Your Daily Cup of Coffee: Helping Your Health or Harming?
Coffee is an indelible part of most people’s morning routines. If you don’t feel human before you’ve had your first cup of coffee, you’re not alone. A study conducted by the National Coffee Association found that 64% of Americans drink coffee, and a New England Journal of Medicine article “Coffee, Caffeine and Health” called coffee the most widely consumed psychoactive agent in the world. But is getting your coffee fix helping or harming your health? Let’s take a look.
Helpful Benefits of Coffee
First things first: what is “the right” amount of coffee to consume? Lucky for us die-hard coffee lovers, Harvard Health Publishing describes moderate coffee consumption as three to four cups per day. As is our unofficial motto at Sage Collective, everything is best consumed and enjoyed in moderation.
Diane Vizthum, M.S., R.D., research nutritionist for Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine also comments: “Caffeine is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about coffee. But coffee also contains antioxidants and other active substances that may reduce internal inflammation and protect against disease.”
In fact, according to Heathline, one cup of coffee includes the following amounts of daily recommended dosages for vitamins: 11% of riboflavin (vitamin B2), 6% of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), 3% of manganese and potassium and 2% of magnesium and niacin (vitamin B3). So if you’re a moderate coffee drinker (3-4) cups, you do the math… it’s like taking gummy vitamin supplements, right?
Coffee is also believed to lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, lower risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, lower risk for certain types of cancer (such as liver and colon), lower risk of stroke, help fight off gallstones and even help you live longer.
Harmful Health Effects of Coffee
Now here’s where we talk about the other side of moderate consumption: overconsumption of coffee. Whether you exceed your daily limit of 4-5 cups, or whether you’re a novice coffee drinker who hasn’t built up a caffeine tolerance, coffee drinking could produce negative effects.
Negative effects of coffee overconsumption include increased blood pressure, headaches, nervousness, restlessness and anxiety, dizziness, heartburn, muscle tremors, pounding heart, dehydration, frequent trips to the bathroom and insomnia. Noticing a pattern? Most, if not all, of these negative side effects are directly induced by too much caffeine.
The solution? Trade your next cup of coffee for a glass of water, or try decaf for a while. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: coffee consumption is great, but only in moderation. So drink away, all ye lovers of that good morning cuppa joe, but remember when to stop.