is known to increase motor activity in the colon. Because this part of the colon is close the the rectum, researchers have concluded that this activity could be responsible for the laxative effects of coffee.

Raised Blood Pressure

According to Mayo Clinic, caffeine can cause a short but dramatic increase in blood pressure. There are various speculations as to why caffeine does this - some researchers believe that is is because caffeine blocks a hormone that helps to keep your arteries widened. Others believe that it’s because caffeine causes adrenal glands to release more adrenaline, or because caffeine causes vascular resistance (meaning the heart needs to work harder to pump blood). High blood pressure is one of the most common risk factors for coronary heart disease, so we recommend that heavy coffee drinkers keep an eye on their blood pressure levels. If you already suffer from high blood pressure, you may want to forgo your daily espresso and switch to Lutte instead.

Anxiety, Stress & insomnia

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that can significantly contribute to anxiety and panic disorders.

According to LiveStrong, coffee stimulates the adrenal glands (which are responsible for releasing hormones that trigger the flight-or-fight response). Over time, this coffee-induced stimulation can lead to adrenal fatigue, which causes lethargy, body aches, sleep disturbances, nervousness and digestive issues.

Precision Nutrition states that the levels of the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine after caffeine consumption are similar to those experienced during an acute stress. In other words, coffee re-creates stress conditions and can make people feel jittery, restless, anxious, stressed and like they can’t concentrate. Coffee can also disrupt sleep patterns, especially if it is consumed 6 hours or less before bedtime.

A Nasty Crash

The symptoms of a typical coffee-crash include:

  • Fatigue
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Irritability
  • Dozing off

But why does coffee make you crash? Because coffee doesn’t produce energy. Instead, it shuts off the part of your brain that registers tiredness.

When people are tired, they have increased levels of adenosine in their brains. When they drink coffee, the caffeine molecule blocks the adenosine from attaching to its receptors in the brain. However, while the caffeine is keeping someone alert and energetic, adenosine is continuing to build up. After a few hours, as the caffeine is metabolised, the effects begin to wear off. The built-up adenosine then floods its receptors with signals for the body that is it time to sleep - it does this at a level that is much more intense than normal, thus the extreme and sudden tiredness that comes a few hours after drinking coffee.

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Sick of the negative health effects that coffee can cause? We recommend that you switch to our nutritious (and delicious!) lattes instead.

Check out our healthy latte mixes

If you decide to quit coffee for something more nourishing, we recommend that you quit gradually, as quitting cold turkey can result in headaches, tremors, irritability and depression. If you have any questions about this post or our range of Matcha, Pumpkin Spice, Beetroot and Turmeric lattes, don’t hesitate to get in touch.