Caffeine: Spilling the beans
Whether it’s a flat white, a latte or a frothy soy mocha, the popularity of the humble coffee bean cannot be understated. Approximately 95 million cups of coffee provide mid-day pick-me-ups every day in the UK alone.
But it’s the caffeine itself that keeps us coming back, that energy kick of inspiration that keeps you pushing through those reports. Consumed in such high numbers not only in coffee but also in energy drinks and chocolate bars, the nutritional value of the stimulant is being called into question. Just how healthy is it for us?
Though the average coffee connoisseur drinks around two cups a day, the national guideline is no more than four for a healthy adult. That’s 400 milligrams of caffeine to be precise, which equates to about 10 cans of cola. The stimulant is quickly absorbed within the body, peaking half-an-hour after consumption to give you the boost that you’re after.
The energy boost itself is quite simply, adrenaline. Caffeine causes increased neuron firing in the brain which, when communicated with the pituitary gland, sends the brain into emergency mode. This releases hormones that corresponds with the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline. It is this that produces those caffeine side effects that we know all too well, including a heightened heartbeat and increased mental alertness.
Daily consumption of caffeine, so long as it’s within the national daily guidelines, shouldn’t be detrimental to your heart health or cholesterol levels. Although caffeine’s correlation with poor heart-health through heightened blood pressure has been long discussed, the increased pressure is usually temporary and its effect is minimised over time if you consume caffeinated drinks regularly.
Though what about our sleep? With caffeine being one of the best resistors to sleep there is, surely our night’s kip is being affected? Well it depends. A study conducted in 2008 found that abstaining from caffeine for a whole day significantly lengthened sleep duration and improved sleep quality. After all, caffeine stays in your bloodstream for about 5 hours, meaning although you may feel tired, you might find yourself tossing and turning in bed if you’ve had an evening brew.
That being said, an individual’s reaction to caffeine differs greatly, with some feeling little effect, and others the opposite. Furthermore, though the same can’t be said for other high-caffeine drinks, coffee has many health benefits. These benefits include a high level of essential nutrients such as riboflavin and magnesium, as well as the capacity to lower your susceptibility to leading neurodegenerative diseases. So don’t be so hasty, if your a lover of java, it isn’t necessary to completely ditch it from your life. We do however recommend avoiding large doses after lunch, as well as taking note of your intake and reducing appropriately if you’re having issues sleeping.
We at nanu like coffee as much as the next person (black americano please), though of course we prioritise our sleep, especially as a great night’s sleep supplies you with all the energy to see you through the day. Our premium pillows are great at providing your head neck and back with the necessary support to give you your perfect sleep. By using our online pillow builder and selecting your weight, height, sleeping position and preferred density of your pillow, you can design your perfect pillow, tailored to the specifics of the way you sleep.
Instead why not spend the money on your sleep, the best energy source there is. After all, you could get one perfect pillow for the price of 11 large cappuccinos (or 8 large Caramel Frappuccinos*). We know what we’d pick!
*Starbucks prices accurate as of June 2019