Is Coffee Good or Bad for You? The Pros and Cons - FIT Human Performance

Is Coffee Good or Bad for You? The Pros and Cons


December 2, 2012

Do you like coffee? I do, it’s taste and aroma make my mornings so much better! But a wicked smart person told me that it’s bad for me … so I did some checking and here are a few bits of information to sip on;

Coffee Pros (I’m a big fan of bean-juice)

1. Antioxidants. Coffee is rich in antioxidants like chlorogenic acid and melanoidins. Antioxidants help prevent oxidation, a process that causes damage to cells and contributes to aging.

2. Parkinson’s disease. Regular coffee drinking reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease. A number of studies have demonstrated that people who drink coffee on a regular basis are significantly less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease.

3. Diabetes. Coffee drinking has the potential to protect against the development of type 2 diabetes. A prospective study as part of the US Nurses Health Study found that moderate consumption of both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes in younger and middle aged women.

4. Liver cirrhosis. Coffee drinking may protect against liver cirrhosis, especially alcoholic cirrhosis.

5. Gallstones. There is some evidence that coffee drinking may be protective against gallstone formation in both men and women.

6. Kidney stones. Coffee consumption lowers the risk of kidney stones formation. Coffee increases the urine volume, preventing the crystallization of calcium oxalate, the most common component of kidney stones.

7. Improved mental performance. Caffeine in coffee is a well-known stimulant. Coffee promotes alertness, attention and wakefulness. The cup of coffee can also increase information processing.

8. Alzheimer’s disease. Regular coffee drinking may help to protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Recent study in mice (and everybody knows how much mice love a good cup of Joe) showed that caffeine equivalent to 5 cups of coffee per day reduced the build up of destructive plaques in the brain.

9. Asthma. Caffeine in coffee is related to theophylline, an old asthma medication. Caffeine can open airways and improve asthma symptoms.

10. Caffeine safety. In 1958, caffeine was placed on the Food and Drug Administration’s list as generally recognized as safe.

11. Makes you look cool!

Coffee Cons (for the nay-sayer)

1. Heart disease. This is somewhat controversial. Most prospective cohort studies haven’t found that coffee consumption is associated with significantly increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
On one hand, coffee consumption is associated with an increase of plasma homocysteine, a risk factor for coronary heart disease.

On the other hand, a lower risk of heart disease among moderate coffee drinkers might be due to antioxidants found in coffee.

2. Cholesterol. Heavy consumption of boiled coffee elevates blood total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels.

3. Blood vessels. Coffee negatively affects the blood vessel tone and function.

4. Heart rhythm disturbances. Coffee can cause rapid or irregular heartbeats (cardiac arrhythmias).

5. Blood pressure. Although coffee drinking is not a significant risk factor for hypertension, it produces unfavorable effects on blood pressure and people prone to hypertension may be more susceptible.

6. Osteoporosis. Coffee intake may induce an extra urinary excretion of calcium. Heavy coffee consumption (600 ml or more) can modestly increase the risk of osteoporosis, especially in women with a low calcium intake.

7. Heartburn. A cup of coffee can trigger the heartburn.

8. Sleep. Most are aware of the stimulatory effects of caffeine. High amounts of caffeine taken before going to sleep can cause difficulty falling asleep, tendency to be awakened more readily by sudden noises, and a decreased quality of sleep. However, some people can drink coffee and fall right asleep.

9. Dehydration. The caffeine in coffee is a mild diuretic and can increase urine excretion. Whatever…drink more water!

10. Dependence. Although “generally recognized as safe” by the     FDA, caffeine is still a drug, a mild central nervous system stimulant, and it produces dependence. Caffeine withdrawal is a real syndrome. You may get a few days of headache and irritability if you choose to quit drinking coffee, however, it is relatively easy to break this habit, and most people are not addicted to caffeine.

11.May increase the chance of a wrinkle…

My advice, everything in moderations. The choice is yours. Want a cup of coffee?  Me too!

In good health,


In Seattle you haven’t had enough coffee until you can thread a sewing machine while it’s running.

~Jeff Bezos