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Wellness Guide

Is Coffee Good or Bad for You?

Is Coffee Good or Bad for You
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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.

The Verdict:

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.
Written by Austin Adams
Austin is a writer and creative mind who loves movies, books and anything artistic. Video games are one of his favorite pastimes, along with working out and staying active. He likes to try and maintain a healthy lifestyle, but also loves the experience of trying new food and drink. He's sort of a walking contradiction.
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Whether coffee is good or bad for our bodies, it is NOT the important issue here. Land and water needed to grow real food (coffee is not an essential food) is taken up to grow coffee beans depriving local inhabitants. 
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user
Great point, Khechari. We should be more mindful of how we use our land to really help and nourish people instead of for profit gains.
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user
Oh also I can attest to the acidic quality of coffee being bad for people with IBD and so I suspect it may have some negative effects even on people who have a more healthy digestive system. The worst drinks for most people are these fancy drinks with cool names like Cooladas which have coffee, chocolate (another acidic food) and are made with lots of ice thrown in. Cold drinks as we know from Chinese Medicine (which I studied for many years) inhibit the digestive system, then with all the other acid qualities of those drinks you are really drinking something with huge potential harm to your biological structures, ie lining of your gut and the microbiology that lives there. 
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user
Asian Medicine as we know is concerned with energetics. The digestive system is like a little furnace, when you pour cold drinks down there it has to work harder to break down the food. Also we want to build heat in the lower Dahn Jon through rigorous training, tapping, intestinal exercise, sleeping tiger, so again the cold drinks counteract all that hard work. Our DSN is always telling us to keep our DJ warm. Of course on a hot day sometimes it's probably OK once in a while.
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user
Didn't know about the cold drinks effect! Very interesting. That includes the majority of drinks people have - I wonder how many people are aware of this. Thanks for the info, Jeff!
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user
Thank you so much for this article which is well researched and thought out. I can tell you as someone who has had IBD, Inflammatory Bowel Disease for 20 years, specifically Ulcerative Colitis (UC) that coffee can be very bad for my condition. At different points in my life I was an excessive coffee drinker. I found coffee was one of the most difficult things to quit as well. That points to the strong addictive effects. Once you start drinking a lot of it trying to quit and get past the detox stage can be quite painful. But I managed to do that, many times, ha as the joke goes! I'll end with this - seriously cutting back on coffee has helped me tremendously in managing my symptoms. I can and do on occasion have a cup, but try to stay away from the high test brands like Starbucks or at least adding lots of milk like in a latte which helps to cut the amount of caffeine which is the addictive part. But on occasion it does give me a little pick me up which might be just what I need at the time. But it's important to maintain a healthy lifestyle so you don't find the need for that so often which will get you into trouble by overusing it. Great article! 
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user
Hey Jeff, thanks for reading! The coffee/caffeine addiction can be a hard one to break. As with any substance with a chemical-altering component like caffeine, moderation is absolutely key. Like you said, the downsides even without issues such as IBD require a close monitoring of your intake just to be safe.
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user
Is decaf coffee equally as bad?  What is recommended to help my system deal with the acid if I love my coffee...
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user
Hi Bonnie, I heard of this acid-free coffee from my local health foods store. Check it out! https://tylerscoffees.com
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user
Are there good coffee alternatives? other than tea
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user
Another thing you have to  know is that coffee beans are roasted.  Any food that is burnt is potentially carcinogenic similar to smoked fish and meats.  A little coffee is OK, buy why take that risk?
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user
Good point! Carcinogens can add up and are surprisingly in a lot of things we consume day-to-day. Sometimes it's hard to avoid them, but I agree, it's usually best to avoid them when possible.
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