That’s right, this post is about the magical world of coffee. I’ve seen a lot of people recently list coffee as a gulp VICE! gasp And so I thought that I would write this little blog-entry in defense of coffee. As you all know, coffee is an inanimate object that cannot speak, and as a future social worker, I have an obligation to give a voice to the voiceless.
Before diving into the wonderful world of coffee, I thought I would start by addressing a few downsides:
1. Apparently coffee’s stimulating effects can cause some people to not be able to sleep at night. Who knew? Experts recommend cutting off consumption after 2pm to make sure you can get right to sleep once your dainty little head comes to rest on the surface of your soft, fluffy pillow.
2. Caffeine is addictive and can cause headaches, irritability, inability to concentrate, and drowsiness if you are withdrawing from it. So just make sure you don’t go too long without your fix. 😉
3. You shouldn’t drink it if you have gastritis, colitis, or ulcers because it can mess with your inner linings. (Good thing this does not apply to me)
4. Excessive consumption causes anxiety
5. Unfiltered coffee can raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol (oh no!) So it’s probably best to stick to the good-old drip coffee if you have cholesterol concerns.
NOW for some COFFEE MYTH BUSTERS
1. Coffee raises blood pressure –> Actually, caffeine can cause a temporary spike in blood pressure upon drinking it, but this is diminished in long-term drinkers. In a 12-year study of 155,000 female nurses, large amount of coffee did not induce a “risky rise in blood pressure.” Other studies have also found no statistically significant associations between coffee drinking and blood pressure.
2. Coffee will kill your unborn child –> Actually, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that less than 200 mg of caffeine a day will not increase the risk of miscarriage or preterm birth (As a side note – it’s probably best not to give a random pregnant woman you see in public advice about how to care for her unborn. Not that you would, but it happens.)
NOW for some COFFEE BENEFITS
1. Good news ladies – one study found that women drinking 2-3 cups of coffee/day “was associated with an 18% reduction in death from all causes, while drinking four to five cups was associated with a 26% reduction of risk.” Source Unfortunately, there wasn’t much of an association found for men. And I know, I know, it’s just one study, but you gotta take what you can get, right?
2. Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia – OK, for real. This has been shown in several studies.
3. Lower incidence of gallstones and gallbladder disease – this one’s for both men and women. But only for caffeinated coffee.
4. Reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease – One study found that people who drank about 3.5 cups of coffee a day were less likely than non-drinkers to contract Parkinson’s disease. And another study found and inverse relationship between amount of coffee regularly drunk and likelihood of having Parkinson’s.
5. Increased awesomeness – And by this I mean cognitive ability. Short term recall, reaction time, choice reaction time, incidental verbal memory, visuospatial reasoning.
6. Anti-diabetic – May reduce your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes
7. My personal favorite – Coffee boosts exercise stamina– For real. If you’ve never tried it, try it. Drink some coffee before you head to the gym. You will feel like superman! OK, that’s an exaggeration, but I feel that my performance is awesomer when I’m caffeinated.
So, in my opinion, the only real question about coffee drinking is:
OK, I keed, I keed. To each his/her own. But for real, I love coffee.