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July 29, 2011 at 8:00 AMComments: 6 Faves: 0

Is Coffee Bad For Me?

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A question was recently asked of me and it hits on a common misconception:

"A coworker recently told me that coffee was bad for me and I must admit that I am slightly devastated! Is this true and if so, what else can I drink to get going in the morning?"

I certainly would not say coffee is bad for you and, in fact, it may actually be good for you!

Though each person reacts to this stimulant differently, as you are already enjoying this it seems likely your body has already adjusted to the caffeine influx and is able to tolerate this energy boosting beverage.

With that being said, caffeine is not for everyone and is often advised against for certain individuals, including:

  • The elderly
  • Pregnant women
  • Those at risk for heart disease

Coffee may lead to jitteriness, headaches, and anxiety for those with caffeine sensitivity; but it also delivers several health benefits and thankfully studies have found that in moderation, 24 fluid ounces or 3 cups per day, coffee is safe.

Health Benefits

Research indicates this bold brew is the number one antioxidant source in the American diet!

Wonderful news for coffee drinkers everywhere as antioxidants are amazing disease fighters, helping our body to defend itself against a variety of chronic disease.

According to Harvard Health Review (http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/coffee_health_risk ), drinking coffee may also reduce your risk of:

  • Gall stones,
  • Colon cancer,
  • And Parkinson ’s disease.

You may also like to let your coworker know that caffeine may help you work more efficient and effective on the job. If you typically drink 2-3 cups of coffee each morning, try to space out your sips throughout the morning for a sustained boost to your mental functionality. 

Coffee Alternatives

Still, despite coffee's benefits and as a tea drinker myself, I cannot possibly conclude without recommending tea as a healthy option outside of your standard coffee.

Tea contains less caffeine than most brewed coffee, even when comparing the most caffeine-laden teas of all, black teas. Whereas a cup of coffee may leave me frazzled and sleepless, tea helps to push me through long days without any of the potential side-effects commonly found with coffee.

If you are weary of tea due to the grassy flavor from the solo cup of green tea you have tried, I encourage you to try again. Green tea is an amazing beverage, believed to deliver cancer fighting benefits, yet may be a bit strong for those unfamiliar with tea. White or black tea may prove to be the type that works best for you. White tea is milder, whereas the taste of black tea most resembles coffee. One of my favorite teas is a black tea made by Harney & Sons, Hot Cinnamon Spice (http://www.harney.com/Hot-Cinnamon-Spice/products/225/ ).

If you are simply worried about the caffeine, try the decaffeinated version of your favorite coffee or sip on water. Water may offer a surprising effect on your daily energy levels as dehydration can leave us feeling lethargic and foggy-minded. You will reap even greater rewards if you are pairing your morning glass of aqua with a balanced breakfast

J

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6 Comments

  • Hi, along with downside is that it can really cause problems in the stomach. Anyone with ulcers, frequent bladder infections, sensitive stomachs should limit their intake to under two cups. I drank it for years until I doubled over in pain one night. I cannot even drink a half cup without stomach pain and mouth ulcers within a day. It has an affect in my bladder as well. Coffee also when drunk in excess, is not good for your bones. It causes more acid in the body. If you have arthritis issues, it can make them worse. My husband's doctor told him to decrease his intake because of that. If we does not drink coffee at 8 pm, he wakes up with a migraine that make him sick. He is addicted to it. I have seen him sick often, when he forget his coffee. When drunk in excess, it is also bad for the adrenal glands. It is a stimulant and when people are drinking cups and cups of it, it has the same effects as other stimulants. After constantly watching my husband with coffee, I think more people should be aware of the downside. If you don't think coffee is an addiction when drunk to excess, try going without it for a week. I challenge all of you who drink more than three cups a day to do that.

  • Thank-you or sharing, Lona! Certainly anything in excess may cause ill effect in our bodies.

    I must add on to your note regarding bone health as the small amount of calcium loss found with a cup of coffee is easily replaced with merely a splash of calcium rich milk (cow, soy, etc.). Tea is a much less aggravating option for those who's body does not get along well with this acidic beverage.

  • very interesting I don't drink coffee but I do like the frappe drinks at McDonalds (which have a little bit of coffee in them). My husband is a coffee drinker and he drinks it everyday even on the weekends. I never did like the taste but it sure smells great (why is that?)

  • @Nancy, I wish I could explain the delicious aroma emitted from coffee... it sure does smell good though! I can only compare the smell of roasting beans to the smell of any food being cooked, perhaps it is simply the natural goodness of the bean?

    As for the McCafe Frappe drinks at McDonalds, as you mentioned they contain very little coffee and a whole lot of sugar. Depending on what size and flavor you opt for you may easily be sipping down 700 calories and 28 grams of fat with one drink. Check out their website to learn more: http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/food/product_nutrition.mccafe.524.525.Frappe-Mocha-Medium.html

  • that bums me out about all the calories in the frappe, they taste so darn tooting good! A couple of months ago I purchased chocolate covered coffee beans I couldn't believe they tasted so good - nothing like the taste of coffee. I only ate a couple at a time but I didn't notice any jitters (I thought I might)!

  • Oh, those chocolate covered beans :) Espresso beans are my favorite!

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