Can you imagine your morning without a steaming mug of good coffee? But how often do you wonder about what you’re drinking? Is the delicious, deep, rich beverage good or bad for you? Stick around and read about these coffee pros and cons.
54 percent of American adults drink coffee every day, an average of 3 cups daily. But who’s got the right idea? What are the coffee pros and cons? I tried to find that out!
I am obsessed with coffee and I have to say, many times it feels like I’m overdoing it. Sometimes I don’t even count the daily cups. And it’s not just me. It’s most of the people around me. We tend to look at persons who don’t drink coffee as some type of aliens from a faraway planet greeting us with the old adage “Live long and prosper”.
People love coffee so much that it seems the resource is starting to dwindle and we’re depleting the reserves all over the world. The demand is at an all-time high. And the supply isn’t keeping up. At the same time, it seems that we’re in a sort of love affair with coffee, that we cannot live through Mondays without having at least one taste, and according to a new study, we spend more money on the java juice than on our retirement funds.
Coffee pros and cons: what do we know?
Coffee has been a queen of superlatives for the ages. It was blamed in the past for impotence and madness, but also praised for curing laziness. Its main ingredient, caffeine, is a psychoactive substance, the most widely consumed one on the planet. But it largely remains mysterious. We don’t even know if caffeine is the one to praise for the health benefits. In the battle of coffee pros and cons, the benefits seem to outweigh the costs. And we're not even talking about the beauty benefits here!
The health benefits of coffee
1. It can help at the gym
If you have a cup of black coffee an hour before working out, your performance can improve by 11-12 percent, according to a study by the University of Luton. That happens because caffeine increases adrenaline levels in your blood. And that gives you an extra boost when it comes to physical performance.
2. It can be instrumental in diets
Thanks to its richness in magnesium and potassium, coffee helps your body use insulin to regulate your blood sugar levels. It also reduces your craving for that sweet muffin at the dreaded snack hour of 3 PM.
3. It helps burn fat
One steaming cup of coffee can help the fat cells in your body break down. After that, you use those up as fuel for your training sessions.
4. It improves focus and concentration
If you consume a moderate amount of coffee daily, about 1-6 cups, you will be more focused on your tasks at work. Coffee also makes you more alert mentally.
5. It keeps you alive longer
Can you believe it? Coffee is actually amazing. A Harvard study concluded that a coffee drinker has a 25 percent lower risk of premature death.
6. Reduces risk of cancers
A Health Professionals follow-up study conducted on almost 48 thousand men showed that drinking coffee reduces the risk of prostate cancer by 20 percent. Another study found that women have a 25 percent lower chance of developing endometrial cancer. People in the study drank four cups of coffee daily. Caffeine may also have a hand in preventing basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer.
7. Lowers the risk of stroke
A moderate amount of cups drunk daily has been linked with a lower risk of having a stroke, in another study.
8. Lowers risk of Parkinson’s disease
Regular coffee drinking lowers the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by about 25 percent. Scientists think that happens because drinking coffee leads to stimulating activity on the part of the brain affected by Parkinson’s.
9. Protects your body
Coffee is rich in antioxidants, which fight free radicals in your body and protect your cells from deterioration.
10. Might lower risk of type 2 diabetes
Having that great cup of coffee you love so much lowers your insulin sensitivity and diminishes glucose tolerance, which reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
11. It protects your brain
If you have a coffee habit, then know that your brain is probably healthier! A high level of caffeine reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and it lowers the risk of dementia. So your memories of loving coffee are a bit safer from deterioration!
12. It makes you happier
Coffee brightens your mood, helps fight depression and lowers the risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts. This happens because caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and boosts the production of serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline, neurotransmitters which elevate your mood. At least two cups of coffee a day prevent the risk of suicide by 50 percent.
What are the risks?
All those health benefits are amazing, right? But there aren’t any perfect foods in the world, so let’s see what the drawbacks are when enjoying a flat white. So far it seems that coffee pros and cons don't even each other out.
1. Insomnia and restlessness
This is for certain cases who have a sensitivity for coffee. What do you do if you have a problem? Observe your coffee habits and lower your daily dose if you can’t quit altogether. After all, restful sleep is a very important part of your health.
2. Bad coffee can be toxic
If you can, choose a good quality coffee, because the bad one can have a lot of impurities, which can lead to sickness, headache, and feeling bad in general. Even one stale bean can make your cup of Joe toxic.
3. Don’t drink too much if you’re pregnant
The recommended daily dose when pregnant is one cup of coffee. Because caffeine will also reach the fetus, and it’s very sensitive to caffeine. I honestly don't know how I would have just one cup a day.
4. Helps your cholesterol rise a little
If you have high cholesterol, then there’s only one way to brew your coffee: through a paper filter. Coffee beans contain cafestol and kahweol, two ingredients which seem to raise LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels. If you use a paper filter to make your coffee, most of the LDL is trapped. But French press coffee, Turkish coffee, and espresso tend to make your cholesterol levels rise. So be careful with that!
If you don’t have any cholesterol issues, you won’t be at risk. Also, some studies have found that those two substances may fight cancer and also benefit your liver.
Laid out like this, it would seem that there's an imbalance between coffee pros and cons. That the pros far outweigh the cons. But don't forget that research on the topic is ongoing.