It seems that the question of “is coffee bad for you” is always up for debate. One scientist or doctor will come out with a new reason why coffee is good for you, and just when you think it’s safe, another study will say it’s terrible.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to drinking coffee. However, the likely truth is that there isn’t one definitive answer. It often comes down to various factors, and the answer may not be the same for everyone. Keep reading to figure out if maintaining your daily coffee habit can still be part of your healthy lifestyle.
Is Coffee Good or Bad for Your Health?
According to current research, coffee can be both good and bad for you. When drank in moderation, coffee can help lower your chances of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Parkinsons disease, certain types of cancer, and more.
However, too much coffee is bad for your health. You may get headaches, anxiety, irregular heartbeat, and more. Certain groups like pregnant women and children shouldn’t drink coffee.
Is Coffee Bad for Your Teeth?
Coffee is acidic, and too much can weaken the enamel on your teeth. This can encourage bacteria growth and eventually cause tooth decay or gum disease.
Coffee can also stain your teeth. It’s best to brush with a whitening toothpaste or at least rinse your mouth with water each time you drink it.
Is Coffee Bad for Your Skin?
Coffee can also damage your skin. Its acidity can tamper with your skin’s oil production. It’s also dehydrating, so it can leave your skin dry, red, and inflamed.
Is Coffee Bad for Your Stomach?
Most people don’t have trouble with their stomachs after drinking coffee. However, if your stomach is sensitive to the acids in coffee or caffeine, it can cause problems. Some people have fewer issues if they don’t drink coffee on an empty stomach.
Is it Better to Never Drink Coffee?
You don’t have to quit drinking coffee to have a healthy lifestyle. It does have some health benefits when drank in moderation. However, if you feel like coffee is harming your health, then you may want to quit completely.
Health Benefits of Coffee
While drinking too much coffee can have negative health consequences, there are quite a few health benefits you can get from drinking coffee in moderation.
Nutrients and Antioxidants
Coffee contains several vitamins, nutrients, and trace minerals that your body needs. These include potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B2 and B3.
Coffee often has more antioxidants than anything else we eat. There are also antioxidants in coffee. Antioxidants fight free radicals in your body, which can help prevent cancer. The antioxidants in coffee may also prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Brain Stimulation, Focus, and Mood
Many people drink coffee because it is a stimulant, increasing activity in the brain and nervous system. It also causes the brain to release adrenaline and cortisol, two hormones that make you more alert.
Drinking coffee can help you when you need to feel more awake and more focused. As a stimulant, it can even improve your mood.
Healthy Weight Support
While some people drink coffee in hopes of losing weight, it hasn’t been scientifically proven that it has many effects on weight loss. It may suppress your appetite and burn a few extra calories, but the results are inconclusive.
Some scientists do think that coffee may help you maintain a healthy weight.
Increased Physical Performance
Caffeine has been proven to increase your physical performance. It can help with endurance, skill, and more. However, if you drink coffee frequently, your body may grow accustomed to it, and you may not get the burst of energy for exercise.
Reduced Disease Risk
Coffee consumption has been associated with reduced disease risk. The American Heart Association recommends drinking at least one cup of coffee each day to reduce the risk of heart disease.
It can also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, liver disease, certain types of cancer, and Parkinsons disease.
One study found that drinking coffee may be associated with living longer. Any type of coffee can help, including caffeinated coffee, decaf coffee, brewed coffee, and instant coffee.
Disadvantages and Risks of Coffee Drinking
Despite its many benefits, there is still an element of risk associated with drinking coffee. If you want to know an answer to the question “is coffee bad for you” keep reading.
Because coffee affects the nervous system, it can do more than just help you focus and be more alert. Too much coffee can overload your system, and you may experience anxiety.
As coffee is a stimulant, it can cause sleep disruption. Depending on your sleep cycle, if you drink it at certain times of the day, it may prevent you from getting a good night’s rest. You’ll often drink more coffee the next day, which can lead to a vicious cycle.
When considering the scientific definition of the word, caffeine isn’t addictive. It doesn’t produce enough of a dopamine surge to make it truly addictive.
However, you can become mildly dependent on it. If you stop your caffeine consumption, you may notice withdrawal symptoms like headaches, tiredness, and irritability.
Acrylamide is a compound that may cause cancer or other types of risk in large doses. It is found in all types of coffee, including roasted coffee and instant coffee.
However, while acrylamide can be harmful, there isn’t enough in coffee to cause much damage.
There is some risk of pesticides with certain coffees. It may penetrate the bean. While the risk is minimal, if you’re concerned, you can limit your coffee intake to an organic coffee that’s grown without pesticides.
Heart Health Concerns
In some people, coffee can cause irregular beats in the lower chambers of the heart. While these are generally benign, there is some association between cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.
Coffee is acidic, which can lead to problems with your teeth. Too much acid can eat away at the enamel, leaving your teeth vulnerable to bacteria. You may wind up with cavities or gum issues.
What Does Coffee Do to Your Body?
Since coffee is a stimulant, it increases activity in your brain and nervous system. It also increases the production of cortisol and adrenaline. It can give you a jolt of energy, but can also leave you jittery and anxious.
How Much Coffee Is Safe?
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, it’s safe to have around three-five cups or 400 mg of caffeine each day. This amount of coffee will allow you to enjoy the health benefits without causing too many health issues.
Is It Bad to Drink Coffee Every Day?
It’s not bad to drink coffee every day, as long as you aren’t exceeding healthy limits. Your caffeine intake shouldn’t exceed 400 mg, which is about four cups of coffee, ten cups of soda, or two energy drinks.
Be sure to account for any other caffeinated beverage you drink other than coffee.
Rules to Healthily Enjoy Coffee
If you love being a regular coffee drinker, there are ways that you can stay healthy while still enjoying your daily cup of coffee.
Drink Only One Cup of Coffee Every Day
By limiting your coffee intake to one cup each day, you can still get your fix without causing health issues.
Always Go Organic
Organic coffee has many benefits. It doesn’t contain pesticides and it’s better for the environment. The beans also have more antioxidants than regular beans, making them more healthy.
Skip or Dramatically Reduce Added Sugar
When studies talk about the health benefits of coffee, they’re referring to black coffee. If you’re drinking coffee with a lot of added sugar or coffee creamer, then you’re negating any of the good effects you’re getting.
Use Filtered Water
By using filtered water, you’ll get out any of the sediment or minerals that may be making your coffee unhealthy. As a bonus, your coffee will taste better as the chlorine will be removed.
Use a Coffee Filter
The way you brew your coffee affects its health benefits. A filter can remove harmful chemicals that may cause health problems.
If you prefer using a French press or Greek or Turkish coffee, then you are likely consuming some of these harmful chemicals.
Take Occasional Breaks
You may want to take a break from coffee now and then, especially if you’re experiencing adverse effects, like trouble sleeping. It gives your body a chance to reset.
Alternative: Go With Decaffeinated Coffee
If you love coffee but are worried about the negative effects of caffeine, then you always have the option of choosing decaffeinated coffee. You’ll often get many of the same health benefits without as much risk.
How Decaffeination Works
Coffee beans contain caffeine, so to create decaf coffee, the caffeine has to be removed from the beans before brewing. The coffee beans are exposed to chemical solvents that remove the caffeine, either directly from the beans or indirectly through a water bath.
One issue with decaf coffee is that many people find that it doesn’t taste as good as regular coffee. When the caffeine is removed, other chemicals that give coffee its rich taste are also removed.
However, organic coffee beans often undergo a different method that only removes the caffeine without any use of chemicals. This can lead to a better-tasting decaf coffee.
Does Decaffeinated Coffee Have Risks?
According to a study conducted in 2017, decaffeinated coffee has no apparent risk to your health. With the caffeine removed, you no longer have to worry about those side effects.
However, one of the chemicals used to remove caffeine can have some adverse effects. When people are exposed to larger quantities of methylene chloride, they may experience side effects like headache, coughing, and drowsiness due to its slowing of the central nervous system.
It’s also important to note that just because a coffee is labeled as decaf doesn’t mean that it has no caffeine whatsoever. Most decaf coffees have around 2 mg of caffeine, with some having as much as 15 mg.
Which Decaf Should You Choose?
Organic decaf coffee seems to be the best choice. The caffeine removal process doesn’t use chemicals, so you’re putting fewer artificial things in your body.
Organic coffee is also most likely to taste like regular coffee since there are no added chemicals messing with the flavor.
If you’re trying to lower your caffeine intake as much as possible, you should be sure to check the amount of caffeine in your decaf coffee. There’s always a small amount of caffeine left over, but some brands have more than others.
Is Decaffeinated Coffee as Healthy as Regular?
For the most part, decaf coffee contains all of the health benefits that you’ll get with regular coffee. You’ll still get the same antioxidants and minerals. However, there may be up to 15% less concentration of antioxidants as in regular coffee due to the decaffeination process.
If you drink coffee for a jolt of energy throughout the day, you won’t get that with decaf coffee. You may not also get sharper focus or alertness.
Decaf coffee also doesn’t have some of the health risks associated with caffeinated beverages, such as anxiety, a lack of sleep, and jitters.
Is There a Bottom Line?
Is coffee bad for you? As with many substances, coffee is neither all good nor all bad. There are many health benefits associated with drinking coffee, like a lower risk of certain cancers and heart disease.
However, coffee can have risks like anxiety, irregular heart rate, and sleep disruption.
To get the health benefits of coffee while avoiding most of the risks, it’s best to drink it in moderation. It’s also important to remember that these health benefits are associated with black coffee. When you add sugar and cream into the mix, you’ll often negate the health benefits.