What are the side effects of coffee on females?

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There are many articles on the adverse health effects of coffee.

Not many of these articles focus specifically on the impact of coffee on the female body, though. Since men and women differ biologically, it stands to reason that they don’t experience the effect of coffee in the same manner. Just think of pregnancy, for example.

There’s a lot of conflicting research published on the effect of caffeine on women’s health. We don’t claim to have to answers, but we went searching and got our information from some leading sites. We hope to clear things up a bit when you read this article.

In this article, we will delve into the much-neglected world of coffee and the female body.

Coffee could have tons of adverse effects on the female body. Some of these are really scary and severe. In contrast, others are highly unlikely or even so mild, that it’s seen as a minor inconvenience. Read on to find out.

8 disadvantages of drinking coffee for women

[1] Increased Tendency to Develop Breast and Ovary Cysts

Yikes, this sounds super scary. Luckily, the cysts that could develop in your breasts or ovaries as a result- of high caffeine consumption are usually benign (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15247120). Still, going to the doctor because of a lump in your breast must be one of the most terrifying things (other than childbirth) you might ever have to go through.

So, why does caffeine increase the tendency to form cysts? Turns out that caffeine affects your hormones, especially if you’re hormonally sensitive. Man, we have enough of those going around without throwing a spanner into the works. If you have PCOS, Fibroids, Endometriosis, Ovarian Cysts or Fibrocystic breasts, caffeine consumption will definitely cause more cysts to form.

[2] Caffeine Metabolism is Genetically Determined

When you drink coffee, the caffeine is broken down in your liver. Here, an enzyme called CYP1A2 does all the hard work. If your body produces a lot of this enzyme, you can drink tons of coffee and probably not feel it. Ever feel like Thor, shouting “ANOTHER!” as you smash your cup to the floor? Guilty as charged!

The CYP1A2 gene controls CYP1A2 production (could we go for more creative names next time?). Mutations in this gene cause you to produce either a heck of a lot of this enzyme, or scarily little. About 10% of the population are lucky enough to have an abundance of this gene. At the same time, the rest of us mere mortals must be content with average amounts, or very little of it. If you’re one of those unlucky few that have too little of this enzyme, as little as two cups a day can increase your risk of suffering a heart attack (https://www.floliving.com/3-reasons-why-women-cant-drink-coffee/). Oh man!

CYP1A2 is also responsible for estrogen metabolism. If you have too little of this enzyme, you may also struggle with estrogen-dominant conditions like PCOS, Fibroids, and Endometriosis. Talk about a double whammy! You can’t drink lots of coffee without risking heart failure, and you’re at risk for cystic breast lumps. 

The scary part is that, with a low level of CYP1A2, you’re also at higher risk of developing breast cancer (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/414529). So, if someone in your family suffers from breast cancer and coffee makes you super jittery, it may good idea to skip the cuppa Jo from now on. Sorry, ladies.

[3] Caffeine Increases Infertility Rates

Can we get a break already? When you’re trying to conceive, caffeine consumption is detrimental to the process for both men and women. The research is overwhelming, so we’ve summarized it for your convenience:

–          Having three cups of coffee a day increase the risk of miscarriage by 74%

–          Conception is hindered by caffeine consumption

–          Drinking coffee increases your risk of early pregnancy loss

–          Coffee disrupts ovulation. This is because it increases the levels of cortisol in your body alongside increased adrenalin production. It also reduces the amount of vitamins and minerals in your body – most of which are needed for ovulation (). Ovulation is key to conception.

[4] Coffee Depletes Micronutrients

When you drink coffee, the caffeine flushes magnesium from your system. With this, you lose other nutrients and minerals that you need, especially B vitamins. B vitamins are essential to happy hormones, which may be why you feel cranky when you come down from your coffee rush.

Why is this a problem, though? Well, your ovaries need magnesium to stay healthy. Furthermore, coffee disrupts your gut flora because it’s so acidic. When this happens, your body has a hard time absorbing nutrients, even if you’re following a very healthy diet. Bummer.

The good news: your body can recover if you take a rest from coffee and take some much-needed supplements.

[5] Cellulite

This is a swear word, we know. That feeling of seeing the dimples on your thighs is just the worst. Unfortunately, the risk of developing cellulite increases when you drink a lot of coffee. This is mainly because coffee causes dehydration, which makes your body hold on to the water it already has. That’s how cellulite forms.

It’s ironic that many of the topical creams and other products used to combat cellulite, contain caffeine. It seems that caffeine is right for your skin, if applied topically, but bad for you when you ingest it. Go figure.

[6] Increased PMS

Oh boy, another swear word. If you’re prone to suffering from severe bouts of PMS, chances are that you’ll experience even worse when you drink lots of coffee. Sorry, ladies. As if this isn’t bad enough, I’ve got some more bad news: eating chocolate also increases the intensity of PMS.

So, what’s a girl to do? It seems the best advice is to stay off the juice and sweet cocoa delight when you know aunt Flo is on the way.

[7] Emotional Fatigue

We sure know what that feels like, right?

When you drink coffee, you get a nice buzz going, and you feel like you can conquer the world. And often, you do. The downside is that coffee doesn’t let you rest. So, when the effect of your caffeine high wears off, you’re likely to feel way more tired than when you started out. This affects both your body and emotions.

We suggest that you use coffee in moderation to mitigate this effect.

[8] Coffee Alters Your Hormone Levels

If you’re of childbearing age, having your daily caffeine fix could alter your hormone levels. (Research showed that the effect of this is affected by race. Crazy! If you’re white, your morning coffee might lower your estrogen levels. On the other hand, if you’re Asian, your cuppa Jo might increase your estrogen levels. Lucky for us, this effect is really minimal, so you generally don’t have to worry about it. Phew!

5 advantages of drinking coffee for women

With all this negative stuff related to coffee, should we just forgo the sweet aroma forever?

The International Food Information Council Foundation states that, you don’t have to. After much research, they say that most women actually benefit from moderate daily consumption (300mg/day). Here’s how:

[1] Caffeine is Safe

The FDA, AMA, and ACS all confirm that caffeine is safe for human consumption, providing that you use it in moderation. If you’ve got any specific medical conditions that make you more sensitive to caffeine, maybe lay off the Jo. If that’s not you, go ahead and enjoy. Not too much, though.

[2] You Can Have a Bit Of Coffee During Pregnancy

If you take coffee in moderation (one or two cups a day) during pregnancy, it’s generally considered as safe. If you didn’t drink coffee before you conceived, it might not be the best idea to start now, though. Also, if you have any underlying health conditions, coffee might adversely affect you and your baby. Maybe just check with your doctor, to be on the safe side. Rather safe than sorry, right?

[3] Coffee Doesn’t Lead to Birth Defects

In all the research done on the topic, there was no link between coffee consumption and low birth weight or other birth defects. That’s good news for the coffee lovers!

[4] You Can Have Coffee When You’re Breastfeeding

Anyone who’s ever had a young baby knows the extreme fatigue that comes with night feeds. Man, when will this little human finally just sleep? So, it comes as good news that you’re allowed to have your morning wake-me-up cup, even when you’re breastfeeding. Again, coffee should be taken in moderation.

[5] Coffee Might Burn Fat

Many people want to lose weight. If you’re going to lose weight for health reasons, it’s a good idea to find safe, sustainable ways to achieve this. You’ll find that many commercial fat-burning supplements contain caffeine and, in some cases, they’re useful.

In some cases, coffee increases your metabolism enough to burn fat. This effect usually doesn’t last long, though, since your body becomes resistant to the impact of caffeine. Where it might benefit you in the long run, is appetite suppression. This might help you in your quest to obtain and maintain a healthy body weight. Do bear in mind that too much coffee is not good for you. So, you’ll have to weigh up the pros and cons of this approach, taking your health and body into account.