Is Coffee Good or Bad for My Health?

To answer this question we need to sit on the fence immediately with a statement of ‘well, it depends’. As with anything, moderation is the key. Simply drinking 8 cups of coffee per day will not make you lose weight sustainably – there are obviously other nutrients the body needs!

Some academic folk suggest that coffee can seriously boost your metabolism by up to 11%, meaning you can burn another 200 calories each day. That doesn’t mean you can eat 200 more calories though, it kind of defies the point right? That said, apparently younger, leaner people can boost their metabolism by 23%. So there’s a definite possibility that drinking coffee can help you reduce weight as part of a balanced diet.

You’ll see a lot of energy drinks on the high street containing caffeine elements to help you boost muscle fatigue after workouts. Indeed, a cup of coffee can reduce muscle soreness after the gym but also whilst in the gym you can go harder, faster and stronger during workouts given the stimulatory factor of caffeine.

The sensitive issue of sleep can be a negative regarding coffee intake. However, it depends on when you drink it and how sensitive to caffeine you are. Avoiding coffee from around 6 hours before you go to bed will more than likely ensure you have nothing left in your system so you get a decent night’s kip without the stimulating effects that coffee causes.

Of course, there’s a definite plus side to mental stimulation via caffeine. Adenosine is blocked by the caffeine molecule, and it’s adenosine that makes you sleepy, think of coffee as the key to unlocking this. Moving this argument forward we can safely say the coffee can improve mood, reaction times (think driving and playing sports) and even memory – in essence your grey matter is working faster and functioning better.

There’s a school of thought out there suggesting coffee (or caffeine) intake can reduce the onset of type 2 diabetes. As the world is seemingly becoming less active, more sedate and glued to screens of some description, experts suggests that coffee can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 23%.

In an recent BBC article related to the show Trust Me I’m a Doctor, the compound of polyphenols was mentioned. It’s these polyphenols that are rife in the so-called ‘super foods’ like broccoli, blueberries and quinoa. It’s thought that regular coffee slurpers are getting 1g per day of these polyphenols which in turn can decrease blood pressure, reducing the risk of parkinsons and dementia and also the reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.

Too much coffee and you famously get the shakes, not good for those with already high blood pressure. Coffee can make your breath smell fairly foul and it’s also a diuretic meaning you could find yourself going to the toilet more often than your used to.

In conclusion, coffee has some very strong arguments to good health, and so long as it’s consumed in moderation there’s little reason to think it could harm your health, so go ahead and put the kettle on!