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Side Effects of Coffee & Wine in Human Health

By Cindy Hill

Coffee and wine are two of the most popular beverages around the world, and each of them has side effects on human health. The dangerous effects of excessive alcohol, and the jitters and sleeplessness that go with too much coffee, are well known. But the good news is that if consumed in moderate quantities, most of the human health side effects of wine and coffee are positive.

Coffee Increases Endurance

There is general scientific agreement that one side effect of caffeine, the chief active component of regular coffee, boosts endurance performance in long-term sporting events, according to the Rice University Sports Department. Rice explains that caffeine causes the body to conserve glycogen during the initial period of exercise, leaving more glycogen available for use later in the course of a physical performance event. Glycogen is the primary fuel that body muscles use; body fat is muscle's secondary fuel, but glycogen must be present in the system for the body to utilize fat. Caffeine helps the body use these fat stores more effectively as fuel and keeps glycogen in place longer, delaying the onset of muscle exhaustion. With a cup of coffee before engaging in physical activity, exercise or sporting performance can go on longer. In some people, caffeine also lowers the perception of physical exertion, also encouraging longer physical activity. Caffeine is a regulated drug in many sporting events, however, so keep consumption before races to moderate levels.

Boosts Brainpower and Deters Disease

Coffee makes you more alert and focused. Caffeinated coffee can raise blood pressure and cause mild anxiety when consumed in large doses, but these side effects pale in comparison to the myriad positive effects on human health imparted by a daily cup or two of coffee, according to Dr. Stephen Alexander, an Associate Professor of Molecular Pharmacology at the University of Nottingham, UK, writing in the Daily Mail newspaper online. Coffee temporarily boosts IQ and improves short-term memory, particularly in the elderly, where it also speeds reaction times and increases reasoning ability. Coffee focuses the mind, and Dr. Alexander reports that credible studies indicate that caffeine may stave off Parkinson's disease and other forms of dementia, and may even reverse Alzheimer's disease effects on the brain.

Wine Lowers Heart Disease Risk

Alcohol can always be dangerous when consumed excessively, and cars and other equipment should never be operated after consuming alcohol. Within moderation, consuming wine, particularly red wine, has many positive side effects on human health. The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University reports that wine has consistently been associated with 20% to 30% reductions in coronary heart disease. Resveratrol, a component of red grapes found in red wine as well as grape juice, is an active antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals that could otherwise harm human health, and inhibits oxidation of low-density lipoproteins, thus deferring arteriosclerosis and heart disease. Resveratrol is also anti-inflammatory and helps blood platelets avoid clotting.

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