Rashi Chowdhary, a renowned nutritionist, recently shared on social media how she used to consume eight cups of black coffee, “except for that one butter coffee in the morning”. This led to her being more anxious and gaining more weight.
She, however, got back to turning her life around by getting her health on track, getting her sleep cycle right, and reducing her intake of coffee. From eight cups, she was down to two.
Lavazza, the Italian brand which, held a survey — ‘Brewing Conversations’ earlier this year — in order to gather insights on whether coffee is a ‘companion’ or a ‘motivator’ for Indian millennials — recently conducted another, which examined over 3,000 young people, and found that almost 50 per cent of the respondents consumed coffee as the first meal of the day. Not only that, but a good 94 per cent also preferred coffee when in an interview, or during a meeting with clients. They also found the brewing beverage to be a great conversation starter to bond and catch up with their friends.
View this post on Instagram
Chowdhary stated that having one or two cups every day is fine, since “250 mg of caffeine has great benefits for the heart, has antioxidants and good for your blood sugar levels, too. But anything beyond that is definitely a problem.”
Too much coffee
Too much of anything is bad, and caffeine has its own risks: it can affect the reproductive system by stressing out the adrenal glands which lead to an increase in the production of the stress hormone cortisol. “Abnormally elevated cortisol can lead to dysfunction with both our hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal and hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, which affect our reproductive hormones,” explains Chowdhary, who is a Dubai-based nutritionist.
While some people can function on a cup or two, others may not be able to handle it at all. “Everyone’s body is different, and some may have a mutation in the CYP1A2 gene that produces an enzyme which allows your liver to eliminate caffeine and estrogen. Without this enzyme, it’s hard for your liver to process both caffeine and estrogen, which means you may feel too jittery or anxious, and have more PMS symptoms — all because of the hormone estrogen, which dominates your body.”
Consuming too much caffeine can also deplete the vitamin B and magnesium levels. “These are important nutrients needed for ovulation and progesterone production. When our body loses out on these components, it can lead to the excessive production of estrogen, causing major PMS symptoms, lumpy breasts and heavy bleeding.”
Chowdhary also warns that drinking “too much coffee loaded with milk and sugar can cause insulin resistance”, which is a concern for women with PCOS.