When you drink espresso every day, this is what happens to your body

Few things get us out of bed and motivated in the morning like a strong cup of espresso. The intoxicating coffee aroma can amplify our anticipation, and that first hot sip is just shy of miraculous, helping us to feel like veritable super humans at the indecent hour of 6 a.m. 

But what makes espresso different than regular old coffee? Well, they both start with the same bean; however, it's the method of preparation that distinguishes the two drinks, as noted by The Kitchn. The site explains that an espresso machine grinds the beans finer and uses "hot water at a high pressure," resulting in a more "intense" brew, which is generally served as a single shot.

If you're an espresso lover or coffee connoisseur, you know that the smell and taste of — and, best of all, caffeine in — your favorite coffee drink can really help you get a jumpstart on the day. But what else is your daily espresso doing for your body and mind? Turns out there are loads of health benefits, and, yes, a few not-so-desirable potential consequences, too. So should you continue to down your percolated potion or limit your overall caffeine consumption? This is what happens to your body when you drink espresso every day.

Drinking espresso every day will give you the energy boost you're looking for

If you are one of those, "don't even talk to me before my first sip" kind of people, we can totally relate. A morning dose of caffeine via an espresso shot, drip cup, or java drink of choice can help us feel more, well, human. This is because caffeine quickly finds its way to the brain receptors and immediately gets to work, giving neurons an alertness-bumping boost, according to an article in Today

While a "moderate" amount of caffeine (approximately 300 milligrams or the equivalent of 4.5 ounces of espresso) can indeed increase one's capacity for concentration and improve his or her mental sharpness, drinking too much could result in a less acute response. Attenuation is when your body becomes desensitized to a stimulus. In essence, drinking espresso in excess can dull the intended effect. So stick to that morning espresso (or two) in the morning and avoid consuming more caffeine. If you do this, you should feel more energized and ready to tackle the day's to-do's when you drink espresso every day.

You might have trouble sleeping if you drink espresso every day

If you are like most espresso aficionados, you probably crave your fix even after the morning hours have past. But if you drink espresso and other caffeinated drinks throughout the day, this could be keeping you up at night. Dr. David C. Broder, the medical director for Florida's Center for Sleep, Allergy, and Sinus Wellness, confirmed to Everyday Health that "caffeine is a stimulant and therefore impedes your regular sleep." According to the same article, it can take approximately six hours for half of the caffeine you consumed to leave your system. So if you decide to indulge in a late afternoon shot of espresso or an early evening cup of joe, you might suffer the consequences of restlessness and insomnia.

Want to live on the wild side and order a late-night coffee drink? It should be noted that, while espresso has a reputation for being stronger, a single shot (or 1.5 ounces) actually has less caffeine than a full 8-ounce cup of regular drip coffee, as shared by the USDA and explained by Tasting Table. Espresso is more concentrated, though, as noted by Food and Wine, so sticking to the traditional portion size makes a single shot a wiser choice.

Drinking espresso every day could reduce your risk of getting type 2 diabetes

A Harvard University study published in Diabetologia in 2014 observed men and women over the course of four years and found that those who gradually increased their intake of coffee reduced their risk of getting type 2 diabetes by 11 percent. Conversely, those who decreased their intake saw their risk increase by 17 percent. Not a bad reason to drink espresso every day, huh?

While one might assume it's the caffeine that's effectively at work, this has yet to be proven. Healthline cited a study that notes how "drinking caffeinated coffee over a long period of time may also change its effect on glucose and insulin sensitivity." In other words, being a regular coffee drinker over an extended period of time "may be what causes the protective effect." 

Still, this does not mean that a diabetic can and should freely chug their favorite coffee drinks. A 2008 study by the American Diabetes Association found that regular coffee drinkers with type 2 diabetes saw a big spike in blood sugar after drinking coffee.

If you drink espresso every day, you could improve your long-term memory

Multiple studies have shown a correlation between caffeine intake and memory retention, according to New Scientist. Neuroscientist Michael Yassa conducted a study, cited by New Scientist, involving 160 individuals who only consumed small amounts of caffeine. They looked at images, and then were given a pill — either 200 milligrams of caffeine (about two shots of espresso) or a placebo. New Scientist reported, "Receiving the caffeine after studying the images helped to isolate the effect of caffeine on memory, as you wouldn't expect alertness to matter at this point."

Ultimately, Yassa deduced that caffeine helped to boost long-term memory by helping with memory consolidation, or "the process of strengthening memories between acquiring them and retrieving them," as defined by New Scientist.

What's more, a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease in 2010 found that caffeine seemed to have a "protective effect" regarding the occurrence of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia —  and research, cited by Healthline, showed a link between caffeine consumption and a decreased rate of Parkinson's disease. So, if you drink espresso every day, you could potentially be helping to protect yourself from these diseases.

Your daily espresso habit could help reduce your risk of stroke

An espresso a day keeps the cardiologist away? Make that four shots of espresso, actually. Researchers in Germany found that drinking approximately four espresso servings daily could potentially decrease one's risk of suffering from a heart attack, according to an article published in Inc. Of course, this study was performed on lab mice — so, before you order another caffeinated round, take this all with a grain of salt. Even the lead researcher admitted that people metabolize coffee differently, per Inc.

Despite these rather significant caveats, there is still ample evidence that there is a positive correlation between moderate caffeine intake and one's heart health. A 2011 study published in the journal Stroke suggested that women who did not drink coffee or drank very little had a higher risk of stroke. Nevertheless, too much caffeine can cause an acute increase in blood pressure, as noted by Mayo Clinic. Basically, if you want to drink espresso every day, just do so in moderation.

If you're pregnant, drinking espresso every day could be bad for your baby

You have to give up a lot of things when you are pregnant, and one sacrifice might just be your beloved espresso. Of course, if you can curb your habit and decrease your daily intake, a moderate amount of caffeine is generally considered fine. In fact, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found that drinking no more than 200 milligrams of caffeine in espresso and coffee "while pregnant does not appear to be a major contributing factor in miscarriage or preterm birth."

According to BabyCenter, "caffeine crosses the placenta into the amniotic fluid and your baby's bloodstream." As an adult, your body is readily able to process and metabolize caffeine, but a fetus has a harder time doing this — so the stimulant stays in their tiny systems for longer.

It's been thought that caffeine during pregnancy can contribute to miscarriage, but this has not been definitively proven, as noted by March of Dimes. Still, other studies have found that an excessive intake of caffeine can be linked to babies "who were small for their gestational age," per BabyCenter.

An espresso a day may keep depression away

Want to hear an uplifting fact? Your espresso habit might help to stave off depression. Yes, you look forward to that morning shot and enjoy the subsequent mood boost, but there might be even more to this emotional connection. A 2011 study that observed 50,739 women in the United States over the course of a decade, which was published in Archives of Internal Medicine, found that "depression risk decreases with increasing caffeinated coffee consumption."

While the supporting science is questionable, some researchers have specific theories, as cited by Psychology Today, regarding the cause of this correlation. One theory by researchers in China, as noted in the publication, is that depression is caused by an immune system reaction resulting in brain inflammation. They believe that this inflammation can be reduced by certain antioxidants found in coffee. Other scientists attribute this directly to caffeine — essentially relating it back to that feeling of morning motivation but on a greater, more longterm scale.

Drinking espresso every day might cause your blood pressure to spike

While espresso and coffee have been found to be good for heart health when consumed in moderation, there is a flip slide. Drinking too much espresso or other caffeinated coffee drinks could spike your blood pressure, as noted by Mayo Clinic. Many attribute this to the theory that caffeine "could block a hormone that helps keep your arteries widened."

Still, Australian researchers wanted to find out how much coffee is too much coffee. "Knowing the limits of what's good for you and what's not is imperative," lead researcher Elina Hypponen said in statement cited by WebMD. "Overindulge and your health will pay for it." According to the article, they determined that "the tipping point" is approximately six cups or 450 milligrams of caffeine. Of course, as previously noted, every person metabolizes the stimulant differently — so this amount could vary slightly.

Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a Los Angeles-based cardiologist suggested to WebMD that the benefits outweigh the risks and "the effects of caffeine on the heart tend to be short in duration and mild, unless very high levels are consumed."

If you drink espresso every day, you may experience stomach issues

Unfortunately, not everyone can tolerate espresso and coffee drinks. Those with esophageal, stomach, or intestinal issues may find that "the acidity from coffee drinks can cause a burning sensation upon exposure to sensitive tissue," nutritionist Tamar Samuels explained to HuffPost.

Alas, Samuels offers some good news to those avid drinkers who don't want to give up their beloved morning shot: "One study found that espresso, French roast and other dark-roasted coffees may be less irritating because they contain a compound — N-methylpyridium, which is only produced during roasting — that inhibits stomach acid production."

The higher the caffeine content, the more likely you are to experience uncomfortable stomach issues, as noted by HuffPost. Since one 1.5-ounce shot of espresso actually has less caffeine than a full eight-ounce cup of traditional drip coffee, it could be considered a wiser choice for a morning beverage.

When you drink espresso every day, you could reduce your risk of getting certain types of cancers

If the taste and subsequent jolt of espresso is not enough of a reason to drink it every day, maybe its disease-fighting qualities will convince you to pick up a cup. Confirming earlier studies, 2007 research published in the American Gastroenterological Association's Gastroenterology found compelling evidence that drinking coffee regularly may offer protection from liver cancer.

What's more, Italian researchers found that males who drank a minimum of three cups of Italian-style coffee daily reduced their risk of getting prostate cancer by 53 percent in comparison to those who drank less or none, as noted by Medical News Today.

The American Cancer Association also touts this as a potential benefit of consuming coffee, citing studies that have shown how it can reduce "the risk of several types of cancer, including head and neck, colorectal, breast, and liver cancer." Still, the organization admits that there's much to be learned about the science behind this statement. One potential reason conjectured is that there are "hundreds of biologically active compounds" in coffee that "inhibit cellular damage, regulate genes involved in DNA repair, have anti-inflammatory properties and/or inhibit metastasis."

If you drink espresso every day, you could cause anxiety

If you are having trouble reining in your nerves, maybe lay off that third or fourth shot of espresso. As explained by Healthline, caffeine "works by blocking the effects of adenosine, a brain chemical that makes you feel tired" and inciting "the release of adrenaline, the 'fight or flight' hormone associated with increased energy." While this is what helps us get that much-desired energy boost in the morning, when consumed in excess, these otherwise desirable effects can cause anxiety. 

Those who take in 1,000 milligrams or more of caffeine per day may find themselves experiencing jitters and other symptoms of extreme nervousness. In fact, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association, lists caffeine-induced anxiety as one of four syndromes caused by caffeine, per Healthline

So next time you are pacing the house, debating if you should pour another shot, take a deep breath — and consider a cup of decaf instead. Curious if you should curb your caffeine habit? Here are signs you're drinking too much caffeine.

If you drink espresso every day, you could lose weight

Trying to drop a few pounds? Good news — you won't have to give up your daily espresso drink. In fact, continue to drink your favorite java drink every day, and your waistline may thank you.

Sorry to say, though, that drinking espresso alone won't do the trick. You'll still need to hit the gym. A study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports in 2005 found that the consumption of coffee actually improves your exercise performance. After having caffeine, researchers found that people perceived their regular workout routine to be less strenuous. Another study – this one published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism in 2014, found that caffeine can reduce muscle pain after exercise, enabling people to do more and burn additional calories, which, of course, can help with weight loss.

Additionally, research cited by LiveStrong, found that consuming espresso can help reduce appetite, resulting in a reduction in calorie intake during the next meal. The site also noted that caffeine can incite thermogenesis or the body's production of heat, which could help you burn calories too.

You'll benefit from lots of good-for-you antioxidants if you drink espresso every day

Want to improve yourself on a micro-cellular level? Espresso can help with that. All coffee beans boast antioxidants, such as oxazoles and phenols; these powerful compounds work to "neutralize free radicals in your body," which can reduce illness-causing inflammation, according to LiveStrong. In other words, espresso's antioxidants help to fight off lots of common "chronic conditions, including arthritis, atherosclerosis and many types of cancer," as noted by One Medical.

And while lots of teas also boast antioxidant power, coffee has been shown to be the most effective vehicle on a cellular level, per One Medical. The site noted that experts have been able to identify approximately 1,000 antioxidants in "unprocessed coffee beans," with many more forming during the bean-roasting process. Furthermore, only coffee has chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant which is believed to help prevent cardiovascular disease. So if you drink espresso every day, feel good knowing you are protecting your body and doing right by your cells.

If you drink espresso every day, your liver may thank you

Great news: a review of multiple studies that was published The BMJ, as cited by Medical News Today, indicated that drinking espresso or caffeinated coffee beverages every day could actually decrease your risk of getting "liver cancer, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and cirrhosis." Additionally, as noted by the health site, coffee-chugging individuals could have a reduced risk of getting gallstone disease.

Those with kidney disease can rest assured they will not have to eliminate espresso from their already limited diets. In fact, research has shown that an increase in caffeine intake in chronic kidney disease patients could potentially lower their chance of premature death, per WebMD. But the National Kidney Foundation warns people that they should avoid certain additives commonly found in coffee creamers and syrups, such as chemical phosphates. So instead of ordering a sweet creamy coffee drink, maybe stick to that black shot of espresso.