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Caffeine, good or bad for your health?

Updated on March 21, 2007

Is caffeine, good or bad for your health?

The answer is YES! Is caffeine good, yes! Is caffeine bad, yes! Meaning, there is no simple answer to this one; but this article will help you understand both the positive and negative effects of caffeine and how to maximize the positive and minimize the negative. We have to keep in mind that everything that passes through our mouth is fuel, and it is the right combination and the right balance of these fuels that will keep us as peek performance.

The Good

  • Caffeine increases alertness and short-term memory, and even alters your mood. The caffeine in a cup of coffee stimulates the central system as it simultaneously lowers the blood sugar and increases the brain's demand for sugar: The result is a temporary lift.

  • Research in the Journal of Sports Medicine showed how caffeine taken two hours before exercise enhanced the performance of athletes in marathon running.

  • A study published last year in the Journal of the American Medical Associated reported that men who consume caffeine a day had a 40% lower risk of developing gallstones than non caffeine consumers.

  • Studies indicate that people who drink coffee on a regular basis have up to 80% lower risks of developing Parkinson's disease.

  • Studies indicate that people who drink coffee on a regular basis have up to 25% lower risk of colon cancer.

  • Studies indicate that people who drink coffee on a regular basis have up to 80% drop in the risk of liver cirrhosis.

  • Some researchers believe another compound called "trigonelline" - which gives coffee its bitter taste and its aroma - may be responsible for giving coffee both anti-adhesive and antibacterial properties which help prevent dental cavities from forming.

The Bad

  • Caffeine consumption may lead to insomnia.

  • Drinking coffee with meals in known to inhibit the absorption of iron and calcium from food.

  • Caffeine also has a diuretic effect and just one cup before exercise will trigger unwanted fluid loss.

  • Within half an hour of drinking one or two cups, the flow of the blood to the brain is reduced by 10% to 20%. Combine that with the low blood sugar, in those who haven't eaten for a while, and you can start having pulpitations, feelings of anxiety or blurred vision.

  • Withdrawal symptoms can occur after regular consumption of just one-to-two cups a day. Caffeinism, as it is sometimes called, shows up as migraine headaches and sickness.

  • Drinking several cups of coffee a day increase one's susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis. Scientists found a stong link between coffee and a biochemical marker for the disease and showed that people who drink four cups are twice as likely to test positive for arthritis.

  • In excessive amounts, meaning more than whatever an individual's body can tolerate, coffee can cause nervousness, jitters, and rapid heartbeat.

The Key

The key to reaping the benefits and staying away from the negative effects of caffeine is the same as with most things in life: Moderation.

Try just drinking one cup of coffee in the morning, rather than several cups. Eat something while you are drinking the coffee and after to avoid a drop in blood sugar which can lead to pulpitations, feelings of anxiety or blurred vision. If you believe you have a caffeine addiction, it is better to slowly reduce the amount of caffeine you are consuming rather that just stop, which can cause head aches and sickness.


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  • profile image

    Rhonda Lowery 10 years ago

    I have liver cirrhosis from taking the antidepressent Serzone, Is it OK to drink a lot of caffeine since that is the only way I can get any energy?

  • K. Cossaboon profile image

    K. Cossaboon 10 years ago


    Drinking "a lot" of coffee is never a good idea, actually "a lot" of anything is never a good idea, one thing I try to stress in all my articles is that moderation is the best way to go. I would work with your doctor to decide what the best way to boost your energy would be (but I would not suggest coffee, and I would bet that you doctor won't either.) Let me know if I can help you any further!


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    denman4 10 years ago

    I am reminded of the school of thought that discusses the “addictive personality” and that when someone who has this type of personality “conquers” one addiction, he or she frequently replaces this addiction with another. For instance, it seems almost commonplace to observe people at AA meetings who are sober but who have started to smoke cigarettes or drink coffee to an excess. Perhaps the most optimal therapy helps a person understand that he or she has an addictive personality and then helps the person gradually replace addictive behaviors with those that are more healthy.

  • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

    Stacie Naczelnik 9 years ago from Seattle

    Moderation is always the key.

  • raymondphilippe profile image

    Raymond Philippe 9 years ago from The Netherlands

    I must say I enjoy coffee a lot. Just like I enjoy thee. I think if you drink the occasional cup of coffee, thea and a lot of water no harm will be done.Raymond

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    fatloss4idiots 9 years ago

    I drink on average 3 cups a day, but always after meal. Otherwise, like you say, I might get nauseated and dizzy.

    But insomnia? Generally I've no problem because I normally go to bed around 2am and by that time, I'll be exhausted! :-)

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    buddy white 8 years ago

    you are ugly

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    buddy white 8 years ago

    you are ugly

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    sharon 8 years ago

    you stink!

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    arrie 8 years ago

    coffe i love very much i cant revise it

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    Brfandy Dodrill 8 years ago

    I give my 3 year old son a shot of coffee in his milk every morning because he likes it,k and my mother in law says it is affecting his attention span and messing with his brain. Is she nutty or what!

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    Brandy Dodrill 8 years ago

    I give my 3 year old son a shot of coffee in his milk every morning because he likes it,k and my mother in law says it is affecting his attention span and messing with his brain. Is she nutty or what!

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    but snifer 8 years ago


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    U IDIOT 8 years ago


  • midnightbliss profile image

    Haydee Anderson 8 years ago from Hermosa Beach

    good comparison on the good and bad effects of caffein, the thing is, anything taken in excess is bad,

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    Excess is good 8 years ago

    It's funny to me, being in the medical profession, how little people read the direct science reports/research papers and just take the advice of intermediaries such as the author of this article. Moderation, as it pertains to coffee, is not the best advice. It is advice based on fear of litigation and lack of knowledge. A recent study by Harvard involving >150,000 subjects and 18 years worth of follow ups, reveals that 6 cups of coffee (>510mg) is better for you. The more the better. Just like knowledge.

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    :) 8 years ago

    *pops caffeine pill* :-D

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    me fgr 8 years ago

    i louv cooffe.

    me fibve me mamma gib et to me all a time

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    spice 7 years ago

    just goes to show, those in the medical profession and Harvard researchers are idiots too.

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    tyisha 7 years ago

    thanks. this helped a lot.

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    Randy S. 7 years ago

    I drink about 2 cups of coffee a day, that's a moderate amount if you think about it...I enjoy coffee, and I'm not going to give it up because it helps me function.

    many people tell me "OH! Coffee is bad, you won't have proper sleep!!" "Oh Coffee is bad, it will give you heart palpatations"

    You know what I say to those people that don't think before they speak? I tell them, well yea...if you overdo it and drink 10 cups of coffee a day, or if you eat too much protein from meat with all that saturated fats, that's not good for you either...too much beans will give you the farts, and too much exercise can make your bones weak and brittle, and overdosing on medicine can kill ya!

    too much of anything is not good for's common sense!

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    hyder 7 years ago

    i do hve redbull evry morning or sumtym at nyt so dat i cn study der ne harm?

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    TheGreatness 7 years ago

    You know, it doesn't matter whether its good, or bad for you.

    You absolutley should not have to RELY on Coffee to function every single day, that is an addiction.

    A few years ago I had the exact same problem, I drank a whole pot of coffee within 2 hours and I would be wired, I did that for years .. i almost became immune to coffe, and I wouldn't be MYSELF without coffee.

    Now, I have a cup.. maybe once every 2 or 3 days.

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    Coffeine strips? 7 years ago

    I heard about caffeine strips that almost have the effect of 3 cups of coffee per strip. What about that?

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    Grock 7 years ago

    I drink Coffee without sugar. Maybe once a day. It relaxes me. Sugar is the Killer.

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    heyheythere1 7 years ago

    omg, thanks!

    im doin' a report on

    coffee & this helped. Whoo Hoooo! :)

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    Isaac 7 years ago

    @"excess is good"

    you're an idiot. That's 111 ounces of mountain dew a day, 64 ounce is enough to make me pull my hair out and I doubt I'd be able to stop myself if I where drinking 111 ounces instead.

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    sonihal 7 years ago

    No-one reads the stupid statistical results scientist bring out. Its not whether I'm more likely to get a certain disease that I care about, It's whether I HAVE it or not. I could die from getting hit by a car one morning, regardless of how much coffee I drink, I could still die. Im as much a scientist as the rest. My studies of recent deaths in Britain show that more people die in accidents they have no control of, than from drinking coffee and indeed smoking (smoking-related diseases, you must be joking, no one dies from lighting up a cigarette, except on rare occasions).

    So, in conclusion, drink coffee but don't cross the road.

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    Geek 7 years ago

    Drinking several cups of coffee a day increase one's susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis. Scientists found a stong link between coffee and a biochemical marker for the disease and showed that people who drink four cups are twice as likely to test positive for arthritis.

    Caffeine causes your body to excrete more vit d and low d has been implicated in RA. It also lowers the count of vit d receptors. If drinking coffee for health... Get vit lvls checked regularly... And almost everyone should be supplementing w/ d anyways.

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    andy 7 years ago

    this is what that "excess is good" guy was talkin about

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    ollie 6 years ago

    My Norwegian grandfather said children in his family had one drop of coffee in their milke each morning, then two, then three...till soon they were having half and half by teen years.....all grew strong and brave, must say.

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    erik 6 years ago

    Hey people try reading a book called Caffiene Blues.

  • sportandhealth profile image

    sportandhealth 6 years ago

    i have actually stopped taking caffine at the moment and i have never felt better.

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    akka 6 years ago

    Good sleep and good food is better then coffee.

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    SadieR. 6 years ago

    I so agree with you Randy!!_!! Im withya on that =)

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    never knew 6 years ago

    well, coffee is good and bad for us, just like Jesus!! ;)

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    ziffy 6 years ago

    Is there any relation of coffee into its long term affect with your Bladder? (cancer)

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    Laith  6 years ago

    yeeaaah very convincing but unless i see your source or any link to a real scientific test i mark this as bullshit..

    btw GREAT article ;)

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    soccerchick 6 years ago

    This article was very helpful to a research/persuasive speech I'm doing for my school project. My main point is caffeine is OK in moderation, just like everything else. Yes, it can be dangerous, but the key word is "MODERATION". Check this website out to see how much of your favorite caffeinated food/beverage it would take to kill you!

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    soccerluva 6 years ago

    Yaaaaaaaaa i beleive moderation is the key to everything wether it's food or just basic living you need to be aware of what your body takes in or else your a lost soul : D

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    DePuy Pinnacle Lawsuit 6 years ago

    I guess too much coffee can be bad for our health. I just hope it won't have negative effects on me since I have had a DePuy Pinancle hip replacement device. The same device that's been scrutinized by others as a defective product.

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    boooomchakalacka 6 years ago

    You keep mentioning coffee...tea has more caffine in it you idiots. And is you drink around 5 cups of tea in a day, your metabolism. But can also cause stress. Drinking black coffee increases stomach ulsurs.

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    Dontdoit 5 years ago

    If you want some helpful advice don't drink coffee it's a stimulant that becomes an obsession like sugar, sooner or later it's going to catch up on your health and cause trouble. Your highs will become lows and you will feel like you cant go a day without a cup.

  • profile image

    pen15 5 years ago

    peeeeeenis 8====D

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    stal 5 years ago

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    Carter 5 years ago

    I feel the same way

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    akdjnna 5 years ago

    you have typos in this article. just thought i would let you know. sorry if u don't appreciate me letting you know you have a few typos..."scientists have found a stong link" etc.

    they have found a stong link!

    lol strong.

    it takes typos to get the story across. ;)

  • profile image

    Tommy 5 years ago

    If you can't function without it.. It's bad.. FULLSTOP

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    i will not tell you 5 years ago

    I think that caffeine is a useless waste of money and i believe the postive commentes are from coffee addicts and yes i suppose in modration is okay but people are using modration as an excuse to drink cofee.I just pwned the Cofee adicts -_- yup pwnage not ownage

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    JOE 5 years ago


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    AL 5 years ago


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    tea_is_better_than_coffee 5 years ago

    _ _


    ____ u know what's sad? the fact that no tea drinkers are represented here... screw coffee, tea is the most amazing thing in this cruel cruel world.

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    ghgg 5 years ago


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    anti-dependance 5 years ago

    Soon as you take yourself seriously when you say "I NEED a coffee", you kick the routine habit

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    Andy_gess 5 years ago

    I drink on avarage 12 cups a day and have done for about 8 years and feel fine, the odd restless night. Only down side is if i don't have coffee for the first half of the day i will get headaches.

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    winsome 5 years ago

    am just a little girl and i drink energy drink which contains caffeine to enable me study at night. How about that?

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    onedirectionxo! 5 years ago

    caffen suckssss!

  • profile image 4 years ago

    U said a lot about studies....can u provide what kind studies?? where did u get this information from????

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