Back in the day when I started Pharmacy School I used to drink instant coffee, mostly with milk and as a fix to get me past an all-nighter before an exam. As I started drinking more coffee and trying different types of coffee (like espresso, cappuccino and mocha) my taste for the stuff changed.
Like drinking wine, all coffee does not taste the same and the way it effects the mind and body is not equal. Drinking instant coffee was not fun, it was bland, lacking aroma and most of the time It was just a help to get through the day.
After trying some different types of coffee beans I soon learnt that coffee just like wine has its own aroma, flavor and after taste. Of course let’s not forget caffeine content. However drinking coffee for me these days is less about the caffeine and more about the taste and ‘crema’ you get when you grind some fresh arabica beans. One advantage of living in the Malta is that coffee is quite cheap and there are a few good coffee shops on the island (Eating out in Malta)
Drinking coffee, is it Healthy?
There is a lot of controversy about coffee, caffeine and health. However as we collect more data and health statistics more research indicates that coffee has actual benefits to our longevity and survival and might even cut our overall risk of death.
Coffee is one of the major antioxidant sources in the American Diet, Most Americans have a very low intake of vegetables and fruit. Coffee provides a decent amount of antioxidants, that are protective against reducing the overall risk of mortality from all causes.
A meta-analysis study which included a linear and non-linear dose-response analyses looked at 40 studies that included 3,852,651 subjects and 450,256 all-cause and cause-specific deaths. The study was able to show a reduced relative risk (RR) from all causes mortality, including cardiovasular and cancer and cups consumed/day.
The consumption of 3.5cups/day was found to be optimal at reducing risk of CVD and 2cups/day for cancer. (Link here). On an interesting note that Europe showed stronger association than the USA.
Of course this doesn’t mean that you can eat and drink what you want and just drink coffee to get better health. What the results show is that consuming coffee can provide an additional source of compounds that might be protective against disease.
In fact the benefits of coffee might be so great that an extract of espresso might be next to help reduce the grown of lung cancer cells, even comparable to an anticancer drug Vilablastine. (link here).
What Side effects ??
well personally the most common side effects I’ve experienced on coffee is increased anxiety and going more frequently to the loo. However interestingly enough this did not happen with all coffee brands or type of bean.
Dehydration might also be something you want to look out for. coffee has diuretic effect (ie..makes you go to the bathroom) so taking care of drinking plenty of water with your espresso is a good way of staying well hydrated!
Currently i incorporate coffee in my Morning routine and part of my pre-workout. I feel it helps me stay motivated during the long sessions either studying medicine or Japanese.
I also drank 1 cup while writing this blog post 😉