More Coffee Please, Captain!
Last updated: March 2023
I was absolutely thrilled to hear that caffeine “may” have some health benefits for us asthmatic warriors. I love my coffee. When I think about it, I probably drink too many cups a day. Usually 4 or 5. I know, cuff me and march me to my cell! But, honestly, I have always felt better for drinking it. Obviously, everyone knows that it is a stimulant that gives you a nice little kick-start to your day. However, I have always thought that it did a little extra for me, in terms of my breathing. And now, I understand that maybe my mind was not just making this up.
What does science tell us about caffeine and asthma?
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America stated,
“Clinical studies have shown that caffeine is a weak bronchodilator, improving lung function for two to four hours after it is consumed. However, it is not as strong or fast acting as rescue bronchodilators like albuterol. This would make it unsafe to use caffeine as an asthma treatment.”
AAFA correctly points out that it would be unsafe to use to treat asthma but it can feel like we are bombarded on a daily basis with what foods are bad for us and it is amazing for me to know that coffee might not be this horrendous thing that we have to avoid at all costs. Science is not absolutely cut and dry. There have been multiple studies done around this showing that caffeine and the results of aiding asthma have been mixed. 1
I can get some side effects from too much caffeine
It goes without saying that there can be some drawbacks if too much caffeine is consumed. I know that if I go a little overboard, I can start to feel a bit jittery and if I have a day when I consume very little I can start getting headaches. It probably does not do much good for my sleeping pattern, too.
We are all very different and so I believe it is important that we are able to recognize how our bodies react to certain foods. What really pleases me is that I really enjoy coffee but I always felt a little guilty for having it in my diet and it is incredible to think that there may be some positives to drinking it.
How does coffee make me feel?
In previous articles, I have pointed out that I wake up feeling wheezy. It is not until I take my meds, and jump into the shower that I start to feel normal again. If I am feeling lazy, and it’s too early to start making smoothies, I will start my day with a lovely mug of coffee. Within ten minutes of drinking it, my lungs feel like they can take in more air. I know this cannot be the result of a single mug of coffee, but we are talking about how it makes me feel. Also, gross alert: I do not know if it is just the hot water in the coffee but it helps me to clear my chest. That's all I will say on the matter. Does anyone get this? Surely, I am not the only one?
Has laughter ever triggered your asthma?