This is a sponsored post in partnership with Kaiser Permanente.
As a Latina, coffee is part of my genes. In Latino households, it is customary to have coffee and a bread before breakfast. Then after dinner, a round of cafecito is served. So when I say that we take coffee very seriously, I mean it. It’s part of our meals and engulfed in tradition. All those hilarious coffee mom memes, “Please insert coffee to function, ” or “But First Coffee,” all seem to be written about me. This is why when I had a call with Dr. Catherine N. Dito at Kaiser Permanente Orange County, I had to have the “how much coffee is too much” talk. Dr. Dito was extremely informative and gave me some insight into the effects of coffee. To make it easy to consume all this content, I broke up my nine things you may not know about coffee into pros and cons. Let’s start with the cons.
9 things you may not know about coffee
- Coffee can increase anxiety. So if you’re struggling with anxiety, it is recommended that you cut down on caffeine.
- Patients with irregular heartbeats should cut caffeine intake.
- People with overactive bladder are also recommended that they lay off caffeine. Caffeine will stimulate the bladder and make you go more. This affects women in their 40’s more.
- People with frequent headaches should remove caffeine from diet. Caffeine is one of the main ingredients in Excedrin Migraine, but if you have it every day it can cause headaches. This is if you’re having headaches four to six times a week, including migraines.
- Women who drink a lot of coffee (even decaf), may experience breast pain. The cause is not certain and varies woman to woman. Many times this effect goes away after menopause.
If you already have an underlying health condition, like anxiety or heart problems, caffeine can make it worse. So make sure to check with your doctor about your caffeine intake. Also, remember to calculate other beverages, tea or soda pop, into total caffeine consumption.
- Drinking your coffee black can have health benefits, like anti-aging. Dr. Dito recommends two cups of black coffee. Doctors believe the antioxidants in coffee might be the cause. Antioxidants work by getting rid of bad things and regenerating cells.
- People who drink four cups of black coffee a day have a lower diabetes risk.
- Coffee can help with asthma (though Dr. Dito does not recommend it). Certain people who have wheezing find that it’s better after drinking coffee. Caffeine is a “bronco dilator,” it opens up the airways. So then you can breathe better. This might also be why you would workout better after coffee. Do not throw out your inhaler since that works a lot better and faster.
- It makes blood pressure rise for about 30 minutes. Great for when you need a boost.
The last pro can go either way depending on your health. Mamis like me need that extra boost to start the day, but people with high blood pressure, might want to be little more careful. The best part of the pros, is the hope with all the coffee I drink, it will help against aging. Oh, and you know how you’re supposed to drink 64 ounces of fluids every day? Unfortunately, you can’t count coffee towards the 64 ounces.
After having a great talk with Dr. Dito about my health concerns and caffeine I asked her, “What about the chiclets?” In Latino families there is always the concern that caffeine will make you chaparro (short). She said there is no data to backup that caffeine will stunt a kids growth. Even so, pediatricians recommend avoiding caffeine as long as possible. The only way it could stunt your growth is if you were drinking a ton of coffee—it might decrease your appetite and when you cut way back on what you eat you may not grow as fast. So if you are short, do not blame the coffee.
All in all, caffeine should be taken with consideration to each individuals heath. Keeping in mind that 10-15% of people are very sensitive to caffeine causing them insomnia, anxiety, restlessness. I, luckily, do not have any health condition to cause me to decrease my caffeine intake. Thank the coffee bean gods!!! I have a few more years to enjoy my cafecito before worrying about an overactive bladder. Right now all I have to worry about is which is better cafe de olla or americano.