Coffee: The Good and the Bad


For many people, a good cup of coffee is one the greatest pleasures of life. Whether it’s the first thing that hits your lips in the morning or you just get it on an afternoon break, there is no denying the popularity of coffee. There is also no denying the effect caffeine has on our brain in order to provide that energized feeling and to keep our brain activity going; that is why coffee is the second most commodity on Earth after oil.

Keeps your brain going

But how does coffee work and what does it do to your brain?

Whenever you are awake, a chemical called adenosine slowly accumulates to your brain. This adenosine binds to receptors which slow down brain activity. The more adenosine there is, the more tired your brain feels and it promotes sleep. Which makes sense the more you are awake, the more fatigued you will become.  When you are asleep, the concentration of adenosine in your brain gradually declines which leads to wakefulness.

Since caffeine has a similar structure to adenosine, as we drink coffee the receptors that bind with adenosine to produce tiredness are replaced by caffeine molecules. While it is desirable at some point, we need to check how much coffee we drink in a day because too much caffeine can mess up your body.

Coffee and coffee beans

So how much is too much?

For healthy adults with no medical issues, it is generally agreed upon that 300mg-400mg of caffeine can be consumed daily without any adverse effects.

Coffee is not a good idea for children, and adolescents should limit caffeine consumption according to Mayo Clinic.

So if you are drinking 4 coffee cups a day, you way want to cut back. Especially when you are experiencing side effects such as:

  • Migraine headache
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Frequent urination or inability to control urination
  • Stomach upset
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Muscle tremors

So, just know that overindulging in anything is bad and know that a little bit of coffee per day may actually good for you.