Coffee – Who can drink it and who should avoid it?

I know that I love my coffee first thing in the morning. I love the smell of it, and the sitting there peacefully drinking it. Its like my wake up and smile it’s a new day moment. Whether my habit is good or bad, its just that a habit. The question is do I want to change it? I’m of the everything in moderation school so I feel that if I’m not drinking to wake up and then again all through the day to keep myself alert, it’s a habit that can stay. The question about whether I should be drinking it is another story, that will be answered in this and future posts.

Coffee is one of those things – you either love it or hate it. You know if you like the taste or not (or if it’s just a reason to drink sugar and milk). You know how it makes you feel (i.e. your gut, your mind, etc.).

Not to mention the crazy headlines that say coffee is great, and the next day you should avoid it!

There is actual science behind why different people react differently to it. It’s a matter of your genetics and how much coffee you’re used to drinking. I only have one cup in the morning, sometimes two, but never anymore. If I do I start to feel sick in the stomach, so I know my limit.

NOTE: Coffee does not equal caffeine. Coffee contains between 50-400 mg of caffeine/cup, averaging around 100 mg/cup. Coffee is one of the most popular ways to consume this stimulant. But… a cup of coffee contains a lot of things over and above the caffeine. Not just water, but antioxidants, and hundreds of other compounds. These are the reasons drinking a cup of coffee is not the same as taking a caffeine pill. And decaffeinated coffee has a lot less caffeine; but, it still contains some.

Let’s look at caffeine metabolism, its effects on the mind and body, and whether coffee drinkers have higher or lower risks of disease. Then I’ll give you some things to consider when deciding if coffee is for you or not. 

Caffeine metabolism

Not all people metabolise caffeine at the same speed. How fast you metabolise caffeine will impact how you’re affected by the caffeine. In fact, caffeine metabolism can be up to 40x faster in some people than others.

About half of us are “slow” metabolisers of caffeine. We can get jitters, heart palpitations, and feel “wired” for up to 9 hours after having a coffee. The other half is “fast” metabolisers of caffeine. They get energy and increased alertness and are back to normal a few hours later.

This is part of the reason those headlines contradict each other so much – because we’re all different! That’s why being aware of how your cups of coffee are effecting your body is key to whether you should be drinking it or not.