Blog Post: Coffee

For all you coffee drinkers I have good news! New research from Harvard University suggests coffee may have some long term beneficial health effects. In addition, research shows that coffee does not pose any negative effects on our health and therefore there is no proof that coffee consumption is unhealthy (1). In fact drinking up to six cups of coffee per day is acceptable and will not pose any health risks (1). Many people like to associate coffee as an “unhealthy” drink because of its main ingredient, caffeine. Caffeine is effective because it stimulates the central nervous system, which is great in the mornings. Unfortunately, too much caffeine can also produce restlessness, irritability, and headaches. This is a short term side effect of coffee and if you start getting tremors, headaches, or sleeping problems, then you are consuming too much and may need to cut back. Although coffee drinking has short term side effects, researchers found there are no long term effects on mortality and other health factors (1). In fact, research suggests that coffee may even provides some health benefits by protecting against liver cancer, liver cirrhosis, type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease (1). It is important to note that a “cup” of coffee used in this study refers to an 8 ounce cup with 100 mg of caffeine (1).

I think this study is great because it provides important information to both coffee drinkers and especially to anti-coffee drinking advocates. Being a student, drinking coffee every morning is a must. A morning without a cup of coffee equals one dysfunctional, tired me. A couple of months ago I started feeling disappointed with my coffee “addiction”, since everyone around me kept saying “it’s unhealthy”. In fact, coffee is grouped together with the unhealthy habits of smoking and binge drinking. This new research proves otherwise and moreover suggests that if you want to improve your health, focusing on lifestyle factors is what is important and not cutting out coffee from your diet.

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