Why is Coffee Good For You? Here Are 7 Reasons

Man Drinking Coffee From PotCoffee isn’t just warm and energizing, it may also be extremely good for you.

In recent years and decades, scientists have studied the effects of coffee on various aspects of health and their results have been nothing short of amazing.

Here are 7 reasons why coffee may actually be one of the healthiest beverages on the planet.

1. Coffee Can Make You Smarter

Coffee doesn’t just keep you awake, it may literally make you smarter as well.

The active ingredient in coffee is caffeine, which is a stimulant and the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world.

Caffeine’s primary mechanism in the brain is blocking the effects of an inhibitory neurotransmitter called Adenosine.

By blocking the inhibitory effects of Adenosine, caffeine actually increases neuronal firing in the brain and the release of other neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine (1, 2).

Many controlled trials have examined the effects of caffeine on the brain, demonstrating that caffeine can improve mood, reaction time, memory, vigilance and general cognitive function (3).

Bottom Line: Caffeine potently blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, leading to a net stimulant effect. Controlled trials show that caffeine improves both mood and brain function.

2. Coffee Can Help You Burn Fat and Improves Physical Performance

Cup of Coffee And Coffee Beans

There’s a good reason why you will find caffeine in most commercial fat burning supplements.

Caffeine, partly due to its stimulant effect on the central nervous system, both raises metabolism and increases the oxidation of fatty acids (4, 5, 6).

Caffeine can also improve athletic performance by several mechanisms, including by mobilizing fatty acids from the fat tissues (7, 8).

In two separate meta-analyses, caffeine was found to increase exercise performance by 11-12% on average (9, 10).

Bottom Line: Caffeine raises the metabolic rate and helps to mobilize fatty acids from the fat tissues. It can also enhance physical performance.

3. Coffee May Drastically Lower Your Risk of Type II Diabetes

Doctor Pointing His Finger

Type II diabetes is a lifestyle-related disease that has reached epidemic proportions, having increased 10-fold in a few decades and now afflicting about 300 million people.

This disease is characterized by high blood glucose levels due to insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin.

In observational studies, coffee has been repeatedly associated with a lower risk of diabetes. The reduction in risk ranges from 23% all the way up to 67% (11, 12, 13, 14).

A massive review article looked at 18 studies with a total of 457.922 participants. Each additional cup of coffee per day lowered the risk of diabetes by 7%. The more coffee people drank, the lower their risk (15).

Bottom Line: Drinking coffee is associated with a drastically reduced risk of type II diabetes. People who drink several cups per day are the least likely to become diabetic.

4. Coffee May Lower Your Risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

Coffee Beans

Not only can coffee make you smarter in the short term, it may also protect your brain in old age.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disorder in the world and a leading cause of dementia.

In prospective studies, coffee drinkers have up to a 60% lower risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia (16, 17).

Parkinson’s is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by death of dopamine-generating neurons in the brain. Coffee may lower the risk of Parkinson’s by 32-60% (18, 19, 20, 21).

Bottom Line: Coffee is associated with a much lower risk of dementia and the neurodegenerative disorders Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

5. Coffee May be Extremely Good For Your Liver

Woman Drinking a Cup of Coffee

The liver is a remarkable organ that carries out hundreds of vital functions in the body.

It is very vulnerable to modern insults such as excess consumption of alcohol and fructose.

Cirrhosis is the end stage of liver damage caused by diseases like alcoholism and hepatitis, where liver tissue has been largely replaced by scar tissue.

Multiple studies have shown that coffee can lower the risk of cirrhosis by as much as 80%, the strongest effect for those who drank 4 or more cups per day (22, 23, 24).

Coffee may also lower the risk of liver cancer by around 40% (25, 26).

Bottom Line: Coffee appears to be protective against certain liver disorders, lowering the risk of liver cancer by 40% and cirrhosis by as much as 80%.

6. Coffee May Decrease Your Risk of Dying

Many people still seem to think that coffee is unhealthy.

This isn’t surprising though, since it is very common for conventional wisdom to be at exact odds with what the actual studies say.

Coffee Beans Spread Horizontally

In two very large prospective epidemiological studies, drinking coffee was associated with a lower risk of death by all causes (27).

This effect is particularly profound in type II diabetics, one study showing that coffee drinkers had a 30% lower risk of death during a 20 year period (28).

Bottom Line: Coffee consumption has been associated with a lower risk of death in prospective epidemiological studies, especially in type II diabetics.

7. Coffee is Loaded With Nutrients and Antioxidants

Cup of Coffee

Coffee isn’t just black water.

Many of the nutrients in the coffee beans do make it into the final drink, which actually contains a decent amount of vitamins and minerals.

A cup of coffee contains (29):

  • 6% of the RDA for Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5).
  • 11% of the RDA for Riboflavin (Vitamin B2).
  • 2% of the RDA for Niacin (B3) and Thiamine (B1).
  • 3% of the RDA for Potassium and Manganese.

May not seem like much, but if you drink several cups of coffee per day then this quickly adds up.

But this isn’t all. Coffee also contains a massive amount of antioxidants.

In fact, coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the western diet, outranking both fruits and vegetables combined (30, 31, 32).

Bottom Line: Coffee contains a decent amount of several vitamins and minerals. It is also the biggest source of antioxidants in the modern diet.

Take Home Message

Waitress Holding a Cup of Coffee

Even though coffee in moderate amounts is good for you, drinking way too much of it can still be harmful.

I’d also like to point out that many of the studies above were epidemiological in nature. Such studies can only show association, they can not prove that coffee caused the effects.

To make sure to preserve the health benefits, don’t put sugar or anything nasty in your coffee! If it tends to affect your sleep, then don’t drink it after 2pm.

At the end of the day, it does seem quite clear that coffee is NOT the villain it was made out to be.

If anything, coffee may literally be the healthiest beverage on the planet.

177 Comments

  1. Marika Cominos says:

    Hi Kris,
    I was disappointed to read this article by you as your other articles I have been enjoying and make sense. Here is my take on caffeine…

    Caffeine directly attacks the Nervous System and makes the body very racey. I cant see how that is a good thing for the body. The world doesn’t need speeding up…it needs more presence and a slowing down back to our natural rhythms. I stopped consuming all caffeine years ago because I realised it was a false pick me up which I used to get through my day, thus masking my tiredness and exhaustion.

    The masking then allowed me to push through more instead of listening to what my body was clearly telling me. Take away caffeine & stimulants like sugar etc and we would be left with the honesty that most of the world is exhausted…and exhaustion, in my opinion, is the most undiagnosed epidemic on the planet underlying many illnesses!

    So no matter what any research says, listening to my body comes first as it is the best & most accurate research I have ever found…its the end result of my daily choices that I have to live with every day. But you know this so I am surprised to read this article from you.

    • Different strokes for different folks. Coffee may not be for everyone. I personally feel much better in every way when I drink coffee.

      • Loading up on any/many stimulants will make you “feel much better in every way”. This includes many illegal drugs. That in no way, shape, or form proves that coffee is good. In fact it may only prove that once you are addicted to it, then drinking it is the only way to feel “great”. I drink coffee sometimes and enjoy the “high”, but that is very different from the absolute need of drinking it to start the day or to get through it.

        • Arun Nair says:

          You are missing the point, Jordsan. Since Kris says coffee makes him feel better “in every way,” that means he enjoys it not just as a stimulant drug, with its accompanying crash and addiction, but also just as a great-tasting drink that provides refreshment and time to enjoy with friends.

        • Congressive says:

          You know, science is not a faith-based endeavor. Dismissing thousands of man-years of university study and medical research because YOU just don’t feel it is correct is suicidal. Despite evidence to the contrary, regular folks like these reasoned that witches float. Seemed perfectly logical to them at the time…

          • When I do not drink coffee regularly (one double shot espresso daily or every other day) I get cold sores/stress sores/herpes simplex. I have had long periods of my life without coffee (and with regular cold sores) from childhood. When I started to have a daily coffee (late thirties) I stopped getting regular cold sores.

            More recently, when I have a break from coffee I notice that my lips burst into cold sore heaven. This synchronicity has slowly dawned on me. I have seen no studies that reflect on this association but have recently seen a nutritional profile of coffee showing it contains B vitamins which seem to inhibit the appearance of cold sores. BTW I have had enough experience with fasting/detoxing to know that cold sores are not part of some detoxing process.

            Any comments?

          • Congressive says:

            Coffee has a balanced lysine/arginine content. Add milk or cream and it becomes lysine positive, good for preventing cold sore outbreaks. Instant coffee has almost twice as much lysine as arginine.

            Coffee also contains tannic acid, a proven cold sore remedy. B vitamins and antioxidants boost immune function as well.

            If everyone gave up sugar and corn syrup sodas and drank coffee instead, it would be a financial disaster to the medical industrial complex. Millions of Americans would NOT become diabetic. Doctors and pharmaceutical companies would lose billions of dollars in sales.

      • Most studies that support caffeine as good are funded by the coffee industry. Take any of the results they put forward with a big grain of salt. You can put a positive spin on any results.

        Bottom line. Caffeine is a drug. It dehydrates you. It is bad for the kidneys. Increases heart contraction – bad for some. There are unbiased studies which are not funded by the coffee industries which show the detrimental properties of caffeine.

        • Congressive says:

          Got any links? Sure, caffeine is a drug. So is penicillin. So is aspirin. Chocolate is LOADED with drugs like anandamide, theobromine, phenylethylamine and tryptophan. Caffeine is not bad for the kidneys [ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19116877 ] unless you are claiming that the NIH is bought and paid for by the coffee industrial complex. Caffeine, just like water, can kill you in huge amounts. Oooo kay.

          Bottom line: you are making stuff up. I’d love some legitimate links, though. Always willing to learn something new…

          • I love coffee. But I can’t handle caffeine. In my early 20′s, I used to get full-blown panic attacks – which I didn’t connect to coffee until my first trip to Switzerland where coffee is concentrated and I had several attacks. My nervous system is already compromised, and that just made it awful. Bottom line, no caffeine and I’m fine.

    • Caffeine stimulates not attacks the nervous system, and I don’t know about your personal feeling of “racey” but I feel great after a nice dark cup of coffee, and slowing down is the last thing this world needs, more presence of mind doesn’t require slowing down. This lazy, obese, apathetic generation that we are living in needs a kick in the ass! If your body doesn’t like it, then avoid it, done.

      To surmise that because your body doesn’t like coffee it must be bad for everyone in the face of so much research seems quite subjective at best…closed minded at worst. This article should only have surprised you if Kris didn’t include any research to back up his statements. “Your take on caffeine” would hold more weight if you cited your sources from which you are pulling your facts.

      • Man here you go, take my +1 internet life. You won the internet today.
        “This lazy, obese, apathetic generation that we are living in needs a kick in the ass!”

        • I agree, 1 black coffee in the morning makes work more pleasantly tolerable for me. I know my limits. I learned not to go beyond it. Bottom line, the positive outweighs the negative.

      • Marika Cominos says:

        Hi Sean… I did cite my research source, the most reliable one I know – my body!

        • OMatthew says:

          Right, and I think that source is valuable for certain phenomenological claims but when you attempt to make an objective/scientific claim (e.g., “Caffeine directly attacks the Nervous System…”) then you shouldn’t use how you feel as a source. Caffeine “blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain” as opposed to attacking the nervous system like, say, snake venom actually does.

          • Hey Matthew…I am not making a scientific claim nor am I telling you how to live your life. I am merely giving an opinion which many, many people would agree with. How my body feels is my best marker of what my body likes… it clearly tells me when something does not agree.

            I want to wake up each day with vitality and so I choose foods and beverages that allow me to self-care and nourish. I have come to realize that the stimulation of caffeine gives me a false sense of energy which feels awful in the body and so I choose not to ingest it.

            And if I am exhausted at least I can then address that more honestly rather than using a stimulant (like caffeine or sugar etc) to get me through the day. I find this a more honest way to live that serves me well. Of course you do what feels right for your body as we all do.

          • “By blocking the inhibitory effects of Adenosine, caffeine actually increases neuronal firing in the brain and the release of other neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine.”

            This effects the parts of your brain responsible for pleasure and decision making. You develop a tolerance to caffeine because your neurotransmitters get worn out from being overused.

            Furthermore, Long term use will cause some of the receptors cells your brain to shut down to prevent damage from excess firing of neurotransmitters. You can see this effect in brain scans by the reduced blood flow in the brain.

            The effect of caffeine on your brain is the same as heroin, meth, alcohol, nicotine… just on a smaller scale. Someone that drinks 20 cups of coffee a day will have the same brain damage as a heroin addict.

          • Brian, the studies don’t back this up. Coffee drinkers actually have a much lower risk of dementia and brain diseases in old age. See references 16-22.

            I agree about the harmful effects of drugs (I’m a recovering drug addict myself), but caffeine does NOT have the same effects.

            There will be some down regulation of receptors (reversible), but the brain cells won’t “shut down” and you won’t end up like a heroin addict.

        • Catherine says:

          The point that is being missed here is that while everyone ought to listen to their “body”, this is not a one size fits all universe and not everyone’s body tells them the same message that yours tells you. Why would you feel disappointed that Kris’s body, as well as other individuals, would receive a different and, quite positive, message from their bodies regarding caffeine, and probably other substances as well? There is diversity within families never mind that found in populations. The example of alcohol perfectly illustrates the possible diversity of a single substance on a given population.

          • The part of the brain most affected by caffeine is the “pleasure/pain” center. This part comes from our ancient heritage and is a survival mechanism. It gives us the ability to learn from our actions, “like ooh, this water felt good because I was thirsty, I should do this again.”

            However, drugs (including caffeine, nicotine alcohol, etc.) hijack this reward system and and make us think we need a certain chemical. As habits and tolerance form, this part of the brain temporarily shuts down its receptors, fogging out ability to make decisions about what is good for us. This is why addiction is beginning to be treated as a disease in the medical community.

            Once you use a substance and your reward system is hijacked, there’s increasing difficulty in your ability to make well thought out decisions. When people addicted to caffeine haven’t had their fix, they may find themselves being unnecessarily rude to people, being late to work in order to hit Starbucks, or generally making poor decisions. Its the same as when a junkie, who’s otherwise a nice person, breaks into a car to pawn your stereo, just on a less intense level.

            Source: addiction certified MD. Former opioid addict, current caffeine addict.

        • In any research study, more than one subject is required for a sample. Using only one subject, such as yourself, is a threat of validity.

        • When you say “no matter what research says” and follow with words to the affect that your interpretation of your personal experience negates scientific research you are proving yourself to be irrational.

        • Jawbreaker says:

          In a study of somewhat less than a thousand participants…

      • If caffeine is so wonderful then why are people grumpy and miserable when they try to kick caffeine? Soda, iced tea, coffee? I quit it a long time ago. It sped up my brain and slowed down my body while perspiring the whole time. I did not like how it made me feel. Once in awhile an iced coffee or a cappuccino is good but I pay the price with perspiration and not being able to sleep that night.

    • Hi, I agree with Marika to some point.

      Indeed people who do not need a high pace in their everyday life to accomplish their job, goals, etc. do not need caffeine or coffee or other stimulants.

      It is the factual truth that if you drink coffee every day for some time and then you suddenly stop the intake you will feel very tired, sleepy, because you in fact get addicted to the effect of caffeine and its effect on your body gets lower with the time, so you will need to take in more to have the same effect.

      Coffee can give you a kick-in-the-ass, this is right, it might be that this is needed sometimes, to think better, faster, but the question is the long term effect of it.

      There are people who do not drink coffee and take serious positions within society. It is just a question of determinism I guess.

      • Yes that’s my point Istvan… what are the long-term detriments?

        Of course it will stimulate you and help you get through the day and get things done in the short-term, but the long-term effects on the body are clearly not great if your aim is to live with a vital body in a sustainable way.

        Caffeine gives a false sense of energy which then leads to people ‘pushing through’ which then leads to needing more stimulants like caffeine & sugar just to get through the day…its a vicious cycle that in my opinion then leads to dis-ease in the body.

        We get away with it in the short-term, but our choices always catch up with us… every choice has a consequence. I would rather be more honest with myself as I have found that this leads to more caring & nourishing choices for myself.

        P.s. I get up quite early in the morning and work long hours in a day… but without stimulants, so there is another way :)

        • Catherine says:

          Sounds like addictive behaviour to me! FYI I do not get ‘racey’ but I do get focused, I don’t seek out ever greater amounts and consume the same amount as I have for over forty years. I walk or run 5 miles daily and sometimes more for sole recreational purposes. So called stimulants make me relax. I can consume coffee immediately prior to sleeping if I care to. I have never pushed through any day.

          I have never encountered anything in my daily life that could not be set aside when my resources were too low to respond. These things you describe sound more like phenomena that are attributable to habitual and persistent over consumption of caffeine and your view is similar to the view of people who oppose the consumption of alcohol as the only legitimate means of avoiding over consumption and its effects of drunkenness which are further exemplified by diverse reactions in the population.

          I also don’t use or crave other stimulants to get through my day. I am not challenging your experience of consumption though. Sucks to not be able to manage what, when managed appropriately, has many positive benefits.

          • I’m with you Catherine, drink at least two cups every day and go for a six mile run or hour of weights workout, don’t feel jacked up or ‘RACY’ and can have an espresso after dinner and sleep like a baby… Loooove my coffee!

        • I love these discussions and your point of view, I lean more to your experiences but understand others differences. The only thing I would question is your repeated statement of “false sense of energy” because energy is energy, whether we get it from the breakdown of carbs, fats, proteins or from caffeine or other natural substances in the world.

          Just because most research is based on what we consider to be “food” as our source of energy, in no way defines the ‘unknowns’ or ‘false’ sources of energy. Energy is energy. But, yes lets talk about what that energy does to our bodies.

          • Looda… I like your statement… ‘lets talk about what that energy does to our bodies’. Great question to ask!

            When I talk about a ‘false sense of energy’ I am leading to how using stimulants to push through and do more than what your body wants (and therefore not really feeling what is truly going on in your body) eventually stresses the adrenals and nervous system to a point that creates all sorts of complications in the body.

            You only have to talk to any medical doctor who will tell you the enormous rise in adrenal and hormone related illnesses. So I am talking about long-term health effects. Hope that makes more sense to you…

        • I find it hard to believe that some people here claim they don’t consume any “stimulants”! This word you use is not reflecting coffee at all. If so, then tea, cocoa and any other natural goods grown for human consumption would also be stimulants.

          • Alex, I don’t claim to not consume stimulating foods.

            And yes, tea and cocoa would be stimulants in my body…

          • Barbara Magnatta says:

            Each person should look at data and the effect items of interest have on their own bodies. I like the fact that people can discuss the “facts” but the truth plays out in the individual.

    • Marika, I like what you said. I was surprised myself when I saw this article, and just recently I’ve been trying to battle my (slight?) addiction to coffee. It really isn’t for everyone.

      I was an extremely heavy coffee drinker, then decided to stop for a while (about a month–I did switch to black tea, and I had a lot of it), and now I am drinking at least one cup of coffee everyday, but needed to learn & maintain how much I consume because I can’t handle what I used to very well…

      • Just a little follow-up from my last comment: I am drinking coffee as I type. I am still not drinking as much coffee as I used to, but can definitely handle the amounts that I do now (it’s still at least 1 cup a day but if I decide to wake up earlier than usual I have 2~3 more).

        I realize how sensitive I am to coffee/caffeine–if I drink past a certain time I notice I am restless/still stimulated up until past midnight. I am still slightly addicted to coffee; I should probably switch to tea as I notice when I am off coffee my knees are in better condition by like 2%.

    • Natural rhythms come from natural products, which both coffee and caffeine happen to be.

      • With all due respect, that doesn’t make sense. Shall we deliver you some marijuana & heroin for your daily consumption… after all they come from natural products!!!

        • LOL, I love it!

        • I’m sorry Marika, but I have also been a heavy coffee drinker at certain times in my life and at others did not drink coffee at all. Your problem with coffee seems to be a personal one and honestly, it is a borderline psychological problem.

          You have a strange relationship with coffee and the way you describe this “natural” way of life. Coffee, like many other foods, is completely natural and grown from the soil of the earth.

          I think that it is your own relationship with coffee and whatever else that is unnatural. I think it is obvious that you are trying to find balance in your life and fighting off this addiction you have had with coffee is possibly a big success for you.

          But, once you are able to consume coffee instead of abuse it and use it to “push through” your day. You will appreciate it and what other “natural” things that life has to offer.

          • Hi Joe…I do not appreciate your personal attacking comments that are clearly in reaction to my comment above. You do not know me and you certainly do not have to agree with me. And where you get that I have been addicted to coffee is quite puzzling to me??

            You can choose to make your comments/opinions without the knife throwing remarks & flippant opinions of others…

            Have a beautiful day – I know I will :)

        • Yes please. But before any of that, could I have a cup of coffee please? Marika, is this your website? I have enjoyed coffee in the past, I have had adverse reactions to coffee – upon becoming more aware of my own body and in the best health of my life at 35 I find coffee a wonderful start to the day. My wife does not. You know who’s right? Neither of us, dear.

          If you don’t like coffee or its effects, don’t drink it. Coffee, for me as well as many others, is a blessing. A warm cup of sunshine in an over-cast world. I understand the negative effects of too many cups – we’ve all been there. It’s a balance. I’m sure I could do things to further improve my body’s internal balance but a high quality cup of coffee is something that many of us will indulge upon to start our day. Everything, including fruit, is now being cited as being bad in large dosages, of course coffee is included.

          Hey – speaking of marijuana, have you seen how beneficial this dark herb can be to anyone willing to look past the social stigmas that you were brought up to believe?! Google… juicing ganja! I was pretty blown away. It’s not just for stoners any more. Take care with the choices you make with your body and mind, I’ll do the same! :)

        • Marika,
          You are awfully defensive about YOUR opinion on caffeine. You also ignore that these studies were being done on the effects of caffeine on people.

          You immediately fly off to some realm where your opinion overrides any silly study and that you are right based on how your body “feels”.

          However when you start suggesting that caffeine is not much different than heroin or cocaine – now you’re being plain silly.

          There is abuse of any substance and coffee CAN be one of them. I do not believe this article was talking about abuse. I strongly believe it was talking about normal use.

          You don’t like coffee – fine. But not liking something and declaring other people are somehow missing the point is childish.

          • I agree with Fish. Marika is giving very subjective opinions that do not apply to everyone, but do ignore studies showing the many benefits of coffee when it is used properly by individuals who like it. We need to pay attention to our own bodies because one mans poison is another man’s nutrient.

    • I found this myself and reduced my caffeine for a long time as this was my perception that it mask how you really feel. At the same time this only happens when you use caffeine as a supplement of sleep or food, if sleep is sufficient and food is adequate you can have the benefits of caffeine; however for most this is not the case.

      I have not done a research review of caffeine benefits with those who have had sufficient sleep and nutrients, but from personal experience I have found this to be the case. For example countries like Vietnam have high caffeine intake but low rates of modern disease. Would be interesting to hear of other peoples experience.

    • Yeah you do that, ignore what research says (not saying this is good research), and just listen to your own body…

      Ignore the fact, and I underline FACT, that science is the best tool we have in determining what is true and what is false, listening to our own bodies can at best give us an idea.

      • Yes, that I will Egill!

        And we will just agree to disagree… my body is THE best research and guide to living a life full of vitality. I gave up giving my power away to research many years ago.

        You do what feels best for you and I will do the same.

        Have a beautiful day…

    • Marika, your perspective contains some nuggets of wisdom. You may however be overextending your point by assuming that the body always accurately tells us what is good for us and what is not. This does not appear to always be the case. Please hear me out.

      Obesity in many cases seems to occur when someone’s body continually tells them to eat tasty yet unhealthy foods, and they comply. In many cases of obesity, it seems the body simply doesn’t know any better.

      So when our bodies tell us that we’re exhausted, it is possible that our capacity for activity is much greater than our bodies are letting on, simply because the body may be designed to conserve energy in preparation for potential crises.

      In this case, caffeine may actually allow the person to override this built-in mechanism -because they know no such crises are likely to be on the horizon- in order to make use of their reserve energy now.

      Your use of healthy, alternative sources of energy is likely an exceptional long-term benefit to your health, and probably much greater than the benefits of caffeine. However, it is more difficult to write off caffeine as a harmful substance than it may seem at first glance.

      • I wonder though Jeff, if the point you make about obesity could be that the person is being directed by their thoughts and emotional needs for food rather than a true physiological body call for food.

        Listening to your body whilst eating tasty yet unhealthy foods would involve eating it, feeling if it changed anything in your body (feel sick, am I tired now, pain, bloating, raciness etc) afterwards and knowing that, if yes, then it probably isn’t right for me. Every person – obese or not would have had this feeling at sometime if they are overloading their bodies with food or eating tasty yet unhealthy things.

        Problem is, we can easily override the wisdom of our bodies speaking to us and do it again and again and again and even build up higher and higher thresholds to how much of this food we can eat. Deep down though, deep in your body you always know that it isn’t the right thing for you even if you have surpassed being able to feel what it is really doing like you could the first few times you ate it (or drank it in the case of coffee).

        I’m not sure in this discussion if we can discount the difference between the force of the mind (science included) and the power of what your body is actually showing you.

    • Jim Chubb says:

      “Caffeine ‘attacks’ the nervous system”

      I’ve read a lot of ridiculous things in my life…

    • I agree that coffee is not for everyone. I used to love it and drank it on a regular basis. However, I now have gastritis and can’t touch the stuff or I feel sick. Also, I felt like I had the flu when I tried quitting cold turkey. And I only drank a cup a day – sometimes not even that much.

    • This article provides a lot of sources with empirical data. Your argument is based on personal experience alone.

    • Amen!

    • Marika, I listen to my body and every morning about 6 a.m. it starts saying, “Give me coffee.”

      I’m glad you don’t drink it. That means there is more for me.

    • My advice if it bothers you: don’t drink it.

    • I would suspect that if one’s diet, intake of nutritional supplement, and lifestyle choices are otherwise healthy, that one need not fear coffee. “Everything in moderation,” the sage once said, so this is how I approach it.

      If one is consuming coffee because one is lacking in any of these other factors, and it becomes a crutch for this, then it could be a factor.

  2. Kris, you did it again: good information on the beverage we both love the most (no not vodka) ;-)

    You remember I was recommending decaffeinating like 1-2 days/week if you’re slow to detox the caffeine?

    Well, I found that since I detoxed my liver, that’s not even necessary anymore.

    So for those who metabolize caffeine slowly: 1-2 days/week to de-caffeinate, eat more cruciferous vegetables (they also help metabolize/detox the caffeine), and make sure your liver is in top shape.

    Because then….you can drink MORE COFFEE!!

    Mark

  3. Love the article! but I’m going to have to go with water being the healthiest beverage on the planet!

  4. Kris,

    I’ve become a huge fan of coffee over the last couple of years. It’s great that it has several health benefits also. I like to take mine with Stevia and cinnamon so I avoid all the sugary and artificial stuff.

    Alykhan

    • Hi Alykhan,
      Is stevia bad for our health if we consume it daily? I’ve seen different good and bad posts on the website.

      Do you know any good stevia product?
      Thanks,
      Kevin

  5. What sort of coffee, filtered? Espresso? As long its not instant!

  6. I normally enjoy reading your articles but recently am wondering if your doing a social media experiment trying to kill as many people as possible, I mean recommending 4 cups of coffee a day and one of your recent diet plans eat 3 eggs a day? Behave yourself.

    • Then I’ll be the the first to die as I drink 6 cups of coffee per day and 5 eggs.

    • Petra, you’ve come this far…..reading Kris’s blog etc., almost everything we’ve been told over the last 25 + years has turned out to be wrong. How can you close your mind now? The health community sure did a number on eggs, modified our grains to be killers, and introduced us all to high fructose corn syrup, the number one cause of our obesity in the USA, and I could go on.

  7. Love your work, Kris.

  8. I personally love coffee, although the pick-me-up doesn’t work, and I could sleep after consuming a bath full of the stuff. Only when I’m overtired do I get the ‘jitters’ from it, briefly. However, my husband is very sensitive, he has a rather rapid heart rate at best, even when asleep; coffee and green tea make him feel really bad. It does pick him up, and allows him to push his body too far and it exhausts him. It just doesn’t agree with his heart at all and gives him awful headaches (he never gets headaches otherwise).

    It does depend on the person. I think the first comment is not to be knocked, that person sounds very much like my husband. I am another story all together. Nobody is wrong. Accusing someone of close-mindedness is the biggest marker of it in itself. We should learn from each other not dismiss.

    • Marika Cominos says:

      Thanks for sharing your experiences Sisa…and yes I have not & will not ever tell people what to do, just sharing my own experience and that of many others I know. It’s interesting to read the hostile & defensive comments above. One of the questions I would be asking is…’If someone needs coffee or stimulants to get through the day why would that be?’

      Is it not as we have said…to allow us to push through the day? Pushing the body rather than listening and honouring it is what gets us into health troubles down the track. And of course a coffee is going to make you feel better temporarily as a pick up, until your next fix. Bottom line is if you cant get through one day without a caffeine fix, then to me its pretty clear one ‘needs’ caffeine as opposed to just simply enjoying it.

      Now this comment may ruffle some feathers of those that want to defend their coffee drinking, but please understand I am not interested in online arguments, just simple speaking up and sharing my experiences. I have really enjoyed and agree with many things that Kris has written in other articles. It’s morning here in Australia so off to boil the kettle to prepare a cup of herbal tea :)

      • I agree that coffee has health benefits, but they are mainly when consumed organically and via a coffee enema. In this way it cleanses the blood and liver… really.

      • I love your reply Mariky, as I also drink herbal teas. I stay away from caffeine since I am a chronic migraine sufferer. I don’t need the caffeine boost, and when I feel sluggish I drink an Arbonne fizzy drink that has B vitamins and potassium and that gives me great energy, and they taste good!

        • Salim Morgan says:

          Coffee is WAY better tested than nearly any herbal tea. You have no idea what its long-term effects might be!

      • Catherine says:

        You are sitting in judgement of all who disagree first by analyzing why they drink coffee, I haven’t seen any emphasis placed on not being able to go without by anyone other than yourself. Everyone knows that caffeine has a mildly addictive quality. I say minor because of the feedback from my body when I go without coffee for a day as I do routinely for a day of flushing toxins with water only.

        On those days I usually do not think of coffee, having decided I wasn’t having any, and if I should think of it when I smell the aroma nearby, I close my eyes for two seconds and savour the aroma of GOOD coffee, never bad coffee… only the best. This doesn’t make me crave stronger coffee but it does make me smile with anticipation of my next good cup.

        Pretty much my reaction to my non habit forming favourites! I have an unconventional approach to my favourites. I limit my indulgence and will go out of my way within reason, drawing a line at stressing myself or just not enjoying it, to provide myself with a quality experience. I make sure I have a good quality, fresh roast & freshly ground, bean, I make only enough to consume while fresh at it’s peak window of flavour.

        I also attend to the details with care mostly for the focused anticipation and it’s intensifying effect on the actual experience. I use only cream, no sugar and do not spend the rest of my day chasing a caffeine buzz. I think you need to realize that we are not all identical in our reactions to stimuli, both physical or non physical.

        I believe what you tell me about how you experience coffee but I find it puzzling that u can’t seem to imagine that it is a fundamentally different experience for some, as well as a whole lot of other possible scenarios in the rest of the population out there.

      • Lol. Marika, You say that you’re not interested in online arguments. You’re just sharing your experience, but after reading through the thread I see that one thing you are interested in is contradicting EVERYONE who’s opinion deviates from yours in any way. Even the ones who have a plausible take on it.

        You’re not backing what you say with evidence. You say “that’s my experience…. and the experience of many others I know”. Having a plurality of people that agree with you doesn’t necessarily make your experience the correct one. All of you guys need to cite more facts instead of just sharing stories if you’re trying to have an intelligent conversation.

        Logically, what you mean by, “I’m not interested in online arguments”, is that you’re right and you don’t want anyone else arguing with you. Lol. The reason you’re getting hostile comments is because you’re provoking them. Many people on here are reading your comments and discerning that you just simply have a high view of your own opinion. Some get angry and don’t care to be civil about it.

        I don’t mean any harm in posting this. I’ve got a sister that I love that talks just like you do and I would tell her the same thing.

      • I don’t need to defend my desire to drink coffee. I consume the amount and type that is healthy for me. That is one cup of espresso bean coffee (Americano) and occasionally two.

        I’m not a purist because on days when I don’t feel like having espresso, I will brew a cup of green tea instead. Caffeine has been used for years in the prevention of headaches (not those caused by caffeine withdrawal, either). I appreciate the article Kris wrote because it does dispel many of the myths about coffee… remember eggs? Not going to kill you with the cholesterol after all.

        And margarine/oleo/shortening? Turns out that animal fats may be more suitable to some of our animal bodies. Not to mention the genetic modification of our crops that have poisoned our food crops, which means anything mass-farmed now like soy, corn, wheat, fruits and vegetables may have pesticide within it.

        So my daily coffee, organic and sustainably sourced is one thing that I enjoy because I can trust it. I think many people are not happy to feel your high opinion of your own life every time they voice their opinion about something they choose to ingest. I can quit coffee, but it makes me happy and you have been irrationally comparing it to heroin and other substances.

        One of my friends once made an apt comment: “It’s best not to be too virtuous about your vices.” And there’s that other one: Moderation in everything and in that too, meaning that every now and then you can have too much moderation.

        If this is incoherent in any way it must be because I had a cup of coffee and would like another one now. Perhaps I would amend his comment to say, it’s best not to be too virtuous about one’s virtues.

  9. Have you read the work of Jack E. James, PhD, Reykjavik University, Iceland, and National University of Ireland? I advise you to do so. He has a very different take on caffeine and has the research to back it up.

    Journal of Caffeine Research, http://www.liebertpub.com/JCR , has an article that contradict what you state about caffeine and diabetes ( http://www.liebertpub.com/global/pressrelease/caffeine-and-diabetes-helpful-or-harmful-latest-findings-presented-in-the-premier-issue-of-journal-of-caffeine-research/886/ ).

    Also, what do you base your assumption that filtered coffee is “best”??

    • The article you linked to contradicts the findings of the studies I linked to above.

      The prospective studies on coffee and disease show fairly consistent results. You would need randomized controlled trials in order to refute them.

      Running coffee through a paper filter removes substances called diterpenes, which may raise cholesterol in the blood.

      • A lot of studies of caffeine are faulty because participants are still in state of withdrawal when testing is done and therefore increased cognitive function has a lot to do with that, not the caffeine itself. I looked up one of your reference (3) and the first study on the list, Haskell (2005), has participants only go without caffeine 24 hours before testing, they are not caffeine free.

        • Well, studies where they don’t go without caffeine before testing show the same results if you look at the other studies on that list.

          • P Jackson says:

            Some of the studies are over thirty years old. A couple are only five years old, but nearly all of them are irresistibly cited- it appears as though people are taking this as fact because the website looks official, has scientific sources, and isn’t funny (am I just missing the joke!?).

            Also, Adenosine protects your brains receptors from being ravaged by the chemicals that are constantly being produced by your neurotransmitters. Decreasing adenosine temporarily won’t cause damage, but decreasing every day will certainly have measurable negative effects. I suggest looking at recent studies before deciding to drink a pot of coffee for antioxidants! Great research is being done at Stanford using spectrographs.

          • What are you talking about? Many of these studies are only a few years old. Even if a study is 30 years old, that does not make it any less meaningful. It is the methodological quality that counts.

            How about linking to some of this research from Stanford? Also, exactly what are these studies you speak of looking at?

  10. Any research about becoming dependent on coffee?

    When I used to drink coffee, I was really wretched when I didn’t drank my morning coffee. When I finally got my cup the, I felt much happier, sharper, just like you described in the article.

    I haven’t drank coffee regularly for years now and I still feel that an occasional cup of coffee makes me a bit sharper, but I don’t feel bad without coffee anymore.

    • Yes, you can definitely become addicted to coffee. Many people who drink coffee every day will go into withdrawal if they stop.

    • Yes. I’d start by looking for information at Stanford, especially spectographs. I’m at johns Hopkins which had published a bit of research on dependence, but nothing as accessible to the general public as Stanfords recent studies. Cheers

  11. I am not a coffee drinker… I think it tastes awful but just wanted to tell you Kris that I thoroughly enjoy all your articles, whether I agree or disagree with them. Thanks and keep up the good work! :0)

  12. If one takes caffeine pills does this in your opinion have the same overall positive effects as drinking hot cups of Joe?

    • I doubt it. There are many biologically active compounds in coffee, caffeine is just one of them.

      Caffeine on its own will give you the stimulant effect, but personally I find the effect more pronounced if I get it from coffee compared to a pill.

  13. Hi, Kris,

    As always, I enjoyed reading your article on coffee. I just want to know if the same benefits can be had in drinking coffee with full fat milk.

    • Yes, absolutely.

      • You lost me right there. First of all, green coffee beans are full of antioxidants and essential fats, but by the time we get it highly processed, pretty much all that’s left is caffeine – which outbalance your blood sugar levels by releasing adrenaline and can over-excite the nervous system leading to headaches and addiction/withdrawal. Studies are not always proofs, don’t believe everything you read – use common sense. It’s also well known fact that milk cancels out the antioxidant benefits of both tea and coffee.

  14. Would it be good to drink coffee before or after a workout?

  15. Couple of things to keep in mind. Coffee crops are heavily sprayed with pesticides, so make sure you buy organic.
    Use coffee maker to minimize the contact time during brewing.
    Use non-bleached filters as chlorine is bad for you.
    When you finally have good coffee don’t screw it by adding anything to it (like sugar).

    • I don’t think theres anything wrong with adding a good sweetener like honey/maple syrup as long as they are good quality. Grade B Maple syrup or raw unfiltered honey. Keep the amount low and drink it with a meal with fat and protein.

      Make it a Bulletproof coffee that has butter and coconut oil. The combination is great.

    • Jurciu and Kris,

      I like what you said, JURCIU, that organic is best with non-bleached filters. If you’re going to have a cup NOW AND THEN, it should be organic and not use those silly little styrofoam to-go cups. Of course, if you’re out and about, it’s best to stick to bringing your own beverage whether it be your own brew or water. Let’s not forget other healthful drinks like organic green tea, Tulsi tea, Ojibwa tea, etc… ~ let’s broaden our tastes and experiment a little – herbs are healthful as well as we consider being “open-minded”.

      KRIS, I’ve always heard that there are three things that deplete a body’s minerals – caffeine, sugar, and chlorine. Any thoughts? I also feel after a night of not having any water that it’s best not to consume coffee first – you’re already depleted of water to begin with. Our bodies are made of a high percentage of water. We would do well to start the day with lots of water with a splash of lemon juice, don’t you think? Coffee can come a little later, in my opinion. I love the “smell” of coffee, and, as for taste, organic is best. (I hope I spelled your name correctly – J) Loved the article, Kris, and your research. Let’s take control of our own health and do our research!

  16. Coffee is impossible to heal

  17. Jay Rosenquist says:

    Interesting thread. My understanding is the darker the coffee is roasted the less caffeine there is. I also think a french press is good for making coffee as the coffee grounds get totally submerged in the water, so you get more flavor and can use a little less coffee. Next would be the old fashion way with a cone filter holder and pouring the boiling water in by hand. A drip maker is OK too and a coffee maker that uses a cone shape filter is better than a coffee maker that uses flat bottom or basket filters. The grounds get soaked more in filter. Cone shaped. That’s my two cents. Enjoyed the article as I import Swedish coffee.

  18. What people consume is their business. I’ve been drinking coffee since I was 3 years old. Caffeine has a calming effect on children before they reach reach puberty and my grandmother used give me a small amount of coffee in my milk, I guess, for that reason at the end of the day. That’s because the peasant folks knew what was what. That was around 65 years ago and the worst days of my life were when I decided to give up caffeine for 7 months about thirty years ago on the advice of that nut job Gary Null. Never again. I drink 2 1/2 cups of the strongest coffee with a dash of skim milk when I get up and a cup of black tea in the afternoon. I’ll do that till I die.

  19. I really love your site Kris.

    Any chance you can talk about yogurt or probiotics in a future post? There’s so much hype about this. I believe raw milk yogurt is a miraculous food, but it would be cool if you looked at both pasturized and raw dairy since one is a dead food and the other is living.

    Thanks

  20. Hey Kris,
    Great write up on coffee. I personally love coffee. I drink it everyday second to water. I noticed in the end of your write up. You made a statement of “Even though coffee in moderate amounts is good for you, drinking way too much of it can still be harmful.” What really constitutes as too much? I personally have 4 to 6 (8oz.) cups daily accompanied with 2 tbsp. of cream. I have been told that this was considered too much by a few doctors. however I have very low BP and heart rate even when consuming this amount of coffee daily. I’m very active with walking and working out.

    May I ask you of your thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Randall

  21. Is jaggery a good substitute over sugar in coffee?

  22. I too have enjoyed your other articles; however, this one falls short of the quality that your other articles exhibit. What I appreciated in your other articles is how factual they appear. That sense of an article based on tried and true facts seems to be lacking here. An illustrative example of this can be achieved by simply counting the number of times the word “may” was used–even in titles. As a reader, I’m less interested in what “may” be true. I need to read something with substance. I “may” live longer if I jaywalk (from the added exercise of running across the street), but then again maybe not.

    Compared to your other articles, this article takes on more of a “hearsay” tone. As an example, I would just like to cite the last portion of your text:

    “At the end of the day, it does seem quite clear that coffee is NOT the villain it was made out to be. If anything, coffee may literally be the healthiest beverage on the planet.”

    Something cannot both “seem” to be something AND be “quite clear” simultaneously. Furthermore, we see another “may” crop up here. Finally, we have the dreaded “literally” word, so often overused because what it actually means and how it’s interpreted by the average reader are so different. It’s highly dubious that coffee is the healthiest beverage on the planet. If anything, that prize would go to water.

    About the author of this post: I drink waaay too much coffee in a day, but I love it.

  23. In reference to a comment earlier about caffeine being bad. This is true in higher quantities however the same could be said about anything. Coffee is essentially a form of tea made from a bean instead of a leaf. Also a body is not a reference source otherwise nobody would exercise.

  24. Professor Walter Veith is a nutritional physiologist. He explains clearly why coffee is NOT scientifically healthy.

    If you want, watch it for your self @ 15:47 minutes
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ca3h7RUDKCk

  25. Walter Veith is a Zoologist trained in animal nutrition. He is also a Seventh Day Adventist so his teaching will always be tainted with their distorted thinking.

  26. Daniel says:

    Wow great article; it “can” and “may” cure cancer too right; I mean it does everything else.

    Realize the words “can” and “may”, and “loaded”, which was really the funny one… 2%! Really loaded!

    The truth is coffee plays with your hormones and Psyche.

    Stay away from it people, drink herbal teas instead and you’ll see the difference. It will take some time to adjust but it’ll be worth it.

  27. Luis C. says:

    Marika, Marika, Marika.

    You don’t have to perceive coffee as an addictive risky supplemental energy boost. You know how there are some people who have strong discipline and don’t let quick fixes take over. I know coffee can be addictive. I also know it can be bad for you. this article just proves if you take out over consumption, coffee can be good; This article also misleads people to the theory that you should drink a lot of coffee.

    I drink only one cup a day when I wake up, and I drink a mixture of non-caffeine and caffeinated teas through the day. I eat mostly vegetables with some meat for strength occasionally throughout the day. I drink a lot of tea! I don’t drink soda and hardly ever juice (I just eat fruit). I like a healthy diet, coffee is part of that, it keeps me focused. I think one cup is enough, don’t go crazy, don’t get comfortable with the buzz. If I miss coffee in the morning, I still have 100% of my energy, just takes about a half hour longer to fully wake up and be focused.

    • Marika says:

      Hi Luis,

      You do what feels right for you…but for me and many others any doses of caffeine (tea included) are false stimulants (of which I could write a very long list of these) and harming the vitality & harmony of the body. You have agreed it is a stimulant…and what I am offering for pondering is that it may be harming you even in small doses when you consider the whole body in harmony and long-term sustainability. I remember clearly when I used to drink caffeine tea (only 1-2/day) and how I found many good reasons to justify why it was ok, rather than looking at why I ‘needed’ the pep up or the comfort that it brought. I loved the buzz…but could also feel how depleting it was to my body a couple of hours later. It was a viscious merry-go-round that was capping my vitality.

      Take a good look at the world and the increasing statistics of illness & disease and you will see that people are medicating themselves with all sorts of substances (coffee included) to get through the day and cover up the fact of how exhausted they are…

      When I see clients we look at and discuss lifestyle choices that then lead them to need the stimulant. How we live can be the best medicine available…food being one part of a much bigger picture of how we can self-care. If you need scientific proof (& I don’t), Epigenetics is now starting to confirm how our lifestyle choices affect our health & well-being.

      More honesty and less coffee I say!
      Have a beautiful day Luis…and enjoy being you in all of your loveliness :)

      • I was laughing as I read this because what Marika is saying is so obvious. I love coffee too! I could write a hundred things on the positive effects of coffee, but uh, I’m an addict, so I don’t have credibility. (I drink one a day by the way). Marika has a different standard of health.

        Some people think they are getting vegetables because there’s a quarter of a carrot in their frozen dinner. You cannot talk to them about the benefits of eating raw… it is too far away (I’m eeking my way there). But Marika I just wanted to say how much I loved the slow/sane broader perspective which frankly I cannot hear enough of. What our culture considers “standard” breaks my heart constantly – whether that is how we treat our habitat or our bodies or… one another!

        • Thank you, Rosemary.

          And yes, every choice we make has an impact on ourselves, our bodies and also others, because how we treat ourselves is how we treat others… because you can only love another as much as you love yourself.

          I have been unfolding a life of more self-care & self-love that feels so lovely in my body and food is a big part of that because certain foods can ‘take me out’ so to speak and others feel very nourishing and yummy in the tummy. Listening to my body has been the best research/medicine I have found. And exposing the clever little ways I can so easily lie to myself to justify why I need to eat something, has been an awesome part of this unfolding… the eating for comfort, the foods that stimulate, the overeating to dull my amazing lightness.

          So what I put into my body has an enormous impact on my day… and so I am continuously feeling what is right for me and my body as I want to eat for vitality. This has served me really well and I never stop tweaking. Everybody is so unique, there is no formula to follow… just an honouring of what feels right from a place of honesty.

      • Hoplite Vidicus says:

        The aforementioned comments regarding your insatiable quest to hijack this forum is unequivocally transparent as each of your rebuttals to posts advocating the consumption of caffeine is fraught with the same redundant information as your previous posts which offer little if any profound insight.

  28. VanZorge says:

    I love coffee!!

    A couple of cups a day and I am good to go.

  29. I did enjoy your article and the many, many comments in toe, controversial topic it seems! I guess my concern over coffee would be its effect on homocysteine levels and also when consumed with a sugary snack it absolutely skyrockets blood sugar, even backed this up with my diabetic friend. I guess as you say, different strokes for different folks but for those already adrenally taxed it might be a push too far.

  30. Crystal says:

    After reading this article as well as all the comments over this article I am surprised. First off this is a great article and of all the research that I have been conducting over the last 10 weeks what Kris has stated has so far agreed with everything that I have found. Yes, coffee is healthy for you.

    I agree that it may not be the healthiest in the world but more and more research is proving that it has many health benefits. If it is the caffeine that makes you leery of drinking then I suggest you invest in the swish water decaffeinated coffee beans. This process does not involve using chemicals to remove the caffeine from but instead uses fresh water to soak the beans and removes the caffeine that way.

    As Kris has stated there is more to coffee then the caffeine. There are as many antioxidants in coffee as there is tea. But as Marika has said it is not for everyone. Listen to your body before anything else. If it doesn’t agree with your body then you should pry not drink it. Over all I have found more benefits about drinking coffee then I have found that it can be harmful. Earlier I saw someone asking about milk in coffee.

    If you are drinking it for health, then I would use skim milk over whole. You keep all the essential nutrients in the milk and the coffee save one. B12. When milk is added to anything or heated up it does lose that vitamin. If anyone is interested in my resources the I will be happy to share those as well, however it is over 2 pages long.

  31. I am a heavy espresso drinker and never hear how it compares to coffee or if it is the same. 4 to 6 shots daily is my usual dose with a little cream and Truvia. If I don’t have it however, I feel very relaxed and sloth like. I am a runner and enjoy a little before, as it does improve stamina for me. Coffee to me is enjoyable still, but so weak. Always wondered if the intensified espresso actually has higher amounts of all the good stuff compared to a cup of joe.

  32. Dear Coffee article readers,

    I just want to state my opinion- one article about some good sides of Coffee does NOT necessarily mean all of this is true! It is an article and if I had a big company as Nestle or Jacobs I would definitely pay some money to websites for good words… after all from mouth to mouth is much better than a TV ad.

    I personally drink coffee once or twice a day. When I have to prepare for exams in a short term the amount increases to 5 coffees a day! There is definitely use from it, but I do not know if my hands are not going to shake as hell when I become a grandma (if I become one) … So, what I would say is- trust no one… just try to find out really if your body reacts on it in a good way or in a bad way.

  33. Ben Dover says:

    Instant coffee is the best, in just 1 tbl spoon I feel amazing and euphoric. My whole body kind of tingles in a good way slightly. Caffeine reacts with me like a really weak version of clean meth. I’m sticking to caffeine and never using scary meth again.

  34. Landon Wieden says:

    Hey Kris,

    Sorry that I’m late for the debate, but I just wanted to express my approval over your logical and respectful opinions in both your article, and your replies to comments. I would have to agree with you, I also feel more energized with a cup of coffee in the morning.

    However, I can understand that some people are energetic enough without it, and may actually have negative effects from unneeded caffeine. You should have seen my grandfather, who drinks decaf, after having a Red Bull! Jitters to the extreme! Anyways, I have a question: does decaf coffee still provide any of these benefits?

    Thanks for the info and advice!

  35. M A Moshneb says:

    Is it ok to have round 3 cups of Turkish coffee a day… and does coffee lose any of its characteristics by adding sugar?

  36. My only problem with coffee is that if I drink enough of it so as not to feel exhausted, I end up getting really stressed out and am prone to anxiety attacks. People who know I drink coffee every day often point to this as the cause, but I’m always hearing how great it is for me. Maybe I’m having trouble finding a good balance? Or maybe it’s something else I need to cut out from my diet? I have tried cutting out pop, and the difference isn’t too apparent to me.

    • You could try quitting coffee for a few weeks and see if it helps with the stress and anxiety, some people are just really sensitive to caffeine.

    • Hi Adam,
      Your post is one of the most honest ones I have read on this thread. Good on you…

      You have all the answers you need within your body.

      You said in your post above that you drink caffeine to get through your day (masking the exhaustion) – in my opinion you are spot on!

      And what I found when I used to consume caffeine was that it depleted my vitality even further making it even harder to stop. I only had 1-2 cups of caffeine tea per day but beyond the pick-up I would get for a few hours I could feel that it wasn’t doing great things in my body.

      I have found that honesty is a great road to true healing. My suggestion would be to go a step back and address the lifestyle choices that are causing the exhaustion in the first place. Attend to this and you wont need the stimulants such as coffee, sugar etc. If you stop or reduce ingesting the caffeine/stimulants, you will feel the truth of the exhaustion in your body and be more motivated to make the lifestyle changes that are needed to come back to harmony and vitality. That’s what I did and it has been a wonderful learning and unfolding.

      There is so much wisdom in the body if we but listen.

    • It could be an adrenal problem, I too can’t drink much coffee and feel exhausted when I do drink it… it’s not for everyone.

  37. Coffee is only good for you if you don’t add milk or cream, otherwise you destroy the phytochemicals in it!

  38. Here is a great article about coffee from the perspective of Chinese Medicine: http://www.itmonline.org/arts/coffee.htm

    Some foods and beverages are good for some and not others. Looking at coffee from the perspective of Chinese Herbalism is interesting. As an acupuncturist, I recommend herbal formulas to people based on my diagnosis of their constitution, and some herbs are great for some people and not helpful at all for others.

    “Some people are very sensitive to caffeine effects, usually as the result of liver qi disorders that are worsened when the circulation of qi is stimulated (e.g., persistent blood deficiency with weak spleen qi or upward flow of stomach qi). Some are sensitive to other ingredients in coffee, and will react even to decaffeinated versions. However, for the majority of people, as experience shows, coffee is enjoyed both for the experience of drinking it and for the effects that it produces.”

    So the main idea is that we are all unique. I personally need to be very careful about how much coffee I drink and when I drink it. But I also see that other people are not so sensitive to it. In either case, coffee is a rather potent substance, and should be respected for its power and not abused.

    For most Chinese herbs, 6-9 grams per day is a ‘recommended daily dose’ to be brewed, and outside of that there may be undesirable side effects. It might be a good idea to ‘dose’ coffee in a similar way… one cup is plenty for most people, and may be too much for some.

  39. My understanding and the studies I have seen, most of the info in the article is based on people who drink 4-6 cups per day. Less and the benefits are less, more and then you have had too much. They don’t suggest you sit and drink 4-6 cups of coffee in one sitting either, it is based on people who drink 4-6 cups of coffee in the average 12-16 hour day.

    Also note that the study found NO direct evidence to any chemical, or compound in the coffee that affected any systems in the body in any positive way, the researchers even remarked “We don’t know exactly why coffee offers these benefits, it could just simply be a quality of life situation where people who drink 4-6 cups of coffee per day actually stop and take a break and relax and relieve stress having a pleasant cup of coffee.”

    (Paraphrasing) I would link the research paper if I could find it again but it was released at least 2 years back. A little google research and I am sure you could find it.

    • Creative Goddess says:

      “It is also the biggest source of antioxidants in the modern diet” This is ONLY because the modern diet only has a 1/4 of a small carrot chop mixed into a frozen meal OR a slice of tomato on a burger. But drinking coffee takes place all day long. If you drink 2 liters of coffee a day but eat only 50 ml of veg/fruit of course coffee will give you the bulk of your antioxidants, it only makes sense. It DOES not mean it is the best source!

  40. You lost me when you said caffeine is the main cause of #1 and 2, not coffee directly.

  41. Creativecalico says:

    I was totally with you on this article until I got to #6… I’m really sorry to break it to you, but you have a 100% risk of death no matter how well you take care of yourself. As much as it pains me to admit it, coffee will not increase your chance of becoming immortal.

    • Yes, but the studies are showing that it reduces your risk of dying over a certain time period.

      For example, follow a group of people for 10 years, those who drink coffee may be less likely to have died at the end of the study period.

      Of course it doesn’t make you immortal.

      • Max Klemes says:

        You might have misread the literature, this is what the document you cited said. “Regular coffee consumption was not associated with an increased mortality rate in either men or women. The possibility of a modest benefit of coffee consumption on all-cause and CVD mortality needs to be further investigated.”

        So saying “Yes, but the studies are showing that it reduces your risk of dying over a certain time period” is incorrect according to the study you cited.

        • Look at the text in “Results:” – it shows that those who drink more coffee have a lower risk of death in the study, although it was not statistically significant for men (the trend was significant though).

          You are right about the second part, I shouldn’t have said “reduces your risk” in the comment above because that implies causality, “associated with a lower risk” would have been correct. Thanks for the heads up.

  42. Dashielle Vawter says:

    Ummm… Nothing can reduce your risk of dying! We all have a 100% risk of dying, it actually can’t be reduced or increased. It could however increase, or reduce, the risk of dying from a certain illness or health factor. #6 is hilarious to me… not a criticism of the article, I just thought the phrasing was funny.

  43. John Davis says:

    This I know, drinking way too much coffee it gets to be habit forming/addictive. When you stop, you go through withdrawal.

    That said… some of the negatives I read about in the comments require you to drink WAY TOO MUCH coffee. Although I can see where some folks might be “sensitive” to it… just like some folks are sensitive to _____ (you fill in the blank).

    As for making the body race as one poster said… I can fall asleep mid-cup of coffee if I wish, and have done so more than once. Of course I was working then, too many hours, and tired. Today I’m retired so I do not drink coffee after 8pm.

  44. Tea Party Doc says:

    I’ve been a physician for nearly thirty years. Every time I see a research article that says something bad about caffeine or coffee I just tuck it away in my brain and wait. Usually the bad news makes the mainstream press and everyone starts talking about it. Some people quit.

    Then a few years later, further research comes out showing that the previously highly cited article was wrong and how it was wrong. Then another. Then another. Etc. This much I know: coffee is not bad for you, but the Chicken Littles of the world have to have something to have people in a panic about, and if it isn’t one thing, it’s another. See Overpoplulation, Global Warming/ Climate Change, Ecological Apocalypse.

  45. Good article… please note however, nothing as in NO THING can lower your risk of dying. You will die. I will die. Everyone reading these words will die someday. The risk is 100%.

    Hopefully coffee can extend my life. Think I’ll have another cuppa.

  46. Good discussion, but the battle over the effects of caffeine ignores the beneficial impact of the other compounds in coffee. Some people are much more sensitive to caffeine that others. I can’t drink coffee after Noon if I want to sleep that night. My best friend can have two cups before he goes to bed without any affect. Both of us appreciate the beneficial effect from lower incidence of Parkinson’s, diabetes, liver damage, cardiovascular inflammation and certain cancers discovered by the 24 year Nurses Study conducted by Harvard Medical School.

  47. Anita Harrington says:

    Excellent article and glad to see that the healthy impact on a person’s liver is included. Dr. Sanjiv Chopra (brother of Deepak Chopra) is a highly regarded professor at Harvard Medical School and specializes in hepatology (the liver) and has been preaching the benefits of coffee for many decades.

  48. This article claims caffeine decreases your risk of DYING. Feel free to decide if anything else in this article is credible.

    • Coffee, not caffeine. I meant “during the study period” – we all die eventually, that is inevitable.

      According to these studies, if 10,000 people were followed, the coffee drinkers would be more likely to be still alive after a 10 year study period. That’s what I mean. It won’t make anyone immortal.

      If you were to follow the group long enough, mortality reaches 100%.

    • Congressive says:

      “This effect is particularly profound in type II diabetics, one study showing that coffee drinkers had a 30% lower risk of death during a 20 year period”

      It appears many people posting here have not read beyond the bullet points.

  49. Just wanted to point out, the antioxidants in coffee stop the absorption of some vitamins and minerals – including all the B vitamins and iron (reduce absorption by 80%). The whole point is that coffee balances itself out, so the super amount of vitamins/minerals are counterbalanced by the antioxidants that lower absorption of these elements, plus some others that the body needs.

    Example: Iron is an oxidant that your body needs, coffee includes antioxidants that bind to iron and remove it from the body. Coffee is great for my friend who has a condition whereby she stores too much iron and has to have blood drawn every month to lower her iron levels. Drinking loads of coffee keeps her iron levels from going into space.

    Antioxidants are not the good guys and oxidants are not the bad guys – our body needs both, in balance, to function correctly.

    Coffee is fine for most people, but if you are someone with a type of anaemia then you should limit your intake. If you take iron tablets or require B12 shots/other B vitamins, then you should not have coffee at the same time and allow your body a few hours to process the iron or B vitamins. The same with spinach, the combination of vitamins/minerals in spinach actually prevent you from absorbing iron.

    Where do I get my info? I have pernicious anaemia and needed to research what I can/can’t eat. I have a degree in human anatomy & physiology which included nutrition. I know that I’m not allowed to eat certain foods, such as coffee, tea (any type), chocolate or spinach within 2 hours of my B12 shots or iron tablets.

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