I’ll be the first to admit that I drink way too much coffee (this means, according to the National Coffee Association that I’m one of the 56% of American adults who regularly drink coffee). I get a Grande White Chocolate Mocha from Starbucks every morning on the way to work and an iced coffee on the way home. That’s not even the most coffee I drink – just months ago, I was drinking at around four cups a day. I was thinking this morning, though, is coffee really good for you or just a pointless caffeine addiction? Some days, I feel like I’m just drinking coffee for no real reason except to be at normal energy level and to feel productive. This issue of “caffeine dependence” is something I explored in a blog last week, which you can read below:
Generally, people look at the bad side effects of coffee like stained teeth, caffeine withdrawal, and the laxative effect, but there are actually lots of health benefits associated with consuming coffee on a regular basis (although moderation is the key). Below, I will explain why coffee ISN’T a bad morning drink and why it would be helpful in keeping you living a long life.
Some general health benefits of drinking a cup or two of coffee every morning:
- Coffee contains over 2,000 different chemical components, including cancer-fighting anti-oxidants
- Research says that it boosts vision, improves heart health, and could help people with liver disease (ie. helps reduce the risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer)
- Prevents against cognitive decline in older people, including Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related dysfunction
- Good news for caffeine addicts like myself: A study done just last month suggests that people who consume caffeine do better on the job than those who do not have a daily intake of caffeine
- Drinking 5 to 6 cups of coffee a day may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, although research also suggests that caffeine exacerbates people who already have blood sugar issues
- Coffee has been studied as reducing migraines in some people
These good things about drinking coffee are not often talked about, but the key is moderation in your intake. Drinking more than you should has side effects like: increased anxiety, withdrawal symptoms when you don’t get your coffee in the morning, insomnia (if you have coffee too close to bed time), and if you drink more than 200 milligrams of coffee while pregnant, there might be a slowing in fetal development paired with an increased heart rate for the fetus.
Keep these good and bad things in mind while drinking your morning coffee and remember to be productive – you have caffeine under you belt, so use it right!