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8 Health Benefits and Drawbacks of Coffee

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8 Health Benefits and Drawbacks of Coffee

Coffee is the cattle prod of beverages. The very aroma is enough to coax most people out of bed in the morning, and millions of Americans rely on java’s jolt to ramp up their energy and propel them through the workday. Collectively, we drink an astounding 350 million cups of coffee a day in this country.

Coffee presents a conundrum for the body, however.

On one hand, the brew brims with free-radical-fighting antioxidants, which helps explain its protective, anti-inflammatory effect against everything from type 2 diabetes to heart disease. Caffeine itself, which is a nervous-system stimulant, leads to sharper focus and enhanced concentration, and it can brighten a bad mood.

“For some individuals, caffeine is something of a miracle drug,” says Daniel Evatt, PhD, a researcher in the department of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. “These individuals report several benefits with minimal negative effects. However, other caffeine users can develop a bad relationship with it, consisting of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and other problems, such as sleep difficulties and anxiety.”

That’s the catch. Coffee came by the nickname “jitter juice” honestly. Ingest too much caffeine and a pleasant buzz can nosedive into restlessness, nervousness, insomnia and even muscle twitching. The effect is so reliable, says Laura Juliano, PhD, a caffeine researcher at American University in Washington, D.C., that researchers who study anxiety use caffeinated coffee to incite feelings of anxiousness in study participants.

But not everyone responds the same. A small cup of coffee leaves some people feeling twitchy while others can down a pot without batting an eye. Body weight, age, gender and even genetics may factor in to how the body metabolizes caffeine, says Evatt. Which is why coffee’s vice-and-virtue story is comparable with red wine and chocolate — satisfying substances that are healthy and that attract enthusiasts, but require sensible consumption.

Here’s what the experts say about squeezing the health benefits from the bean without getting burned.

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Read more: Conditions, Depression, Diabetes, Diet & Nutrition, Drinks, Food, General Health, Health, Heart & Vascular Disease, Stress, , , , , , , , ,

By Catherine Guthrie, Experience Life

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Experience Life magazine is an award-winning health and fitness publication that aims to empower people to live their best, most authentic lives, and challenges the conventions of hype, gimmicks and superficiality in favor of a discerning, whole-person perspective. Visit to learn more and to sign up for the Experience Life newsletter, or to subscribe to the print or digital version.


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6:02AM PST on Feb 12, 2015

Thank you

12:08AM PDT on Jun 17, 2013

The blog is unique that’s providing the nice material. Please post more interesting articles here.

6:03PM PST on Jan 21, 2013

I drink Bulletproof Coffee... its some of the best coffee I've ever had, with the lowest toxin content of nearly all normal coffees. You can buy it for cheap or read about it at this site under the FOODS button! ---->

They sell that awesome MCT Oil as well! Check it out!

10:24PM PST on Nov 5, 2012

Thanks. Decaf now for me.

4:43AM PDT on Oct 29, 2012

Teresa W - Couldn't have said it better than myself!

2:09PM PDT on Oct 25, 2012

I Love that antioxidents are in coffee!

9:52AM PDT on Oct 25, 2012

thanks! i love coffee

9:53PM PDT on Oct 17, 2012

i drink coffee almost every day, but green tea is great option too, it's like I'm addicted actually :D but I'm trying to drink only tea :)

6:48AM PDT on Oct 17, 2012

I drink coffee and several kinds of tea (green, peppermint, earl grey, etc). But, I drink it in moderation. I do not drink either drink all day. I prefer coffee in the morning and a sleepytime tea at night.

6:40AM PDT on Oct 17, 2012


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