December 30, 2019 08:38
Big coffee chains and small artisanal outlets are covering the globe like a rash, and Koreans are particularly addicted to the powerful legal stimulants they sell.
According to a recent study by Hyundai Research Institute, average annual coffee consumption in Korea soared from 291 cups per adult in 2015 to 353 in 2018. The global average last year was just 132 cups per person. That means Koreans drink three times more coffee than the world average, and every single one of them drinks nearly one cup a day throughout a year.
The coffee market in Korea is estimated to be worth W7 trillion (US$1=W1,162). But overindulgence on such a scale can have enormous side effects.
There is no medical consensus on how much coffee is good for you and under what circumstances. But one thing most doctors and consumers agree on is that it wards off sleep. That can be good or bad, waking you up in the sleepy mid-morning or mid-afternoon, or causing insomnia at night.
People also react differently to caffeine, but limiting coffee to one or two cups per day, none drunk too late in the evening, is generally not going to interfere with a good night's sleep.
A cup of coffee can help people to stay alert for up to nine hours, so it is perhaps best drunk in the morning to help you stay active during the day time. But drinking it after 2 p.m. can disturb a good night's sleep for the very sensitive. That means it is best for people who are highly responsive to caffeine to avoid coffee after lunch.
Sugar is best avoided, especially for those prone to diabetes and obesity. It can also increase the risk of heart disease among people not already felled by massive infusions of caffeine.
Ideally, coffee should be drunk in moderation, especially when people have already had other caffeinated drinks like tea and coke.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com