|First of all, I would like to acknowledge that the topic of this article could be met with controversy or alternate opinions, which is totally okay! I want to encourage any reader who would like to share their constructive opinion or feedback to share in the comment section below for discussion. I also want to note that any statements made throughout this post will be referenced from other materials or my own opinion and should not be taken as a prescription or health advice.
With that said, let's get to the topic at hand - the mental health benefits of coffee!
What are they? Are there any at all? What about the potential adverse affects of consuming coffee (or too much)? We'll explore all of these questions and more throughout this article.
MH Benefits of Coffee
You may have heard about the health benefits of coffee (including studies that have shown that drinking coffee can protect against Parkinson's disease, type 2 diabetes, liver disease and dementia, as well as lowered risk of heart rhythm problems, and strokes, just to name a few) and coffee may also cause positive or beneficial changes for an individuals mental health, as well.
This is great news for someone like me who drinks 2 to 3 (and sometimes a lot more) cups of coffee each day! Let's explore some of the possible mental health benefits of drinking coffee.
- feeling more awake & motivated
- improved cognitive functioning
- enhanced memory performance
- increased alertness, attention, and concentration
- decreased risk of depression and suicide
- decreased OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) behaviours
Watch this video for even more surprising health benefits of coffee:
Research is still being done to find out just how effective coffee can be for improving the well-being of a regular caffeine drinker, and the variables associated with these studies vary widely and are mainly based on the frequency and number of cups an individual consumes on a daily basis.
Photo Credit: Sweatpants & Coffee
What About the Side-Effects?
It's also important to note that coffee can have some negative side effects, as well. In fact, the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders-5), which is a manual used by mental heath professionals to diagnose mental health disorders, includes caffeine withdrawal as an actual diagnosis in the latest publication.
Caffeine withdrawal is defined as: "A syndrome resulting from abrupt cessation or reduction in caffeine, following prolonged daily use."
In addition, individuals with a diagnosis of anxiety, panic, or psychiatric disorder or who are particularly sensitive to caffeine may have adverse symptoms with coffee intake (depending on the dosage). It's advisable to see your doctor if you experience any negative physical or mental health symptoms after drinking coffee.
Albeit a controversial concept, after exploring some of the research on the physical and mental health benefits of coffee, it's clear to see that it can be helpful to continue drinking your morning cup of coffee but also have some potential downsides. I know for myself, the comfort and motivation I feel from regular coffee intake will keep me coming back for more!
I'm interested in hearing your point-of-view on this subject... how does coffee play a role in your life and have you noticed any mental health benefits so far? Share in the comments below!
Other mental health posts:
References: www.mayoclinic.org, www.wedmd.com, www.coffeeandhealth.org, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov