Caffeine is probably one of the few beverages that have a complex relationship with our overall health. Coffee, one of the most consumed caffeinated beverages in the world, is not only high in antioxidants but can also help in preventing many serious health diseases.
For many people, coffee is just a caffeinated beverage they consume to fulfill their body’s caffeine needs but what we don’t realize is that coffee has many hidden benefits and can be good for mental health.
In our previous blogs, we explored caffeine sensitivity, caffeine addiction, and caffeine withdrawal, however, in this blog, we’ll be exploring the hidden mental and physical health benefits of coffee that we may have overlooked in the past.
How Does Coffee Help Mental Health?
1. Helps Fight Depression
Coffee, according to a study by the National Institute Of Health, improves your chance at fighting depression. However, caffeine is a complex element. On one hand, in coffee, caffeine can help fight depression but on the other hand, in other caffeinated beverages like soft drinks, it can increase the risk of depression.
Coffee contains antioxidants that can increase your mood, decrease the risk of depression, and help you stay relaxed. Coffee has also been found to reduce the risk of suicide.
2. Helps Increase Energy
Drinking coffee can help you reduce morning fatigue and increase your energy levels in the morning. Your morning caffeine intake can block the neurotransmitter adenosine. When this happens, other neurotransmitters such as dopamine increase. This can help improve mood, increase energy, and improve brain health.
3. Helps Increases Happiness
In a study, it was found that coffee can help increase positive emotions and happiness. Coffee increases the levels of dopamine, increasing pleasure, affection, calm, and happiness. In a Harvard study, it was found that people who drank coffee had a lower risk of developing depression.
4. Helps Protect From Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders and is one of the leading causes of dementia. Eating healthy, exercising regularly, along drinking coffee can help prevent Alzheimer’s from developing. In many studies, it was found that people who drink coffee have an almost 65% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
5. Helps Improve Memory
Not only does coffee help improve heart health or liver health, but it also helps improve mental performance. People who consume coffee regularly have a good memory and can better manage their daily routine. If you’re a student struggling to remember your subject or a business owner wanting to meet different goals – coffee can help!
6. Helps You Live Longer
Did you know that people who drink coffee live longer than those who don’t? In many types of research, it was found that coffee, rich in antioxidants, can lower the risk of premature death. Coffee intake can help decrease the risk of stroke, heart diseases, diabetes, and liver diseases, thus decreasing the risk of chronic illnesses.
How Much Coffee Is Too Much?
Caffeine – whether it be in tea or coffee – has become quite popular. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), four cups of coffee a day is considered safe. However, drinking coffee can cause effects such as restlessness, anxiety, increased heart rate, and insomnia.
People who are sensitive to caffeine can struggle with adverse effects such as increased anxiety, migraines, agitation, etc. In the DSM-5, this can be found under “coffee intoxication”.
So how much coffee is safe to drink?
Caffeine tolerance can differ from person to person. Ideally, four cups of coffee per day (400 milligrams) is considered okay. If you still struggle with symptoms such as anxiety, restlessness, etc, then reduce your caffeine intake by half.
You can also try to switch from caffeinated beverages to decaffeinated ones. However, it is not recommended that you quit caffeine suddenly. Quitting caffeine suddenly can lead you to develop caffeine withdrawal symptoms that can potentially increase your anxiety, headaches, and tremors. (For more, see caffeine withdrawal)
So, the answer to your question “is coffee bad for your mental health”?
Coffee is one of the most commonly consumed caffeinated beverages in the world. Not only does caffeine improve physical health but also your mental health. One cup of coffee can help you increase your energy, regulate your blood sugar, and decrease your risk of developing several disorders including Parkinson’s.
As long as coffee is not causing you any adverse side effects, one or two cups of joe a day can be healthy for your brain.
I hope this article helped you understand the hidden benefits of drinking coffee and see how coffee is good for mental health.
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