The Truth on the Benefits and Disadvantages of Drinking Coffee

The Truth on the Benefits and Disadvantages of Drinking Coffee

A morning cup of Joe completes the day of most people, and for some, one cup isn’t even enough! We have heard that coffee has a lot of antioxidants and other health benefits, but are they really true? Are there studies that can back up the health benefit claims about coffee, or do the disadvantages in drinking coffee outweigh its benefits?

We have made our own research of what really are the benefits and disadvantages of drinking coffee based on a published study of the Harvard School of Public Health, and Authority Nutrition.

So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of drinking a cup of brew or two? Let’s start off with its advantages.

The Ten Health Benefits of Coffee:

1. Coffee can make you live longer!

Studies have shown that drinking coffee lowers the risk of death by 20% for men and 26% for women.

Photo Credit: Photo Axe

Photo Credit: Photo Axe

2. Coffee reduces your risk of depression and suicide.

People who drink 4 or more cups of coffee a day have a lower risk of becoming depressed by 20%. Another study also revealed that people who consume 4 or more cups of coffee are less likely to commit suicide by 53%.

Photo Credit: World Coffee Press

Photo Credit: World Coffee Press

3. Coffee can make a person smarter.

Controlled trials and studies reveal that drinking coffee can help improve brain functions like memory, mood, vigilance, energy levels, reaction times and general cognitive function.

Photo Credit: Book Renter

Photo Credit: Book Renter

4. Coffee reduces the risk of old age disease like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

People who drink coffee have a 65% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, and a lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by 32-60%. Both diseases are the leading causes of dementia.

Photo Credit: We're Just Sayin

Photo Credit: We’re Just Sayin

5. Coffee may reduce the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, liver diseases and heart problems.

Several studies have been conducted revealing that drinking coffee can decrease the chances of acquiring Type 2 Diabetes, from 7% to as high as 67%.  Coffee drinkers also have a lower risk of developing liver cirrhosis by 80%. There is also evidence that women who drink coffee have a reduced risk of acquiring heart diseases.

Photo Credit: Desktop Nexxus

Photo Credit: Desktop Nexxus

6. Coffee may help reduce weight.

Coffee has many biological substances that help lose weight by increasing metabolism and burning fats like caffeine which is a stimulant, theobromine and theophylline which also has a stimulant effect and chlorogenic acid which slows down the absorption of carbohydrates.

Photo Credit: Weight Move

Photo Credit: Weight Move

7. Coffee has essential micro-nutrients.

Based on Nutrition Data‘s information, one cup of coffee (8 fl. oz) contains the following nutrients under the Recommended Energy and Nutrient Intakes (RENI) for adults :

Calcium and Folate: 1.17%

Riboflavin: 16%

Potassium: 5.8%

Although they may seem minute, people who drink many cups of coffee can rely on this fact.

Photo Credit: Healthy Eggs

Photo Credit: Healthy Eggs

8. Coffee can improve physical performance significantly.

Caffeine in coffee increases adrenaline in the blood, which makes our bodies intense for physical activities. Studies also revealed that caffeine can improve physical performance by 11-12% on average.

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9. Coffee lowers the risk of certain cancers.

Studies have revealed that coffee drinkers have 40% lower risk of liver cancer, and 15% lower risk of colorectal cancer.

Photo Credit: Zazzle

Photo Credit: Zazzle

10. Coffee is a major source of antioxidants in the Western diet.

Studies revealed that a high number of people get their antioxidants from coffee, and they get more antioxidants from coffee than from fruits and vegetables.

Photo Credit: Healing Alopecia

Photo Credit: Healing Alopecia

And of course, there are some disadvantages too.

Here are some disadvantages of drinking coffee:

1. Coffee reduces the quality of sleep, may cause anxiety, palpitations and panic attacks.

Too much of anything is always bad, and that includes consuming too much coffee too. Caffeine-sensitive people may experience an increase in blood pressure, palpitations, anxiety and even panic attacks. It can also disrupt one’s sleeping pattern if one is too sensitive to caffeine.

Photo Credit: Time

Photo Credit: Time

2. Coffee can cause addiction.

Caffeine in coffee causes addiction and people who are addictive to coffee may have withdrawal symptoms if they miss a cup or two.

Photo Credit: Uncommon Help

Photo Credit: Uncommon Help

So there you have it, we have presented the benefits and some disadvantages of drinking coffee. However, we have to keep in mind that although several studies have been conducted on the effects of drinking coffee, the benefits and disadvantages are dependent on how sensitive a person is with caffeine, one’s medical condition and how much and what type of coffee one drinks. On a final note, we should always take everything in moderation, no matter how beneficial a food or drink is.

About author

G.A. Viray
G.A. Viray 252 posts

G.A. had a lot of professional working experiences in different fields and industries before finally deciding to write articles in 2014. She is a Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian who also has a passion for teaching, training and facilitating. More than all her skills and passions, she is very much grateful that she is blessed with an adorable daughter and a loving husband.

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