How Does Coffee and Caffeine Affect Seniors?

June 07, 2021


Few things are more comforting than sipping a warm cup of coffee in the moments after waking up. It can be an excuse to take ten minutes to watch the sunrise and listen to the birds sing, or just a way to kick-start your mornings. Coffee is undoubtedly a staple in most people’s mornings, but is it good for our bodies?

Related: How To Hydrate With Food

Well, nearly everything is good in moderation. But it’s best to understand the perks and downsides of coffee.

What Are The Upsides of Coffee for Seniors?

It’s common knowledge that the caffeine, a major compound in coffee, can increase energy levels and make us more alert. It’s a nice way to avoid a mid-afternoon slump. But did you know it can assist in burning fat? 

Studies show that the substance can boost your metabolic rate by up to 11 percent. Maybe don’t take your cup of joe to the gym with you, though. Water and electrolytes are essential for proper hydration, especially when breaking a sweat. 

The Health Benefits of Coffee

Speaking of health benefits, John Hopkins Medicine reports that coffee may help lower one’s risk of developing a stroke, Type 2 diabetes, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. That’s not all. The risk of Parkinson’s Disease is also minimalized in coffee drinkers, with a reduction rate between 32-60 percent. Science also shows that the beverage can be beneficial in protecting you from liver and colorectal cancer.

If those benefits weren’t conclusive enough, you may also find it helpful to know that your beloved brew contains essential vitamins such as B2, B5, manganese, potassium, magnesium and niacin. 

If you suffer from clinical depression, coffee might even help you find relief. Of course, this isn’t a guaranteed preventative measure for all the mentioned health issues, however, it does play a role in limiting your odds.

What Are The Downsides to Consuming Coffee?

Besides the bitter taste on some palettes, coffee may also cause insomnia for some due to the caffeine. It’s suggested not to drink your favorite beverage before bed. Rather, opt for some decaf tea or an aromatic herbal tea to help you wind down and warm up.

How Much Coffee is Too Much?

So, what’s the maximum amount of coffee you should consume? It’s advised to intake no more than four cups (or 400 milligrams of caffeine) a day. In fact, you’re likely to see more benefits when drinking less than that. Too much coffee intake can cause anxiety, high blood pressure, headaches and jitters, especially those with a sensitivity. It can also dehydrate you, so be sure to reach your daily water intake.

For folks with high cholesterol, you may want to drink a minimal amount or filter your coffee. Filtering it will clear out kahweol and cafestol, two elements found in coffee beans that can increase cholesterol levels.

Fortunately, drinking a controlled amount of coffee doesn’t typically pose a health threat to the average individual. Though no one knows your body better than you, so if you have an allergy or health condition that is affected by coffee or the caffeine within, consider cutting your consumption. Alternatives such as herbal tea, dandelion root, and chicory “coffee” are great caffeine-free substitutions for a classic cup of joe.

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