Coffee: The Ultimate Health Controversy

Coffee: the ultimate health controversy. Coffee is constantly up for discussion in the health community because it is borderline impossible to answer the question that so many of us are asking. Is coffee bad for you?

First off let's start with the facts, at least the facts that I found during my quick little research. I used three sites that I will attach to the bottom of those post (if you want to check it out yourself), it was quite interesting. So let's start with the good, which I found a surprisingly large amount off.

Good:

  • Contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals (can add up to a lot depending on cup intake)
  • Boost in metabolism (short term but if you drink coffee often then the effects are less powerful)
  • Boost in exercise performance (short term)
  • High in antioxidants
  • Alzheimer's: coffee drinkers have a 65% lower risk of developing disease
  • Parkinson's: 32-60% lower risk
    • The more coffee the lower the risk
  • Lower risk of type 2 diabetes (23-67%)
  • Lower risk of cirrhosis (84%) and liver cancer (40%)
  • Lower risk of depression (20%) and suicide (53%)
  • Longer life span

So basically what I got from that is that there really are a lot of good health benefits from drinking coffee. Which does make sense considering it is a natural product from the earth. It seems like there are quite a lot of benefits with regard to possible prevention of illnesses. Of course they are not completely preventional but you can't really expect that from just drinking coffee, I do think it's interesting to keep in mind, though. Now that we've gotten the good we also need to cover the bad; not that we want to dwell on the bad in our lives but we also need to know what we are doing to our bodies when we consume something.

Bad:

  • Caffeine
  • Can cause anxiety and disrupted sleep
  • Addictive: missing a few cups can lead to withdrawal

So from first glance it becomes very obvious that there are more positive points to drinking coffee than there are negative. Which is true but the negative points are also big ones that are really important to keep in mind and be aware of. Caffeine can be bad for you, especially in large amounts, which is why sugary sodas and energy drinks are terrible for your body. It gives an unnatural burst of energy that only last for a short period of time and then leads to the body crashing. Terrible, we don't like that. Do not drink sugary sodas! Okay back to my point, due to coffee having caffeine some do consider coffee to be bad for you, solely for this reason. But, in my personal opinion, it's very hard to completely avoid caffeine especially on those days were sleep just didn’t happen the night before.

Speaking of sleep, that is the other important point made. Coffee can cause disrupted sleep. This obviously relates back to the caffeine because if you are consuming large amounts of caffeine, especially later in the afternoon or late at night, then your body will be unable to relax. Anyone who has ever had trouble sleeping, which I'm sure almost everyone has at one point in their lives, knows that it is awful. The tossing and turning, unable to get your body to really sink into the sheets, thoughts just being all over the place, the list is endless to all of the differnet things your body experiences when you are exhausted physically and mentally but are still unable to fall asleep. Soo, the big point is that if you are experiencing this it might be because of all the coffee you are drinking.

So what do you do? What's the answer to this mind boggling question? Do I need to give up coffee? My personal opinion on this topic, after reading through these article, is that it is completely personally based. Meaning it's different for every individual, so some should give up coffee and others can keep up with their regular indulgences. With that said though, if you are drinking 6 cups a day I would say try to cut back because there is not way drinking 6 giant cups of coffee in one day, every day, can be good for you. Large amounts of caffeine are bad, hence a lot coffee is bad. Maybe try and cut back to 2 or 3 and then replace the other cups with tea. Green tea, specifically, is really awesome as a replacement because of its amazing health benefits. It also gives that energy boost that people look for when they drink that cup of coffee. 

I personally live by the rule that I won't drink coffee after 4 o'clock. I choose to live by this because if I don't drink coffee after that time then my body has enough time to get the caffeine out of my body before it's time for bed. Another point or suggestion I have would be to think of coffee as a treat. If you treat it as treat you will very quickly find that you can live without it (tea will become a big part of your life). For example, if you've had a really tough week or maybe you had a super productive week and you are feeling proud of yourself then go out to your favorite cafe and get your favorite coffee. Think of it as an occasional reward or pick me up just as you think of all other treats such as ice cream or cake. :)

So this is my take on how to handle and understand the whole coffee situation and I hope that this can help some of you understand it better as well. Just figure out what works for you and remember to always listen to your body!

Follow