We drink 1.4 billion cups of a coffee a day. That’s good!

GLOBALLY, we drink about 1.4 billion cups of coffee a day, according to the Intern national Coffee Organisation (ICO). This might explain why you rely so heavily on your cuppa every morning or why you stop at one of many coffee shops for a take-out only when out walking in these pandemic times.
In our latest edition we cautioned against drinking coffee when pregnant but the black stuff has many benefits for the rest of us.
How does your morning coffee really impact your brain? Most importantly, are there certain times of the day where your latte-caffeine boost is better for your health?
Caffeine, the main stimulant in coffee, works on a chemical level to give you a boost of energy. However, caffeine is structurally similar to another chemical naturally created in the body, called adenosine, which makes you tired.
Some substances imitate natural neurotransmitters and can take their place in receptors. For example, morphine can bind to the receptors in the brain meant for your endorphins (which is a natural kind of ‘morphine’ produced by your brain).
Similar to how morphine binds to endorphin receptors, the caffeine in your morning coffee binds to your brain’s adenosine receptors, preventing the biochemical from making you tired.
Caffeine also builds your adrenaline supply which increases your heart rate and allows blood to pump faster. At the same time, caffeine prevents dopamine from being reabsorbed into your system, which allows it to linger in the brain for a longer amount of time, causing you to feel it’s positive effects (such as happiness) for a longer amount of time.
Within the first 10 minutes, the caffeine enters your bloodstream and is pumped throughout your body, causing an increase in blood pressure and heart rate.
Up to 20 minutes after intake, caffeine binds to the adenosine receptors, neutralising fatigue. Dopamine levels increase and linger, which provides the drinker with an alert and focused feeling.
Within 30 minutes, your adrenal glands shift into high gear and begin producing more hormones. During this time your vision may become sharper due to your pupils dilating.
Within 40 minutes, your body begins producing more serotonin, which improves the neuron function within your spinal cord and this leads to improved coordination and muscle strength.
After four hours, your metabolism increases, which is why you burn energy faster. Your body begins to break down stored fats during this time.
Within six hours, the liquid coffee has gone through your system and you will likely feel the urge to pee, during which time approximately half the caffeine you consumed is expelled.
Of course, with anything caffeinated, moderation is key. When consumed in excess, caffeine can cause anxiety, heart palpitations, and sleeping problems.
According to Consumer Reports, up to 400mg of caffeine a day (which equals two to four eight-ounce cups) can be part of a healthy diet. However anything over 600mg a day is too much.
What are the health benefits of coffee?
Despite what you may have been told, there are several ways your daily caffeine intake is good for you. Not only can coffee improve your energy levels, but it can cause your brain to function at optimal levels, making you smarter.
Some other health benefits of coffee include:
Boosting your metabolism; improving your physical performance; helping you with your nutrient intake (the vitamins B2, B3, B5, manganese, and potassium are all found in coffee); lowering your risk of developing type 2 diabetes; helping fight depression symptoms and make you happier; and providing a source of antioxidants

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