A single cup of coffee has rapid absorption with caffeine uptake to the blood in just over 20 minutes and will stay in the blood stream for over 12 hours,” says Dr Owen Bain, founder of the Gourmet Focus Consultancy. So you can imagine the overall effects of coffee on your body once it gets into that bloodstream!
Pulse and Blood Pressure
Immediate effect of drinking coffee is that it shoots a fraction of your blood pressure, especially if you don’t drink it often. A sudden increase in blood pressure slows down the heart rate with a single cup. More than one cup could cause acceleration of heart rate. This could be problematic to those who have history of cardio vascular diseases.
Caffeine on empty stomach can irritate the gut lining, causing pain, bloating & heartburn.
Bowel and bladder
Though it is believed that coffee stimulates defecation, Dr Bain suggests that it is a myth that drinking coffee makes you urinate frequently. This is because the diurectic effect of it is very small.
Caffeine released from drinking coffee causes release of adrenaline within 20 minutes in turn activating ‘fight or flight’ mode. Consequently pupils dilate & one might have sharper vision.
Brainpower & memory
Caffeine increases alertness of brain & concentration & so people tend to make less mistakes. Recent study suggests an enhancement in memory 24 hours after its consumption. Such memory is short-lived. There are studies that also suggest that coffee consumption regularly over lifetime is linked to less risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
As cortisol levels are high in the morning, best time to have coffee is about an hour after waking up as the cortisol will keep you energetic for a while. Increased heat production due to caffeine might induce weight reduction. After about 3 hours, as effect of caffeine reduces, you may feel a ‘crash’ which is because you actually did not get energy from caffeine but rather caffeine makes you less able to feel tired.
Caffeine in coffee is similar to Theophylline, a drug to open up lungs to make patients breathe easier.
Coffee stimulates release of Dopamine which is a ‘feel-good’ hormone. As a result, anxiety reduces & feelings of contentment increases. Therefore, women having coffee regularly exhibit less depression but again too much of it can have opposite effect, causing anxiety & restlessness.
Late evening coffees resets the internal body clock as it delays a rise in melatonin level which is body’s main sleep hormone. Natural sleep & wake cycles are decided by the changes in melatonin. So any alteration could deprive sleep.
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