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What Drinking Coffee Does to You

What Drinking Coffee Does to You

The chances are that you saw the title of this article and winced a little. Usually, things which are enjoyable bring negative side effects to our bodies. Alcohol, chocolate and fast-food are all fine examples of things which are enjoyable at the time but have negative long-term side effects on your health. So how does coffee compete with these ‘naughty’ foods and drink?

Drinking coffee is a great way to stay alert, both physically and mentally. It helps wake you up in the morning and aids your productivity, and help relieve workplace stress. Many of us drink up to 5 cups of the coffee a day, in various forms, from a black coffee to a mocha, or even one of those frozen coffees you can get from Starbucks. No matter how you like to mix it up, you need to be aware of the impact drinking coffee is having on your body.

Starting with the negative things about coffee…

One big rumour about coffee being bad for you comes from the effect it has on raising blood pressure. Although a temporary increase in blood pressure does occur, it is only really a problem if you already have naturally high blood pressure or are pregnant. Research suggests that limiting coffee consumption to 2 cups a day should reduce the harm coffee has on your baby’s health.

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    As with most things, too much coffee is bad for you. If you consume too much coffee (over 5 cups a day) you increase the likelihood of thinning of bone marrow. This impacts on how susceptible you are to a fracture, so, particularly for the elderly, keep coffee consumption to a sensible level.

    The other side effect which many people experience when they begin drinking coffee is an inability to fall asleep. Often, this is because coffee (or anything with caffeine in it) has been consumed too soon before sleep. To overcome this, I like to stop all caffeine consumption after 2pm each day, but remember that this affects different people differently.

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    So if they are the main negative impacts of drinking coffee, what about the positive side effects?

    Coffee’s positive side effects

    There are some surprising findings in the benefits of drinking coffee regularly which I think you will find comforting:

    • The British Coffee Association states that coffee can reduce the risk of fatal liver disease by up to 40%, with the most significant improvements being seen in people with already damaged livers…
    • The chances of developing type II diabetes, the UK’s fastest growing type of diabetes, are shown to be reduced with regular consumption of coffee.
    • Colorectal cancer is the world’s 3rd most commonly found cancer, and although research findings are mixed, there is a common trend showing a reduction in the chances of developing this type of cancer by around 20-50%.
    • According to further research, regular coffee drinkers may have less of a risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease in later life – by as much as 60%!

    There is no doubt that the findings here are pleasantly surprising. So if you were worried about drinking coffee, remember the facts above and how they are in your favour.

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    How you can make the most out of drinking coffee

    Finally, there are a few simple things to remember when drinking coffee. You will want to invest in a decent coffee machine as instant coffee can be highly processed. This will reduce the amount of benefit you receive. Stick to 2-4 cups a day unless you suffer from high blood pressure or are pregnant, in which case, ask your GP about the level of coffee is safe for you to consume.

    Coffee has a positive impact on your health and should be enjoyed. Each cup can help your body in the long-term just as much as it does in the mornings and through your average day. Keep a check on how much coffee you are drinking and enjoy every sip.

    Useful Links:

    National Archives on caffeine

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    The British Coffee Association

    What makes a good coffee?

    Featured photo credit: Close-up of a wonderful cup of hot coffee via Shutterstock and inline photo by anthony_p_c via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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