It has become a tradition for millions of people around the world to sit down to a cup of coffee after dinner. While the jury is still out to determine whether it is a good or bad practice, many people cannot do without it. This is not in some weird-addiction way, I am talking about the amazing aroma emanating from the coffee pot, the smooth taste, and the extra kick you get just before bed. But there is more to after-dinner coffee than just the taste, smell and feel. There is also the debate about what coffee is best after dinner. Read on to find out.
Why do people drink coffee after dinner?
Maybe you have never been a fan of after-dinner coffee at your favorite restaurant because of talks of insomnia and even disruption of the internal body clock. Yet, there are millions across the world who engage in the practice and, to be fair, we hardly hear them complain of sleeplessness. So, why is this tradition so popular? Here are some reasons.
- It aids digestion
This is one of the most popular reasons you will hear out there. Truth be told, you know how bloated you feel after a heavy meal at night, and you can’t just wait for things to settle so you can jump on your bed? Well, studies have shown that Coffee can stimulate the muscles in your colon to move. This leads to peristalsis which causes bowel movement. This combined with its impact on the digestive tract (stimulating motility) can significantly improve digestion as well as excretion.
- Fights the Energy Slump
Let us be honest, a lot of us eat the wrong foods, and way too much of it. Even at night, it is common to find us eating lots of carbs and other sugar-filled meals. As a result, we get a sudden surge in energy which is quickly followed by a slump- forcing us to head to bed with our bellies filled with calories. The kick that caffeine gives can help us fight this slump and keep us awake for a little longer before we retire to bed.
- Calorie Burner
Whether you’re doing some work or having a rest, caffeine helps to keep the body active through a process known as thermogenesis. By aiding digestion, caffeine ensures your body continues to increase the use of energy and heat. This ensures the continuous use up of calories even when you are in a state of rest. This is also a great way to keep you active and maintain healthy weight.
- Appetite Suppressant
Caffeine is also known to reduce the feeling of hunger in people. Logically, most people do not see the need to eat when they are energised and feeling ready for anything. This can keep the desire to eat in check for a while. The suppressive ability can be a major advantage for people with obesity and those looking to stay in shape.
Choosing the right after-dinner coffee
Black coffee, decaffeinated coffee, or espresso? This is another huge debate among after-dinner coffee drinkers. While black coffee will provide the much-needed caffeine for the benefits discussed above, it is more likely to disrupt your sleep because it packs a lot of caffeine which might keep you hyped and energised long into the night. Decaffeinated coffee, on the other hand, lacks the active ingredient (caffeine) for the benefits you require.
Many say espresso is the coffee of choice for many reasons. It has caffeine but not as much as black coffee. This might just be enough to stimulate digestion, help burn calories and fight the energy slump associated with a regular dinner. Furthermore, espresso is almost calorie-free, so you do not have to worry about excess calorie intake. Whether or not it will keep you awake is another matter for another day. The best way to know for sure is to try them out and see what works for you.
Taking coffee after dinner or just before bed is still a very controversial subject. Truth is, it may work for you or it may not. Some people take coffee and find it hard to sleep. Others do and have no trouble sleeping. However, you should start small if you ever decide to start taking coffee after dinner. Otherwise, try half decaf or espresso which do not have as much caffeine as most other long coffee drinks. If you notice a negative reaction, you should stop. If you do not, you may just be on your way to becoming one of the millions of nightly coffee drinkers worldwide.