A new study has shown that coffee drinkers lose an average of 36 minutes of sleep at night but walk a thousand more steps a day. The effects on heart palpitations and the general benefits. The expert: Two or three espressos a day don’t hurt
Good news and bad news for coffee lovers. A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that coffee has surprising effects on blood levels physical activity
causing people to move more and walk on average a thousand more steps a day
and this may explain why coffee has long been linked to a better health. However, the work also found negative aspects: research has indeed shown that people they lost an average of 36 minutes of nocturnal sleep on days when they drank coffee and the more they drank, the less they slept.
Research has examined the effect of coffee on heart palpitations
, a relatively common effect among those who consume the drink. Research found that in healthy men and women, coffee did not cause a common type of palpitation, a heart rhythm disorder known as atrial extrasystole
. Coffee can lead to an increase in another type of heart palpitation called heart palpitations ventricular extrasystole. These are extra or irregular heartbeats that almost everyone experiences from time to time, and while they can be unnerving, they are not typically a cause for concern in healthy people, although they could potentially have more critical clinical significance.
The effects of coffee on health
However, the health effects of coffee are rather complex. While for some people coffee is beneficial and can reduce the risk of chronic disease and who knows, maybe also extend lifefor others the drink can disturb sleep and cause palpitations. The truth is that coffee is not good for everyone or bad for everyone, the effects are different for each of us, he comments Gregory M. Marcus, study author and professor of cardiology at the University of California at San Francisco. Overall, this work confirms that coffee consumption is almost certainly safe, but people need to know that real, measurable physiological effects are possible and should be able to recognize them. Depending on the individual, these effects can be harmful or beneficial. It is clear that if the amount of caffeine that is ingested is high – it confirms Claudius Tondodirector of the Arrhythmology Department of the Monzino Cardiological Center in Milan – it is natural for anyone to develop palpitations, therefore the watchword: moderation.
The benefits of coffee
We know that coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world and decades of research suggest that the beverage has mostly beneficial effects. Many studies show that those who drink coffee live longer, are less likely to suffer from diabetes, tumors, liver disease, depression. However most of the data comes from epidemiological studies they just show correlations and not cause and effect. Also often these searches are based on self reported data which are not always reliable. Finally, the amount of caffeine can vary depending on many factors. According to Mayo Clinic a 240 ml cup of coffee contains about 100 milligrams of caffeine (espresso and instant coffee have less).
Research on coffee and cardiovascular health over the years has been quite mixed. Initial studies have indicated that coffee could be harmful to the heart because increases blood pressurethe heart rateL’adrenaline and increase i cholesterol levels. Other more recent research has found that drinking multiple cups of coffee a day actually could reduce the risk of death from heart disease or strokes which some experts attribute to the large amounts of antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory compounds found in coffee.
When to drink and not to drink coffee
Despite the lack of strong evidence health authorities have often suggested it to people with heart problems, particularly those with heart disease atrial fibrillation
, to avoid coffee or other caffeinated drinks for fear that they may trigger palpitations. However, each case must be evaluated on its own. The cardiopathic patient such as the decompensated or with coronary artery disease – underlines Claudio Tondo – is already more exposed to theextrasystoleespecially the ventricular one. But in some subjects with chronic decompensation, not in the acute phase, caffeine can improve the diuresis
and therefore has a beneficial effect. And of course every choice must be guided by common sense: Two or three espressos a day – adds the arrhythmologist – have no negative effect and this has been proven for some time now. Of course it’s all tied to the subjective answer: there are people who don’t sleep at night if they drink coffee in the afternoon, but not because coffee is bad, but because it has an effect on the increase in adrenaline and therefore on the state of wakefulness.
The new study: sleep and exercise
To get a clearer idea of the health effects of coffee, scientists at the University of California recruited 100 healthy men and women living in San Francisco and equipped them with glucose meters andelectrocardiogram devices that have monitored their heart rhythms 24 hours a day for 14 days. Each participant followed a rigorous coffee schedule: first they were asked to drink as much caffeinated coffee as they wanted for two days and then abstain for two more days and then repeat the cycle for two weeks. Participants were asked to press a button on their heart rate monitor every time they drank a cup of coffee to document their intake in real time. To ensure participants followed instructions, the researchers sent them daily reminders and even reimbursed them for coffee upon presentation of a receipt.
From the monitoring it was observed that on the days in which they drank coffee, the participants tended to consume from one to three cups although some volunteers drank less and others consumed up to six cups a day. Coffee has had clear effects on night sleep: In an overall average, volunteers slept 7.2 hours on days they didn’t drink coffee and 6.6 hours on days they did.
Also there genetics it seems play a role: People with genetic variants that make them slow caffeine metabolizers actually experienced greater sleep loss on coffee-drinking days than fast metabolizers, because caffeine stays longer in the slow metabolizers. body.
The effects on physical activity
The effects on physical activity were instead particularly surprisingBut it’s not at all clear why people walked 1,000 extra steps on coffee-drinking days. It is possible that they had more energy and motivation, venture the researchers. In any case, taking a thousand steps a day is associated with a reduction in mortality between 6-15%.
The effects on the heart
The researchers also wanted to investigate the possible effects of coffee on the heart and palpitations by finding that on days people drank coffee they experienced 50% more ventricular extrasystoles. Although it is a disorder considered not dangerous, it could be a sign that should not be underestimated in people who frequently experience this type of tachycardia because they could be more likely to develop heart failure, even if of course this does not apply to everyone. The ventricular extrasystoles they could be the initial signal of a can heart disease because in particular the left ventricle acts as the true pump of the heart, even if to a large extent they can be considered paraphysiological events clarifies Claudio Tondo. And it’s not even said that a person realizes he has an extrasystole: the unpleasant sensation of extrasystole, when you feel an emptiness in your chest, the lack of a heartbeat, is actually very variable. Perception is very subjective: there are people who, despite having multiple extrasystoles in one day, don’t realize it.
No ban on coffee but the important thing is not to overdo it
The study followed healthy volunteers, but the findings aren’t said to apply to people with heart disease. That shouldn’t be overlooked high quantities of coffee can cause atrial and ventricular extrasystoles because it is as if a quota of were injected into the organism adrenaline which increases the heart rate. Caffeine can both increase the heart rate and the amount of extrasystole. Coffee is not banned – concludes Tondo – and common sense is needed on doses because side effects can appear with the intake of large quantities. In fact, coffee is also good for you: maintains wakefulnesscan be a good support for those who have to do physical activity as well as having numerous other benefits.
April 1, 2023 (change April 1, 2023 | 07:04)
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