Is coffee good for my body or not? It seems like nobody knows the definitive answer, but research supporting both sides have surfaced over the years and have given people more reason to cling to one side or the other.
First, let’s start with some key downsides to drinking coffee.
Coffee puts your body in stress mode.
When you drink coffee in excess on a regular basis, it can activate the release of cortisol
, otherwise known as the stress hormone. Cortisol is the chemical that’s responsible for the “fight-or-flight” stress response that raises your heart rate and blood pressure, while also increasing muscular tension. Actually, the reason why coffee makes you feel awake in the first place is because it turns on your body’s stress response to either fight an impending danger or flee. Everyone who drinks coffee knows that on-edge, jittery feeling you get from drinking too much of it and that’s caused by a reaction to cortisol in your body. So even if coffee might be a tempting way to start your day, think about the chemical stress you’re causing your body on top of the stress that you’re probably already experiencing at work. If you absolutely need a caffeine boost, we recommend drinking coffee in the afternoon around 2pm to lift your spirits from the afternoon slump.
Coffee is very acidic.
The acid in coffee can irritate the lining of the small intestine and throw off the natural pH balance in your body. The very same compounds can cause further issues for people who already struggle with digestive issues such as ulcers, IBS and Crohn’s disease. When highly acidic food like coffee is consumed, its acids damage and weaken the lining in your stomach and breed bad bacteria that wreak havoc in your gut. Experts say that a slightly alkaline environment in your body is beneficial for health
, while an acidic environment breeds disease. Our bodies naturally try to neutralize acids, and when it’s exposed to too much, it pulls calcium from bones to get rid of the acid, making your bones weaker and more prone to bone-related diseases like osteoporosis.
Ok, enough with the negatives! Let’s talk about the ways science proves that coffee can be our friend.
Coffee can reduce your chance of mouth and throat cancer by nearly 50%.
A study published by the American Journal of Epidemiology followed about 1 million men and women for 26 years and analyzed the relationship between coffee drinkers and cancer risk. After the study concluded, it was found that coffee drinkers reduced their chances of mouth and throat cancer by nearly 50%
. That’s an extremely significant number, especially for such cancers that are fatal in many cases. It’s believed that biologically active compounds such as antioxidants and polyphenols may have helped protect the body against the development and progression of the cancers.
Coffee can reduce your chance of stroke.
A research done in Sweden followed 35,000 women between 49 to 83 years old and found that those who consumed more than a cup of caffeinated coffee a day reduced their chances of stroke by 22-25%
. Although coffee increases heart rate and blood pressure, it’s believed that the powerful antioxidants in coffee are responsible for reducing the chances of stroke.
Coffee boosts metabolism and burns fat.
Seeking out sugar-filled energy drinks and caffeine beverages is a huge knock on weight control and general healthy living, but regular black coffee serves as a worthy alternative for revving up your metabolism. A study from Australia concluded that coffee can help weight loss by reducing appetite
and by boosting your metabolism. Since caffeine naturally increases your heart rate, it kicks your body to burn more fat. That means drinking coffee in regulation could curb your appetite, burn fat, and energize you all in one.
Now, with all of the information gathered showing both the good and bad sides of coffee according to science—does one outweigh the other?
Hearing the health risks of excessive coffee consumption might be scary to a typical coffee drinker, but those risks shouldn’t be too much of a scare as long as you’re within healthy moderation. Just like with anything else, consuming too much of something on a regular basis can have negative repercussions. One thing can be said definitively—if you suffer from digestive or other stomach disorders, you shouldn’t drink coffee. There aren’t many positives in that case will only make the symptoms worse. That said, the statistics show how those without such issues can possibly benefit from coffee when drinking it within normal amounts. Just pay attention to how much you drink, and if your body is reacting harshly to it, it’s probably time to pull back or even replace coffee altogether. Otherwise, enjoy your daily cup and you should be just fine.