So, Is Coffee Good or Bad for You?

Written by Mita Majumdar, M.Sc. | Medically Reviewed by dr. reeja tharu, M.Phil.,Ph.D on Jun 27, 2018
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So, Is Coffee Good or Bad for You?

Is coffee good or bad depends on how many cups you drink, the medical problems you may have, and caffeine sensitivity.

The debate whether coffee is a ‘good for you drink’ or a ‘dump it drink’ is still on and very much inconclusive. Is coffee good for you? Is coffee bad for you? Well, it’s confusing, yes? No! The following cheat sheet might give you a hint on the good and the bad about coffee:

  • If you are in the late stage of pregnancy, drink de-caffeinated coffee and that too in moderation – even the decaf coffee has a certain amount of caffeine in it.
  • Coffee won’t hurt you if you have cardiovascular disease unless you have arrhythmias or ventricular premature beats.
  • Coffee consumption is not associated with benign breast disease or breast cancer.
  • Go easy on coffee (or tea) if you are sensitive to caffeine, it might negatively affect your sleep or your sleep pattern.
  • Caffeinated coffee may, in the short term, increase blood pressure, plasma catecholamines, plasma rennin, and serum fatty acids.
  • Caffeinated coffee (actually the caffeine in the coffee) may increase production of gastric acid.
  • Caffeine has a mild diuretic effect and doesn’t normally disturb the electrolyte balance in the body, but if you have diarrhea, avoid caffeine.
  • Coffee does not lead to fluid loss in excess of the quantity ingested, nor is it associated with dehydration.
  • Caffeine helps improve performance in endurance exercises but the ergogenic effect is completely eliminated if you take creatine supplements.
  • Enjoy coffee drinks made with plenty of milk. It will help boost calcium level in your body.
  • Replace whole milk with low-fat or fat-free milk to get the foam on cappuccino. That way you can skip about 110 calories.
  • Caffeine does not counteract the effects of alcohol. So, drinking coffee won’t help a hangover.
  • If you decide to reduce your caffeine intake, cut back gradually so that your body gets accustomed to it and you don’t get headaches or drowsiness.
  • If you suffer from insomnia, avoid drinking coffee in the evening.
  • Drink small amounts of coffee throughout the day if you want to be alert on a sleep-deprived day or when you go on a long drive.

Sensitivity to caffeine may increase with age. Gradually reduce the number of coffee drinks you have in a day as you get older.

To sum it up, enjoy the coffee, enjoy its aroma and flavor, but keep a tab on how many cups of coffee you are gulping down.

References:

  1. THE GLOBAL COFFEE CRISIS: A THREAT TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT - (http://dev.ico.org/documents/globalcrisise.pdf)
  2. Harvesting Coffee Beans - (http://www.coffeeresearch.org/agriculture/harvesting.htm)
  3. Keisler BD, Armsey TD 2nd. Caffeine as an ergogenic aid. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2006 Jun;5(4):215-9.
  4. Vandenberghe K, Gillis N, Van Leemputte M, Van Hecke P, Vanstapel F, Hespel P. Caffeine counteracts the ergogenic action of muscle creatine loading. J Appl Physiol. 1996 Feb;80(2):452-7.
  5. Liston J. Breastfeeding and the use of recreational drugs--alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and marijuana. Breastfeed Rev. 1998 Aug;6(2):27-30.
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  7. Little RE, Weinberg CR. Risk factors for antepartum and intrapartum stillbirth. Am J Epidemiol 1993;137:1177–89. Bech BH, Autrup H, Nohr EA, Henriksen TB, Olsen J. Stillbirth and slow metabolizers of caffeine: comparison by genotypes. Int J Epidemiol. 2006 Aug;35(4):948-53. Epub 2006 Jun 16.
  8. Nobuo Momoi, Joseph P. Tinney, Li J. Liu, Huda Elshershari, Paul J. Hoffmann, John C. Ralphe, Bradley B. Keller, and Kimimasa Tobita. Modest maternal caffeine exposure affects developing embryonic cardiovascular function and growth. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 294: H2248-H2256, 2008. doi:10.1152/ajpheart.91469.2007
  9. Armstrong BG, McDonald AD, Sloan M. Cigarette, alcohol, and coffee consumption and spontaneous abortion. Am J Public Health. 1992 Jan;82(1):85-7.
  10. Mills, J.L. et al. Journal of the American Medical Association, 269, 593-597, 1993.
  11. Hatch EE, Bracken MB. Association of delayed conception with caffeine consumption. Am J Epidemiol. 1993 Dec 15;138(12):1082-92.
  12. Caan, B. et al. American Journal of Public Health, 88, 270-274, 1998.
  13. Ludvigsson JF, Ludvigsson J. Socio-economic determinants, maternal smoking and coffee consumption, and exclusive breastfeeding in 10205 children. Acta Paediatr. 2005 Sep;94(9):1310-9.
  14. Pelucchi C, Tavani A, La Vecchia C. Coffee and alcohol consumption and bladder cancer. Scand J Urol Nephrol Suppl. 2008 Sep;(218):37-44.
  15. Pelucchi C, Tavani A, La Vecchia C. Coffee and alcohol consumption and bladder cancer. Scand J Urol Nephrol Suppl. 2008 Sep;(218):37-44.
  16. Coffee consumption and risk of colorectal cancer - (http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v64/n9/full/ejcn2010103a.html)
  17. Pizziol A, Tikhonoff V, Paleari CD, et al. Effects of caffeine on glucose tolerance: a placebo-controlled study. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1998;52:846-849.
  18. van Dam, RM et al. Coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes - A systematic review. JAMA Volume: 294 Issue: 1 Pages: 97-104 Published: JUL 6 2005.
  19. Tan EK et al. Dose-dependent protective effect of coffee, tea, and smoking in Parkinson''s disease: a study in ethnic Chinese. J Neurol Sci. 2003 Dec 15;216(1):163-7.

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