Let’s face it, you probably didn’t get hooked on coffee because you loved the taste of it the first time. Much like alcohol, coffee is an acquired taste to many. And also like alcohol, it can have a profound impact on your body and brain when you consume it.
Now that you have a full-on infatuation (or maybe a dependency) with coffee, you quite possibly have grown to love the taste whether it’s a hot cup of straight black coffee in the morning or a sweetened latte made by your favorite barista who knows your morning order the moment you walk in the door. But no matter how you like your coffee and no matter your taste preferences, you probably look forward to that first sip in the morning because of the effect it will have on you. Once you get that first cup and have a little bit of caffeine running through your veins you’ll feel energized, alert, and ready to go for the day. And that is exactly why and how that addictive little bean has become an everyday part of your life.
But that’s not to say all those different types of coffee have the same effect on every person, every time. First off, we all metabolize caffeine differently. You already know this though because somehow that one weird friend is able to drink it all day long and even into the evening and still get plenty of sleep that same night. Meanwhile, you have another friend who gets wide-eyed and jittery after half a cappuccino.
“Caffeine has several physiological effects on the body, one of the most potent being its ability to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system to produce adrenaline from your adrenal glands,” nutritionist Tamar Samuels says. “Adrenaline is a powerful hormone that is part of the ‘fight or flight’ response. The release of adrenaline into the bloodstream increases blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate, all of which may contribute to the jittery feeling some get when they consume too much coffee.”
Meanwhile, acidity is also another factor in how coffee impacts us differently, mainly our digestive system.
“One study found that espresso, French roast, and other dark-roasted coffees may be less irritating because they contain a compound — N-methylpyridine, which is only produced during roasting — that inhibits stomach acid production,” said Samuels.
And what about those sugary coffee drinks some people love? Well, adding anything to coffee is going to change the way it affects you. For example, adding dairy will increase your coffee’s acidity.
“Coffee drinks with added sugars can cause weight gain and potentially increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes,” Samuels said. “It really all comes down to the individual and what works for their body.”