I love my coffee in the morning, and if you're reading this, then you must too!
Coffee is a great treat to wake up to and really starts the day off on the right foot. However, sometimes we get sick and need medicine. More specifically, we need antibiotics. As it turns out, that delicious morning beverage can actually affect the effectiveness of antibiotics.
This is generally not a positive affect. In fact, in some cases it can even be life threatening. This is a serious issue that many are unaware of, so it is important to discuss. More than half of all adults drink coffee in the morning, even while they take antibiotics. Studies have shown that not only can caffeine affect antibiotics, but other more powerful drugs as well.
One needs to be careful about the type of drugs one consumes with coffee, and it is always important to check with a medical professional before doing anything that one is not sure of. This is not meant to be a scare, though. Don't take it like that!
Coffee offers a plethora of health benefits, too. It probably does a lot more for you than you realize. Drinking this morning cup of Joe could be offering you so many uses that you didn't even know about.
Many studies have been done on this topic, since the drinking of coffee is so widespread.
How Does Coffee Affect Antibiotics?
First of all, let's be clear about something; it is not the coffee that affects the antibiotic. It is the caffeine contained in the coffee. So, if you're one of those crazy people who drinks decaf, you do not even need to even worry about this! For the rest of us, however, it is a concern.
Caffeine is a stimulant. This means that it increases attention and alertness. That is the reason that for most people caffeine is what they need to get through the day. They need it or they will be unable to function. This may seem like an addiction, and ya' know what? Maybe it is. However, everyone has their vice, and coffee is not a bad vice to have.
The way that caffeine affects the antibiotics varies. Sometimes it does not affect it, but other times it can endanger one's life. The amount of caffeine one takes in determines this. The other factor is what type of antibiotic is being consumed at the same time.
The point of this is that it depends, and there is no one answer to this question. It varies on a case-by-case basis, and the only way to really know the answer for a specific drug is by consulting a medical professional.
The general consensus, however, is that consuming caffeine with antibiotics is not a healthy practice. This is because the caffeine can lower the absorption, thereby making the drug less effective. This would harm the user, clearly, because they would not be as equipped to handle serious illnesses. The antibiotic would not work as it should.
An important thing to keep in mind is that caffeine is not only found in coffee, but also in other common foods. These include sodas and even chocolate!
The best practice is to avoid any form of caffeine while taking antibiotics.
How Do Antibiotics Affect Coffee?
Here we get to the second aspect of this dilemma: how exactly do the antibiotics affect the caffeine? The answer to this is the same as above: it depends. I know that is not a satisfying answer, but it is the accurate one.
Antibiotics can either increase, decrease, or keep constant the effect of the caffeine. The way they do this is by causing the breakdown of caffeine in the bloodstream to be slowed. This means the caffeine stays in the body longer, and therefore its effects will last for a longer duration of time. Although this might sound great to some, it most certainly is not. This excess of caffeine can cause problems such as headaches, which, of course, are unpleasant.
This is made even more unpleasant by the fact that while one is taking antibiotics, one is sick. If one consumes these two products at the same time, there could be many side effects that make it harder to recover from the original illness. When you are sick you certainly don't need anymore problems!
I hope this is clear, but these effects depend on the antibiotic. Once again, one should ask a doctor for this information.
Does This Mean Coffee Is Bad?
No! Not by any means! In fact, coffee is extremely good for one's health. It contains antioxidants, which can help fight off diseases and sicknesses.
Coffee also offers benefits for people suffering from attention disorders, such as ADHD. This is because of the caffeine. Stimulants are used to treat ADHD, and since caffeine is a stimulant it can help too. It can mimic the effect of these more powerful drugs, sometimes even eliminating their necessity. I have been witness to this particular benefit quite frequently. One of my best friends, who suffers from ADHD, is a huge coffee drinker. He claims that, because he drinks so much, he does not need to take medication. This is a huge plus, as many people do not want to take powerful drugs, even for illnesses.
Another, slightly obvious benefit of coffee is its boost in focus and attention. This definitely assists me throughout the day, as it does for many. Something lesser known, however, is that it also can increase short-term memory.
This is not a permanent benefit, but it really can come in handy at times. An example of this is for students in college; oftentimes they need that extra bit of help for the exam they had been cramming for all night! Caffeine just might do the trick in that circumstance.