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To Brew or Not to Brew: The Pros and Cons of Coffee Consumption

For many people, the day cannot begin until the morning coffee ritual takes place. Whether your coffee routine is based on frothy cappuccino or a mug of regular joe, there are health concerns and benefits that you should consider.

The Pros

First, let’s look at the good news. Coffee really can help you be more alert for a longer period of time. It is most effective if you drink it in small amounts throughout the day. For anyone who suffers from low energy or fatigue, this can be a great benefit! Coffee can pull you out of an emotional slump as well.

Coffee can even help with more serious health issues. Men who drank more than six cups per day had a 54 percent lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes; the risk for women was lowered by 30 percent. Your risk of getting Parkinson’s disease can be lowered by up to 80 percent, just from drinking coffee on a regular basis. Other benefits include lowered risk of gallstones, liver disease, and colon cancer. Surprisingly, coffee is thought to help prevent cavities and to be an aid in managing asthma.

Clearly, this morning favorite can be a big help to your health. Instead of being a harmful habit that many people make it out to be, drinking coffee seems to bring some great benefits to the table. As with other foods, the key is moderation. Anything can be harmful if consumed in excessive amounts.

The Cons

Coffee does come with a few side effects of which you should be aware. Some of these side effects will be similar for all coffee-drinkers, whether they indulge in a single cup a day or several times that amount. Other side effects will vary based on the amount of coffee consumed.

If you feel “addicted” to your morning cup of coffee, there is more than a grain of truth to that idea. Coffee does have slightly addictive qualities. The addictive nature of coffee is due to the caffeine, the same agent that makes you feel more awake and alert. Just like with other stimulants, caffeine addiction can be tough to break.

Other side effects are still relatively mild, but may be cause for concern if you have pre-existing medical conditions that would be adversely affected. Due to the presence of caffeine, a person’s heart rate will increase immediately after drinking coffee. The blood pressure will also rise. If you have high blood pressure or heart problems, you should think about cutting coffee from your routine. However, these side effects are usually not very serious or life threatening for an otherwise healthy person.

Not all coffee-related problems are as serious, but can still be considered a negative effect. Regular consumption of coffee can stain the teeth, making them look dingy. If your stomach feels unwell, coffee can sometimes cause you to feel worse. This is more likely to happen if your coffee is particularly strong.

And the Winner Is?

The bottom line is that coffee can be enjoyed as long as you don’t overdo it. Even drinking several cups per day will usually not harm your health. Heavy coffee drinkers that experience unpleasant side effects (high blood pressure, etc.) should cut back their intake, but average coffee drinkers have very little to fear – and even some health benefits to gain!

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