Coffee. It’s one of the most highly traded substances in the entire world, a substance billions of people drink every single day. Scientists are particularly fond of coffee and have done dozens of studies. Many have shown that regularly drinking coffee is linked to a wide variety of health benefits while others cast doubt on the whole idea and show potential downsides.
In reality, both sides are right to some extent. Coffee certainly isn’t the miracle food some people would have you believe it is, but it isn’t terrible for you either. It’s certainly not as bad for you as everyone’s other favorite thing to drink, alcohol. So before you flick on your newly purchased home coffee machine, let’s take a look at some research, facts, and data.
So let’s take a look at what your morning coffee is actually doing to your body:
The pros of drinking coffee
- Coffee can improve your physical performance by as much as 11% during a workout thanks to its high concentration of caffeine. The caffeine may also help your body continue burning calories after you’ve finished your workout.
- The magnesium and potassium in coffee help regulate your insulin and blood sugar levels which reduce your risk of diabetes and may also help you lose weight.
- Coffee may actually reduce your overall risk of death by up to 25%.
- The caffeine in coffee naturally boosts your Boost your productivity by sleeping better within 10 minutes of your first sip and can keep you alert for up to six hours.
- Coffee also helps your brain stay alert long-term, reducing your risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
- Caffeine may also reduce your risk of skin cancer.
The cons of drinking coffee
- Some people are highly sensitive to caffeine and will have difficulty sleeping if they have even a small amount. If you are struggling to fall asleep at a reasonable hour it might be time to cut caffeine out of your life.
- Cheap coffee may also be over ripped or otherwise improperly prepared. This doesn’t just make your coffee taste bad, it actually makes your coffee toxic. Be willing to spend a bit of extra money to get your coffee from a reputable brand every time.
- The high concentration of caffeine in coffee can be dangerous for people with hypertension. The risk of heart attack in young adults with even mild hypertension tripled with moderate coffee drinking and was four times as intense if they drank four or more cups of coffee in a day.
- Regularly consuming large amounts of caffeine (more than three cups of coffee per day) can lead to frequent, severe headaches and even migraines. Some people may experience these symptoms after only one cup of coffee.
- Caffeine can cause anxiety or depression and make existing conditions worse. High doses of caffeine can even cause full-blown panic attacks in certain people.
- Heavy doses of caffeine can increase your risk of bone fractures and may also increase your risk of osteoporosis. Women, in particular, should be careful to avoid heavy doses of caffeine as they are already more likely to develop osteoporosis.
The Bottom Line
Everyone’s body and brain react differently to caffeine. Some people can drink seven cups of coffee in a day and still fall asleep by midnight. Other people feel jittery and awful after only a single cup, even when they’ve only slept for a few hours. You need to figure out how your body really feels about coffee to decide whether you should be drinking it—and that means taking a month-long break from coffee to see how your body reacts, especially if you’ve been drinking coffee since high school.
Author: Holly Nunan
I am a mother of three daughters aged four, six and eight. I write about anything related to exercise and fitness, raising healthy children, home remedies, along with “fitting it all in” as a busy mom.