Are you a coffee addict? For millions around the world coffee is a must-have staple food, especially for starting off the day right. If you’re on an intermittent fasting diet, black coffee is an excellent low calorie drink to include in your plan.
But is coffee really healthy for you? Whether in magazines or on social media, there’s so much discussion surrounding the coffee pros and cons debate. Should you drink a cup per day or per week?
Read all about the health benefits and side effects of drinking coffee in our guide below.
Is coffee good for you?
If you’re wondering if coffee is good for you or not, the simplest and honest answer is: it depends.
In its purest form, coffee has some very positive health benefits. However, if you abuse your love for coffee by drinking several a day with added sugar, milk or cream, then that’s when coffee can start to negatively impact your health.
This is where the coffee pros and cons debate starts. One the one hand, studies show that drinking coffee can actually help reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as: type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, stroke, heart disease, Parkinson’s, and more. And that’s just the start.
On the other hand, coffee can also harm your health; over-consuming places you at risk for coffee addiction and this can decrease your natural source of energy and increase your blood sugar levels.
Let’s delve in further to all the coffee pros and cons by discussing both the health benefits and negative side effects.
Health Benefits of Coffee
So now that we’ve established that coffee does indeed have several positive health benefits, let’s see exactly what those health benefits entail.
- Boosts your metabolism – Looking to burn some fat? Thanks to a little thing called caffeine, coffee helps speed up your metabolic rate by 3-11%. So if you’re aiming to lose some weight, include coffee in your 500 calorie meal plan or opt to drink coffee each morning to maximize your low calorie breakfast. Coffee just might be the perfect way to start your day and get you going, literally.
- Helps you focus and keeps you energized – It’s no surprise that millions of Americans “wake up” only after they’ve had their morning coffee. Coffee increases mental alertness and energizes you so you can stay focused longer. So next time you need a break from working, make it a coffee break.
- Lowers your risk of certain diseases – As briefly mentioned before, coffee helps lower your risk of certain diseases and cancers. Though coffee cannot prevent any of these conditions, studies show that reasonable consumption of coffee significantly decreases your risk.
- Brightens your mood and fights risk of depression – Have you ever met a person who says, “Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee”? Coffee lightens your mood, reduces your risk of suicide and helps against depression. Research from Harvard found that women who drank four or more cups of coffee were 20% less likely to suffer from depression.
Bottom line? Drinking coffee in safe amounts proves to be quite beneficial. But be careful, this article is titled coffee pros and cons for a reason. Now let’s take a look at some of the factors that play into the “coffee is bad for you” debate.
Coffee Side Effects
While there are health benefits of coffee, there are also some negative effects of coffee you should be aware of. Below you will find some of the major reasons why coffee is bad for you.
- Addiction and withdrawal – Let’s not put it any other way, caffeine is indeed a drug. Drinking coffee several times daily puts you at high risk for developing an addiction to caffeine. Once your body is used to it’s daily dose of energy and you skip a day of coffee, you’re most likely to suffer from withdrawal; meaning splitting headaches, extreme fatigue and irritability.
- High consumption of calories, sugar and fat – If you drink your coffee black, this might not pertain to you. However, if you add an extra teaspoon of sugar here and some cream there, your antioxidant-filled cup of coffee becomes packed with lots of unhealthy calories, sugar and fat which can lead to unwanted weight gain and more. Once or twice might not seem harmful, but everyday consumption can turn an innocent habit into a serious health issue.
- Increases blood pressure and glucose levels – Drinking coffee that does not filter out the cafestol compound (by using a French Press for example), could mean trouble if you have high cholesterol. Consuming coffee is also not good for those who have high blood pressure or glucose levels as this increases your risk for heart disease and type II diabetes.
- Increases acid production – Another reason why coffee is bad for you is because it is extremely acidic which can negatively impact your stomach lining and increase your risk of acid reflux. So if you are a regular coffee-drinker and suffer from digestive issues, coffee may indeed be the culprit.
As you see, there exists various reasons why coffee is bad for you. But don’t be discouraged. The unhealthy side effects of coffee heavily depends on several factors; how much you consume, your lifestyle and fitness, if you add extra sugar or cream, and so on and so forth.
Final Thoughts: Coffee Pros and Cons
What’s important to note is that, while there are negative side effects of drinking coffee, there are also multiple health benefits in order to balance out the scales. If you drink your coffee responsibly, the positives mostly outweigh the negatives. Also, drinking coffee will have different effects and benefits for every person. So whether coffee is healthy for you or not depends on your personal choices and lifestyle. You might also want to consider other alternatives such as green tea or the many Oolong tea benefits.
While this coffee pros and cons list is not exhaustive of all the benefits and side effects, it provides you with the main ideas circling the debate. Now which side of the discussion will you argue for?
Just remember that there are both pros and cons to coffee, so choosing whether to adopt the coffee craze lifestyle like the other 54% of Americans is a decision you’ll have to make eventually (if you haven’t already!)