The rich and robust flavor of coffee is what compels many people to drink it on the daily; that, and the boost of energy obtained from its caffeine content. But have you ever pondered what exactly happens to your body after consuming a cup of the brewed beverage?
Conflicting studies abound on the pros and cons of drinking coffee. Does it tax the adrenals and increase cortisol (stress hormone)? Or does it reduce appetite and improve focus? Is it beneficial for diabetics? Or does it raise blood sugar and contribute to weight gain?
If you’re conflicted on whether or not you should consume the drink, you’re not alone. Fortunately, some new research has surfaced that hints at the benefits of drinking the beverage. Obviously, consuming coffee in excess is not good for the body; but a cup now and again may actually offer some benefits.
Following is a breakdown of what happens to your body from 10 minutes to 6 hours after drinking coffee, courtesy of David Wolfe:
Shortly after your first sip, caffeine from the beverage enters your bloodstream. This causes a spike in heart rate, blood pressure, and energy. Intriguingly, this effect is most pronounced in men, according to researchers at the University of Barcelona.
Twenty minutes after drinking coffee, you’re likely feeling pretty good. This is because caffeine begins to affect your adenosine levels. The neurotransmitter is responsible for telling your body when it’s time for bed; caffeine binds to the brain’s adenosine receptors and shuts them off. That’s why drinking coffee before bedtime is not a good idea. You’ll be up until the wee hours of the morning.
Another effect of caffeine binding to adenosine receptors is that it allows the brain’s stimulants, dopamine and glutamine, to release their neurotransmitters. This is why after twenty minutes, you tend to feel very perky and awake.
It’s been a half an hour since you consumed your coffee. At this point, your body has begun producing adrenaline, which further increases your energy production. An effect of an increase in adrenaline is that your air passage will dilate and blood flow will increase to muscles.
It’s for this reason that athletes tend to consume coffee as a pre-workout aid; it helps them perform better in the gym and focus harder on the workouts they engage in.
It’s been ten minutes since the body began producing adrenaline. Now, one’s mood will become elevated because the brain becomes more sensitive to serotonin – a neurotransmitter responsible for mood regulation.
An individual who does not define themselves as a morning person usually perks up after consuming their morning cup of java, and this is why.
One hour after consuming a cup of coffee, there should be a noticeable difference in anxiety levels. According to Dr. Owen Bain, this is because caffeine continues to further increase one’s dopamine levels, resulting in feelings of contentment. In today’s busy world, no wonder so many people are addicted to coffee!
Approximately three hours after drinking a cup of coffee, one will notice that their levels of energy tend to diminish. This is because the effect caffeine was causing is beginning to wane. Says Dr. Baine:
“This is because the caffeine in coffee doesn’t actually make you more energetic, it just makes you less able to feel that you’re tired.”
Indeed, the effect caffeine has on the body can be likened to the effect a whip has on a racehorse. Caffeine increases adrenaline levels, which propels the body to work faster and be more focused; but as is the case with the racehorse, it doesn’t actually create more energy, it just induces a reaction.
Though you may no longer feel the effects of drinking coffee six hours after doing so, your body hasn’t stopped processing it. Reportedly, caffeine begins to act as a diuretic at this point, encouraging the kidneys to produce urine and remove toxins from the body.
Because coffee is an acidic beverage, one would do well to consume more water – specifically structured and alkaline – when they drink coffee during the day. This will prevent one from becoming dehydrated.
Following is a video by BuzzFeed that similarly explains what happens to your body after drinking coffee:
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Credits: True Activist