Pros and Cons of Drinking Coffee

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The pros and cons of drinking coffee have been a long debate, but growing studies on drinking coffee are steaming hot. Time to spill the beans.

Let’s talk about the pros and cons of drinking coffee. Is it safe? Is coffee bad for you?

RELATED: 13 Anti Aging Foods To Add To Your Diet Now

In this article:

Pros and Cons of Drinking Coffee | What Science Says about Your Cup of Joe

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Is Coffee Good for You?

1. Coffee May Be an Excellent Source of Nutrients

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A rich cup of coffee might enrich your diet as it contains nutrients and antioxidants.

One 30g shot of espresso may contain:

  • sodium, 4.2 mg, o% DV
  • riboflavin (vitamin B2), 0.053 mg, 4% DV
  • magnesium, 24 mg, 6% DV
  • potassium, 34.5 mg, 1% DV

*  DV – Daily Value

Coffee is also an excellent source of antioxidants, which could protect you from diseases.

One study comparing the antioxidant content of 100 foods found that 100g of filtered coffee ranks 11th. It outranked crowd favorites like strawberries (12th rank) and dark chocolate (15th rank).

Coffee is already a staple in Western breakfast tables. It’s also more affordable and easier to add to your diet, like higher ranking foods like black elderberries and globe artichoke heads.

Many can’t start their day without coffee, giving them energy to power through their day. But coffee may do more for your mood and mental health than your daily zing.

2. Coffee May Improve Your Mental Health

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Scientists think regular coffee drinkers may be less likely to develop depression.

Caffeine has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help keep depression at bay. It may also be an effective receptor for adenosine, which is linked to depression.

Some substances in coffee might also help your gut absorb and metabolize the anti-depressive chemicals.

3. Coffee May Protect Your Liver

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Your coffee habit may be protecting you from liver diseases and one type of liver cancer. It may also have a beneficial effect on those with liver disease.

High levels of liver enzymes may point to signs of liver damage and inflammation. Research shows that coffee might lower enzyme levels typically common in heavy drinkers, hepatitis patients, and patients with hepatitis and HIV.

Growing evidence also suggests that coffee may protect you from:

  • viral hepatitis
  • nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases
  • cirrhosis
  • hepatocellular carcinoma (most common kind of liver cancer)

But whether coffee can treat liver disease is still not clear.

Three cups of coffee might do your liver some good. But those struggling with liver disease may benefit from more than four cups of joe (without the milk and sugar).

If you’re pondering on the pros and cons of drinking coffee before grabbing a refill, keep in mind what it may do for your liver.

4. Coffee May Keep Neurodegenerative Diseases at Bay

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Forming a coffee habit now may prove beneficial in your later years.

Coffee may lower your risk of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and age-related dementia.

One prospective study found that drinking over 10 cups of joe a day could significantly bring down your risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Enjoying 3-5 cups of coffee a day beginning in your 50s may also lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by 65% later in life.

5. Coffee May Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

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More good news if you’re a coffee lover!

A 2006 study suggests that at least two cups of joe a day is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Another study found that your risk of type 2 diabetes might dip by 12% for every two cups you drink.

But if you’re in it for the rich and bitter taste sans the buzz, every 200mg of decaf coffee might lower your risk by 11%.

What we’re learning so far is when it comes to coffee prevention, more is more.

However, if you want to start drinking coffee to improve your health, ask the barista to hold the milk and sugar.

6. Coffee May Protect Your Kidneys from Disease

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In addition to protecting you from diabetes, drinking coffee with your breakfast bagel might also protect your kidneys from other damaging conditions.

Coffee has gained a reputation for causing kidney stones, but some coffee research suggests that it might actually help prevent it.

Urologists may recommend drinking healthy amounts of water to dilute your urine. This may help prevent stone-forming substances from concentrating and being allowed to form.

Research shows that coffee may have this effect.

One study showed that those that drank the most coffee expelled more calcium than those that consumed less. Calcium oxalate stones are the foremost type of kidney stones.

And if this isn’t convincing enough, another study showed that at least two cups of joe can lower your risk and improve your outcomes for:

  • chronic kidney disease
  • end-stage kidney disease
  • albuminuria

To make the most out of your coffee, have it black. Milk and sugar might increase the amount of potassium in your cup and offset potential benefits.

When scientists were diving into the pros and cons of drinking coffee, they didn’t have frappuccinos in mind.

RELATED: Kidney Detox | 7 Ways to Detox and Cleanse Your Kidneys Naturally

7. Coffee May Be Heart-Protective

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A heart-protective diet may include two cups of joe.

One study found that downing two or more cups of coffee each day might lower your risk of heart failure by 30%.

However, it’s not clear what’s in the coffee that makes it heart-healthy.

So, for now, there’s no replacement for regular exercise and a nutrient-rich diet.

Also, the java jolt may be great for healthy people but not for those dealing with hypertension.

If you have high blood pressure, discuss with your doctor if coffee is safe to drink. Chicory c0ffee is a popular alternative. Green tea may have a weaker dose of caffeine and is loaded with antioxidants.

8. Coffee May Lower Your Risk of Some Types of Cancer

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Studies show that coffee may lower your likelihood of developing some cancers like:

Scientists believe that the caffeine, antioxidants, and diterpenes in your coffee might prevent the development and growth of cancer cells.

There’s growing research on what coffee can do to protect you. But before you grab a refill, keep in mind that it will take more studies to determine if the results are conclusive.

Black coffee may be part of a healthy diet, but if you’re not a regular coffee drinker you may not need to add a cup to your meals.

9. Coffee May Improve Your Mortality

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Drinking coffee every day might add years to your life.

Enjoying 1-5 cups of coffee a day has been linked to lower all-cause mortality risk. This includes:

  • heart disease
  • neurologic disease
  • suicide

Considering what coffee may do for your lifespan and overall health, the discussion on the pros and cons of drinking coffee may lean towards its potential benefits.

Is Coffee Bad for You?

1. Coffee May Lead To Insomnia

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It’s no secret that the caffeine in your coffee gives you a kick of energy. But while the brown drink can power you, it might keep powering you way past your bedtime.

Limit your coffee intake. For example, refrain from downing a cup after 1 pm. If you’re sensitive to the effects of coffee, perhaps only allow yourself a cup during breakfast.

2. Coffee May Cause High Blood Pressure

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Caffeine is known to bring your blood pressure up for a while. While it’s a temporary effect, it might be dangerous for those with hypertension.

What Kind of Coffee Should I Be Drinking?

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According to the American Heart Association, filtered coffee removes the cafestol from your joe.

This lipid is known to increase your bad cholesterol levels, which could be dangerous for someone at risk of heart disease.

But the same compound may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. It also helps your liver detox.

There are also gaps in the current coffee research. The sample sizes are too small and do not take into consideration the age, gender, and race of the subjects.

So if you’re a healthy person, the benefits of drinking coffee might outweigh the risks. And this goes without saying.

A venti-sized frappuccino does not count as coffee. It might have caffeine, but it’s also packed with sugar, milk, and calories.

Is Coffee Addictive?

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The National Institute on Drug Abuse says no.

You may develop a caffeine dependence and deal with some symptoms like fatigue and headaches after withdrawal. But it’s not comparable to drug addiction.

But like coffee, drugs like methamphetamines are also considered stimulants. What then?

Coffee does not stimulate your brain as much as meth does. Methamphetamines are extremely potent stimulants and are a lot stronger than your darkest roast.

If you hear a pal talking about their coffee addiction, they probably just like coffee a lot.

Coffee May Not Be for Everyone

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Everyone tolerates coffee differently. You may not get palpitations after two cups of joe. But someone else might face a sleepless night for the same amount.

If you’re pregnant or have high blood pressure, then you should discuss with your doctor if coffee is a good fit for you.

But if you cannot tolerate coffee or if you’re not a fan of the bitter drink, there’s no need to pick up the habit.

Getting 7-8 hours of sleep, a nutrient-rich diet, and regular exercise are the best ways to take care of your health.

Check out this video to learn more about the benefits of drinking coffee:

When it comes to the pros and cons of drinking coffee, the benefits of drinking coffee just might outweigh the risks.

Many studies cite that drinking plenty of coffee is safe. With research saying that it can lower your all-cause mortality and heart attack risk, coffee may still be worth the refill.

Already a coffee connoisseur? Go ahead and indulge—sans the cream and sugar.

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