LOTS of Americans enjoy waking up with a morning cup of Joe (I may or may not be one of them, ehem)……to the tune of about 90 percent of us. Unfortunately we only get small snippets of information at one time from the media about whether drinking coffee is good or bad for our health. With all this conflicting information it can be hard to decide what is best. So I’ve compiled a list of the pro’s and con’s of coffee consumption to lay it all out for you so you can make an informed decision about what’s best for you.
- Disease Prevention
By far, the biggest benefit to drinking coffee is it’s potential to prevent a multitude of diseases like Parkinson’s, type II diabetes, heart disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and certain cancers.
A typical serving of coffee contains more antioxidants than typical servings of grape juice, blueberries, raspberries, and oranges.
- Alertness, Mood & Concentration
Even in relatively low doses, caffeine has been shown to stimulate alertness; improve mental performance; improve a sense of well being, happiness, and sociability; and reduce depression.
- Raises Blood Pressure
Approximately four cups of coffee or a beverage with equivalent amounts of caffeine can raise blood pressure for many hours.
- Taxes Adrenal Glands, Kidney & Liver
Caffeine is a stimulant, which causes an increase of stimulation at the adrenal glands. This can increase vulnerability to a variety of health disorders related to inflammation and fatigue. Additionally, too much caffeine ages the kidneys and slows the ability of the liver to detoxify foreign toxins.
- Nutritional Deficiencies
Coffee’s high caffeine content inhibits the absorption of some nutrients and causes the urinary excretion of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and trace minerals.
- Stress & Emotional Disturbances
Caffeine increases stress hormones and elevates one’s perception of stress, which can lead to irritability, restlessness, insomnia, and agitation.
- Male Health Problems
Research shows that men can significantly reduce their risk for urinary and prostate problems by making dietary changes, which include eliminating coffee and caffeine.
- Female Health Problems
Fibrocystic breast disease, PMS, osteoporosis, infertility problems, miscarriage, low birth weight, and menopausal problems such as hot flashes are all exacerbated by caffeine consumption.
Production of DHEA, melatonin, and other vital hormones decline with age and caffeine helps to speed up this process. Caffeine also dehydrates the body, contributes to aging of the skin, and inhibits DNA repair.
- Unhealthy additives
Many of us load our cups with sugar and artificial, chemical-laden creamers. If you are in this camp, you are probably negating most of the positive benefits.
As you can see, drinking coffee has health benefits as well as drawbacks.
Most doctors agree the key is moderation, which is typically 1-2cups a day, to get the benefits but avoid the negative issues associated with too much caffeine.