The Good and Bad of Coffee

I decided that I should write a bit about coffee as I drink a lot of coffee and wanted to know a little bit more about it’s health benefits and drawbacks.

What I found was a little scary but also interesting on the good side.

Why coffee is good

First of all the good side of that morning cup of coffee. There are studies that have shown that coffee can protect against Parkinsons disease as well as Alzheimers, although I am not sure that hospitals are going to start hopping up old people on caffeine to test whether they will be able to remember any better.

There is also a bit of research that shows that coffee and caffeine can help prevent Cirrhosis of the liver but also I am not sure if it is also a good idea to down a cup of coffee after a night of drinking just hoping that the coffee will help your already ailing liver.

One of the big advantages as you can imagine is the boost to the central nervous system, some bodybuilders will drink strong coffee before a workout to improve their strength and endurance during the workout and I have tried this as well, It Works.

coffee pot

Caffeine’s primary mechanism in the brain is blocking the effects of an inhibitory neurotransmitter called Adenosine.

By blocking the inhibitory effects of Adenosine, caffeine actually increases neuronal firing in the brain and the release of other neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine.

Many controlled trials have examined the effects of caffeine on the brain, demonstrating that caffeine can improve mood, reaction time, memory, vigilance and general cognitive function

Why coffee is bad

Now for the bad news.

There is some research as well on the bad side. Coffee can cause irritable Bowel Syndrome as well as heartburn and in the long term has been linked to Osteoporosis.

We know the short term downside of course, shakiness, concentration problems and and an elevated chance of a heart attack. One of the things that drives me really crazy about coffee is the caffeine crash.

I can feel a little bit like a junkie in the morning drinking a couple cups of coffee and after the energy drop an hour or so later I am looking for sugar or more coffee to try to get me going again.

One of the big problems with many people is that they replace a good breakfast with a couple of cups of coffee.

This coffee for breakfast habit means that in addition to having the elevated heart rate they are also living with a far less healthy diet than the non caffeinated people around them.

How much coffee can you drink

The Canadian government advises that people should not have more than 450 milligrams of caffeine a day which is roughly three 8 ounce cups a day also the equivalent of about 10 cans of pop.

Energy drinks are no better but a Red Bull is going to have the caffeine equivalent of about two cups of coffee and if they were any cheaper I know I could personally put away three or four a day, good thing I’m cheap and won’t pay the money for them.

Caffeine Levels of Common Drinks

Brewed coffee 6 ounces 83
Instant coffee 6 ounces 60
Coffee-grain blends 6 ounces 14-37
Decaffeinated coffee 6 ounces 3
Leaf tea 6 ounces 41
Instant tea 6 ounces 28
Colas and Dr Pepper 12 ounces 40-72
Cocoa 6 ounces 10
Chocolate 1 ounces 5-10

There are good reasons as we see to getting unhooked from the coffee habit but it can be very difficult. The first morning or two after you stop drinking coffee you will have headaches and be very dragged out energy-wise.

The best way to combat these problems is to drink lots of water throughout the day to try to hydrate yourself and also to keep moving around if possible.

If you can increase you exercise you will have less of these bad withdrawal symptoms and before long you will find that you have more energy than you had before when you were over caffeinated.

Now maybe it is time to take my own advice.

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  1. Scott says

    My body by far prefers the coffee-chicory blends, such as ‘New Orleans Blend’. Coffee feels/tastes too harsh, but yet it’s the common standard.
    The coffee-chicory blend is smoother, substantially less caffeine, at least in effect, and doesn’t cause jitters.
    I always use about 1/3 cold whole milk added to a steaming/boiling hot brew of the coffee or coffee-chicory brew, for a perfect hot drinking temperature.
    The blend of the coffee-chicory brew with the milk has a wonderful lite chocolatey-ness about it.

  2. says

    I recently got a coffee percolator, mostly to use on camping trips, but I have found myself occasionally using it in the mornings instead of the coffee pot. For some reason, I feel like it might be a tad healthier? Perhaps it is wishful thinking. I have around 4 cups a day.

  3. addie says

    drink organic coffee…the jitters and shakes and high elevated heat rates etc..I think are from all the herbicides, pesticides and whatever chemical fertilizer they use. Its known that coffee is the most sprayed. I drink organic coffee, dont get any bad side affects. And if I don’t drink it, I have no withdrawal symptoms. And I drink espresso, about 2-3 demi cups per day, sometimes with soya, or almond milk, or alone. For me its a nice treat to have during the day or first thing in the morn. And yes I have breakfast.

    • nathaniel says

      those machines do not use quality coffee in the serve packs, and they artificially flavor them. Not to mention the water surges through the coffee in the PLASTIC single use coffee paquet. I’m not surprised you don’t enjoy the taste. My favorite brews are with Melita cone and filter, french presses, stovetop espresso – vialetti italian press

      Good luck on making good coffee!

  4. Vibol says

    I live in a hot country. I drink a glass of ice coffee almost every day. I’m so slim. Actually our traditional foods just make us slim. I drink coffee to feel good, but I really dont know how bad it can influence on my health.

  5. says

    I, too, love coffee, BUT I know that less is better for my health. Always drink two waters to every one coffee — no soda!!!! Ever!! High fructose corn syrup is killing America with obesity and diabetes. Caffeine can help start you, but water will sustain you; stay with water; forget sodas and sport drinks. Your body will thank you instantly and over the long run.

  6. shakira says

    hey lulu your wrong sucker, red bull is very bad. At once you feel good, but at last youll be weakened.
    i just wanted to tell you that your just a stuck up little prig.

  7. qais says

    I think 3 cups of coffee is quite good for women, and 1 cup of coffee is enough for a man.
    For smokers coffee is not good at all.

  8. Waseem says

    Its for the authour: Although the description is good but every time author doesnt know anythng surely, thats what makes it unsure.

  9. ain says

    yeah..for shaking hand is resulting from stop having a coffee abruptly / suddenly.
    this can b avoid by continously taking the coffee..
    and try to stop it slowly as u reducing the amount of coffee u take daily..

  10. ain says

    yeah,since the powerful effect of caffeine in coffee could let me fully awake and concentrate in my lecture class. i prefer coffee or nescafe to help me in studies.
    for those who taken coffee everyday or heavily, u should make one or two days for coffee holiday to make sure the effect of caffeine is not reducing.
    and for those who r become sleepy during taking the coffee,means that your system are rebound( not sure for the it right?) to the caffeine instead of gaining alertness and concentration.
    and dont worry if u think u gonna reach high dose of caffeine. its said that the maximum dose ( which i dont remember the medical terms) for caffein/ coffee is 1000cups. but for sure taking more coffee is not really good for ur health
    i b experiencing having a yellow teeth.. now i wish i could stop taking it regularly.
    be moderate in what we r taking. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Jake says

    Please post citations on your research, so we may further analyze the topic; plus it gives you a better rep.

  12. Shane says

    I quit both coffee and cigarettes just 2 weeks ago, my morning ritual was 3 cups of coffee, 3 cigarettes while i dotted down a gameplan for the day, thing is i wouldn’t eat during that ritual. now that i’ve stopped coffee/smokes i wake up in the morning I eat. I still sometimes drink a deca.

    My work has given me times of considerable stress over the years and coffee really doesn’t help. I’d be sitting in an important meeting and it’s definitely not a good thing that the coffee is contributing to my hands shaking.

    So in short, I’d be underfed each morning, more stressed, and more nervous looking all thanks to my coffee habit.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love coffee but it’s just not the drug for me: if i drank a cup at 4 pm it meant i couldn’t sleep till 1 am plus i was getting strange violent shakes in my hands at random moments(I only got that like 3 or 4 times over a period of 4 years and it might be unrelated to coffee, i was supposed to go to a neurologist about it but never did).

    damn I’d love a cup of joe right about now :p

  13. Joel ladd says

    Just like with everything in life, you must do in moderation. A couple cups of coffee in the morning is a little scary. Enjoy your delicious cup of joe in the morning for that little boost, then sustain with some fresh fruit for lunch! Coffee is not the only means of a quick energy boost.

  14. Bogdan says

    I think it really depends on the persons metabolism there isn’t a rule of how much coffee we should or not drink, i sometimes get very sleepy after drinking coffee and have problems concentrating

  15. says

    I drink tea first thing in the morning, then coffee during the day, but only about two or three cups at most. Other than that I stick to sparkling water.

    i don;t think a couple of cups of coffee a day does any harm. Like all things, in moderation.

  16. frogger says

    I drink coffee off and on, mostly when I get up early with my kids. Working nights I dont drink it–but when I am off right when I get up or an early morning. I read not to long ago on a website that coffee was actually good for you if you drank atleast 4 cups a day. Crazy–they said that you were less likely to have a stroke. Wierd is all I can say—

  17. Faran Hitosu says

    ^ I think it is addictive, I’ve quit smoking, and also some drugs but can’t quit coffee, no matter how hard I have tried….

  18. coffeez says

    I just drink coffee when i wake up and i feel like a bag,i dont have to drink it every day…wtf is this about Trying to cut down on coffee,like it was essential…try doing amphetamine or cigarettes,then you know whats cutting is just a mental,physical energy boost with a funny taste…I liike ๐Ÿ˜€

  19. Bill Nad says

    Green tea is great for you, and the addition of the anti oxidants in green tea is a real plus.

    I too have a problem with coffee. I drink it in the morning and then want some in the afternoon if my energy is lagging but try to “just say no”

  20. Lexi says

    If you are trying to cut down on your coffee consumption, try tea.
    Tea also contains caffine but not to the extent that coffee does.
    Tea especially green tea also cleanses your system.
    try it…

  21. Johan Goldbach says

    As a university student, I wonder how can one lives without coffee in the morning and afternoon? If I don’t have my coffee throughout the day, I will not be able to concentrate in lectures and study well; I’d be taking naps and long hour sleeps all the time!
    Try the energy drinks, it will change you from coffee.
    I think coffee is better than energy drink. At least coffee has digestive properties. But it’s like eveything else, too much coffee is not good!
    after i read this page, i think it is good for people not to drink lots of coffee. i know it is hard to stop but if you force yourself not to do so ,it will work out.i don’t why whenever i drink coffee, it makes me more sleepy. however, i think coffee is not good for health at all. i am going to do my spech about it.
    They say- a golden mean! Too much-is too bad. I began drinking coffee recently and I feel that I am already addicted to it! But I know one more advantage of it- drinking coffee helps to get rid of unnecessary calories… so lets think of positive features!
    When people say coffee is bad for you … do they mean the coffee itself or the caffeine? If I switch to decaf are there any lingering threats from coffee alone?
    hey..i have a cup of cappuchino everyday in the morning and i dun have breakfast…how harmful is this? :)
    I love my coffee in the morning too but I also make sure that I eat some food for breakfast. I get up, drink a bunch of water, ride my bike into work and then I have coffee and a bagel with jam.

    Sherry, doesn’t your stomach bother you from the cappachino and no coffee?
    I think Tea is better than coffee.And too much tea is not bad! :)

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