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Is coffee bad for you? - benefits and consequences of drinking coffee

Updated on March 19, 2013
Badly drawn starbucks coffee...still delicious!
Badly drawn starbucks coffee...still delicious!

Aaagghh! Time to wake up. Despite the fact that you just woke up, energy levels are low and motivation is even lower. What to do? What to do? Coffee!! But wait, you've been trying to give up coffee because you heard coffee is bad for you… or is it??

Is Coffee bad for you?

The shocking truth about coffee is that it is not shocking at all. It turns out coffee isn’t bad as long as it’s taken with moderation, like most other things in life. By moderation I mean 2 to 3 cups a day. Regular 8 oz. cups. Don’t go buying those huge cups and then saying you only drink one a day.

Keep in mind there are different ways of drinking coffee. Coffee in its natural state (with no sugar or milk) can be good for you. However, if you drink your coffee with loads and loads of sugar and milk, you’re doing more damage than good. In fact, adding milk to your coffee can create some carcinogenic substances. Let me show you how:

Quick facts about coffee

  • Kidneys need at least 24 hours to filtrate toxins found in 1 cup of coffee.
  • The presumed bad effects of coffee can be reduced by drinking small amounts as well as drinking filtered coffee.
  • Drinking coffee after a meal helps with digestion.

But the studies say coffee is bad for you…

The studies that prove coffee is bad for your health have been conducted with a daily coffee consumption of almost 1 ½ liters. That’s a lot of coffee!! And excessive caffeine consumption can have some very dire effects such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • High pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Tachycardia
  • Kidney problems
  • Irregularities in blood circulation
  • Ear buzzing
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Cystitis
  • Gastrointestinal irritation
  • Muscle spasms
  • Change in blood vessels’ diameter
  • Irritability
  • Heart burn
  • Nausea
  • Vomit
  • Migraine
  • Interferes with blood sugar levels
  • Can interfere with proper protein digestion

Whew! That was a long list. The sad part is that this only part of it. Excess caffeine can be very detrimental to your health. However, that doesn’t mean you have to stop drinking it. It just means you have to moderate your consumption, because caffeine can be good to your health when you keep it within its limits….

Doctor said just one cup of coffee a day!
Doctor said just one cup of coffee a day!

Benefits of coffee

We all know the main benefit of coffee: keeps you awake and alert. But I’ll put it on a list so that it’s easier to read:

  • Reduces fatigue and tiredness
  • Favors intellectual functions
  • Stimulates central nervous system
  • Increases alertness
  • Increases capability for physical performance
  • Increases gastric secretions
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Aids digestion
  • Diuretic
  • Fertility – coffee gives sperms speed and vigor, which increases the chances of reaching the egg.
  • Helps prevent cavities (as long as you drink it without sugar and milk)

Keep in mind that these benefits can only be enjoyed when your coffee consumption is less than 3 cups a day.

Some studies even show that women who drink small amounts of coffee daily have less cardiovascular diseases and less probabilities of getting cancer.

Other studies show that drinking 3 cups of coffee daily reduces the risk of several types of cancer, such as bladder, intestines, breast, liver and colon.

Reduces probabilities of developing Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s

I thought this was very interesting, to say the least. In a study conducted over a period of 30 years on 10,000 people it was found that coffee can help reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s, since coffee stimulates dopamine production. However, drinking more than the recommended 3 cups a day does not provide this protection.

Several other studies in different countries have also found that coffee decreases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Coffee properties

Coffee is not very nutritious. In its raw state, coffee does have protein, minerals and vitamins, but most of them are lost in the elaboration and roasting process.

The properties that are left once to drink are really diluted since you only need a small amount of coffee to make several cups. Still, coffee contains:

  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Chrome
  • Manganese
  • Vitamins E and B3

It’s all in the amount

The amount of coffee you drink is what will determine if coffee is bad or good for your health. If you need to drink more than 3 cups a day, drink decaf or at least some types of coffee that contain less caffeine such as the Arabica type. However, do stay away from milk. Do not add it to your coffee and you will enjoy the full benefits of this delicious drink.


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