Everyone who drinks coffee does it for their own reason. Some people like coffee for the taste or the routine it can provide, but regardless of your reason for drinking coffee, there’s no denying that coffee can give you a big boost of energy! This is due to that notorious chemical at the heart of coffee, black tea, and soda:
Caffeine has been the subject of public debate for centuries, particularly regarding the question of health benefits. As caffeine has become more and more common around the globe, some people have brought up their concerns about caffeine. In general, these concerns center around caffeine’s classification as a psychoactive drug.
Though caffeine is the world’s most commonly used stimulant, it has been the target of bad press for years, and as researchers are now discovering, it may actually be more healthy than harmful to us. Led by Harvard-based studies and plenty of research, we are getting closer and closer to answering the age-old question; “Is coffee good for you?”
This article will explore some of the arguments for and against caffeine and outline what our new understanding of the stimulant means for the future. Keep reading to find out just what makes caffeine tick!
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The Old Standard
In the early years of the great coffee debate, studies around coffee linked it to various ailments, from heart disease to asthma. At the time, these studies were found to be convincing, but recently many of them have been debunked.
The Chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard, Frank Hu, noted that many of these studies did not account for test subjects that were smokers, leading researchers to connect coffee to heart disease and asthma instead of the actual culprit, cigarettes.
As coffee drinkers will be delighted to hear, most of these past studies have been reconfigured and reimagined, with more modern approaches to testing and subject screening. With this more informed approach to the subject, the confounding variables were removed, and coffee no longer appears to be the culprit in most health cases.
So, we know that coffee isn’t out to get us, but can it be good for us?
We’re all aware of the energy-boosting effects of caffeine, but do you know how caffeine does it? When we drink coffee or any other caffeinated drink for that matter, the caffeine binds to places in our brains called our adenosine receptors.
Adenosine is one of the chemicals that is responsible for making us tired throughout the day. Typically, it promotes sleep and suppresses energy, but things look a little different when you add caffeine to the equation. Caffeine molecules block our adenosine receptors by binding to the place where adenosine would normally go, making sure that the body stays alert and awake.
Beyond its energizing capabilities, however, the health benefits of caffeine may be more extensive than previously thought.
If you get your caffeine from coffee, you’re also getting the benefits of the other chemical in the brew, such as antioxidants called polyphenols! These antioxidants help to reduce inflammation and fight disease, making coffee a pretty good vehicle for polyphenols.
While long-term caffeine use was once associated with an increased risk of cancer, that has since been disproven. This study, published in 2008, showed that caffeine made no long-term effect on the health of people who consume it and that there may even be benefits from caffeine use. This supports Frank Hu’s theory of cigarettes confounding the studies!
What Type of Coffee Should I Go For?
Another common question among coffee consumers is, “Which type of coffee is best for me?” As “best” is a subjective opinion, this question has a few different answers, depending on who you ask. Some people will chase after light roasts, as many light roasts claim a higher caffeine counterpart than others. However, for arguably the best overall benefits, a cup of cold brew coffee might be your best option.
As opposed to a hot brewed coffee, or iced coffee, cold brew coffee is significantly less acidic, sweeter without the need for sugar, and smoother than the average drink. This increases your benefits in a couple of different ways.
Firstly, for people that tend to drink a lot of coffee, drinking cold brew coffee instead can help cut down on the number of cups of coffee a day. Due to its higher caffeine concentration, you can try switching to cold brew and see the effect it has!
Another benefit of cold brew is the lack of acidity due to the unique cold-brewing method, which extracts the coffee using room temperature water, as opposed to cold water, as many people assume. Thanks to this long extraction, barely any of coffee’s natural oils or acids are released during brewing without heat. This will help people who struggle with acid reflux and makes a smooth drinking experience for all.
The list of Cold-brew coffee benefits can extend further, especially with the inclusion of Nitro Cold Brew, but in reality, almost any type of coffee is safe to drink. As with any substance, the key is moderation. If you are consuming incredibly high levels of caffeine daily, you might feel some side effects, but there is no evidence of long-term health problems from caffeine.
High Brew has all of your coffee needs at the ready! From our specialty cold brews to our self-heating coffee cans, we have caffeine options for everyone. We want to share our coffee with the world, and there’s no better way to enjoy High Brew than straight from the can!
Check us out at our blog today to learn more about coffee and cold-brew!