Let's take a quick jog down memory lane about how the research behind the benefits of coffee has changed over the years: In 1991, the World Health Organization classified the beverage as a “possible carcinogen.” Then, in 2016, the organization found that there was “no conclusive evidence for a carcinogenic effect of drinking coffee.” And in between, most of the news about coffee was largely positive: That, instead of being harmful to your health, regular coffee consumption (in moderation, of course), is actually good for you.
The potential health benefits of drinking coffee are exciting news, but that doesn’t mean more is better. For some people, coffee can cause irritability, nervousness or anxiety in high doses, and it can also impact sleep quality and cause insomnia. In people with hypertension, coffee consumption does transiently raise their blood pressure — although for no more than several hours — but no correlation has been found between coffee drinking and long-term increases in blood pressure or the incidence of cardiovascular disease in patients with pre-existing hypertension.
""The Impact of Green Tea and Coffee Consumption on the Reduced Risk of Stroke Incidence in Japanese Population" Yoshihiro Kokubo, MD, PhD, FAHA, Hiroyasu Iso, MD, PhD, Isao Saito, MD, PhD, Kazumasa Yamagishi, MD, PhD, Hiroshi Yatsuya, MD, PhD, Junko Ishihara, PhD, Manami Inoue, MD, PhD and Shoichiro Tsugane, MD, PhD. Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.111.677500. March 14, 2013. Abstract. Accessed 15 December 2013.
From health bloggers to celebs (hey, Jennifer Aniston), it seems like everyone is hopping on the collagen bandwagon this year—adding it to smoothies, cooked meals, and... you guessed it... coffee. If you’re not on board yet, don't believe everything you hear about collagen—sprinkling it into a smoothie probably won't make you look 30 years younger.
Other than that, antioxidants play a significant role in neutralising free radicals that naturally occur as a part of daily metabolic functions. However, the radicals in question are those that can cause oxidative stress and not the useful type. In other words, the antioxidants in a steaming cup of coffee can go a long way in keeping you healthy at a micro-level. And they do so by protecting your cells from any possible external physical damage.
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Coffee is one of the most chemically treated foods in the world (global demand is high, so methods of growing it often are chemical fertilizer-pesticide-herbicide intensive). This is bad for you (since pesticide residues can end up in your cup) and really bad for the planet. High demand and the fact that it’s generally grown in poorer countries also means labor practices are a major issue. Buy organic and fair-trade if and when you can.
So how much java is too much? It's wise to stick to no more than 3 to 4 cups per day. Certain groups, such as people with hypertension and the elderly, may be more susceptible to the adverse effects of caffeine. Pregnant and breast-feeding women will want to limit intake to a maximum of 200 to 300 milligrams a day of caffeine (the amount in 2 to 3 cups of coffee). The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women cap caffeine consumption at 200 milligrams a day.
If you’re working 80 hours a week, getting three hours of sleep a night, and have no energy because you’re living on carb-heavy takeout, drinking coffee non-stop during the day is a problem. It’s not the coffee; it’s the fact that you’re using the coffee as a crutch. Craving a steaming hot cup or two is fine, being totally dependent on coffee to function isn’t.
While they say that the results support moderate coffee drinking as a relatively healthy habit, both Poole and Guallar say the findings don’t go far enough to prompt anyone to change their coffee-drinking habits in the hopes of improving their health. The study did not confirm, for example, that people who do not currently drink coffee should start adding a cup or two a day in order to lower their risk of getting heart disease or any of the other chronic conditions studied. The data also do not support the idea that current coffee drinkers should drink even more coffee to enhance whatever benefits they might be receiving. Too much coffee, the data suggest, starts to bend the benefit curve back down.
Bulletproof coffee is considered a “healthier” version of coffee because it has butter and coconut oil, which contains medium-chain fats that have been shown in studies to have a beneficial effect on blood lipids—lowering triglycerides and raising HDLs. As president and chief culinary officer at Culinary Health Solutions, Ken Immer, CCHE explains, “The fats from the butter and coconut milk are a great combination to ‘prime the energy pump’ in the morning. You’ll give your coffee some ‘bite’ that keeps you going until lunchtime, plus you’ll get all of the additional nutrients, especially when we choose grass-fed butter.” You can either buy Bulletproof or make it yourself at home. Find out 8 myths about coffee you should know.
Need a little boost to get you through your HIIT workout? A 2013 study from PLoS One shows that athletes who consumed coffee an hour before exercise had greater performance than those who drank decaffeinated coffee. Plus, a 2015 study from the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism suggests that people who drink coffee before a workout burn more calories after exercise, also known as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). This means that even if your spin class is over, your body will continue to burn more calories. We’ll drink to that! ☕