The effects of caffeine: comparing 5 positives and 4 negatives

Found in coffee, tea, chocolate and certain energy drinks, caffeine has the power to give us a boost in the morning and can keep us awake in the drowsiest hours of the afternoon.

But the effects don't end there. In this article, we will try to explore five positive aspects and four negative effects of caffeine on health and well-being. In addition, we will look in more detail at the importance of using filtered water when making coffee.

It may seem like a small difference but, as we will see, it can make a huge difference to the taste of your drink.

Effects of caffeine: 5 positives

effetti-caffeina-donna-che-beve-caffèDrinking coffee in the morning or after lunch is something many of us do regularly. Indeed, it is an essential part of our routines to kick-start our day. But what are the positive effects of drinking caffeine?

  1. Increased energy and focus: perhaps the best-known benefit of caffeine is its capacity to increase energy and focus. This is the reason why many people start their day with a cup of coffee. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, improving concentration and alertness.
  2. Improved physical performance: caffeine is also a powerful ergogenic (something which enhance energy production), meaning it can improve physical performance. Athletes often consume caffeine before training to increase their strength and stamina.
  3. Antioxidant: coffee is rich in antioxidants which help to combat free radicals in the body and can contribute to preventing certain diseases.
  4. Improved mood: some studies suggest that caffeine can have a positive effect on people’s moods. Drinking coffee or other drinks which contain caffeine can increase the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, temporarily improving mood and the feeling of well-being.
  5. Reduction in the risk of neurodegenerative diseases: some research, including one study by the University of Verona, has suggested a possible correlation between moderate consumption of caffeine and a reduced risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. It is thought that this is because one of the effects of caffeine is to block the accumulation of the tau protein in the brain, reducing symptoms of disease.

Effects of caffeine: 4 negative aspects

effetti-caffeina-tazzina-di-caffè-chicchi-di-risoSo far we have talked about the positive aspects but, as with all foods, if ingested inappropriately or excessively, caffeine can also have negative effects. Let’s take a look at some of them:

  1. Insomnia and sleep disorders: one of the main side effects of caffeine is insomnia. Indeed, many people avoid drinking coffee in the evening, after dinner, out of fear of not being able to get to sleep. Excessive consumption of caffeine, especially in the afternoon or evening, can disturb sleep patterns and cause problems with rest.
  2. Increased heart rate and anxiety: if consumed in large quantities, caffeine can cause a temporary increase in heart rate and may lead to symptoms of anxiety, tremors and agitation. Sometimes when work is stressful you may drink more coffee than usual but it is something best avoided. This negative effect is one which should not be underestimated.
  3. Digestive issues: heartburn, acid reflux or stomach irritation are some of the undesired effects of caffeine which some people may experience, even after drinking just one cup of coffee.
  4. Increased blood pressure: here an important distinction needs to be made. According to some studies, if consumed regularly and in moderate quantities, coffee can help to maintain low blood pressure. This is of course a positive aspect. So why have we included it in this list? Because, as we mentioned at the start of this section, it is important to consider the quantity of caffeine and the person consuming it. According to a study by researchers from the National Center for Global Health and Medicine in Tokyo, caffeine can temporarily increase blood pressure, which could be problematic for anyone who already suffers from mild hypertension.

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Now that we have examined some of the positive and negative effects of caffeine on health, it is important to focus on an issue which, too often, is not given due consideration: the use of filtered water.

The importance of using filtered water to make coffee

caraffa-filtrante-per-acqua-per-caffèFiltered water plays a vital role in ensuring that coffee tastes delicious and is free from impurities. Tap water may contain chlorine, calcium and other substances that have a detrimental effect on the flavour of your coffee. Using filtered water removes these impurities, allowing the natural oils of the coffee to fully emerge, giving a richer and more balanced flavour.

Another aspect which should not be overlooked is that filter water helps to protect the equipment you use to make coffee, whether it is a typical Italian moka pot, or a pod or capsule machine. This means that less maintenance is required.

In conclusion, caffeine has both positive and negative effects on health and it is important to consume it in moderation. If you have any concerns, speak to your doctor or nutrition experts.

However, when it comes to making coffee, we should not overlook the importance of filtered water, which really is the secret ingredient. This little detail can make a huge difference to the taste of your coffee and the overall experience of this drink that we love so much. Therefore, the next time that you enjoy a cup of coffee, make sure that you use filtered water to really bring out its full flavour. And if you want our tip, try one of these… 

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