Is Drinking Coffee Good For You?

The debate on whether coffee is good or bad for your health is never ending. You’d read it somewhere that according to a research, coffee is highly beneficial and healthy. The next month after, a new study would emerge about it being unhealthy. That cycle goes on and on and it can be confusing. So which is which?

There is so much ambivalence regarding the verdict of coffee’s effects. Coffee is an everyday beverage known for its ability to keep you awake and focused throughout the day. However, there are also people who avoid it for certain fears regarding their health. Drinking coffee has both positive and negative effects. Any coffee drinker would tell you that it has worthwhile benefits while anyone who abhors it will swear how bad it can be.

Negative Effects of Drinking Coffee

Potentially Stimulates Stress

The caffeine in coffee increases catecholamine, hormones produced in the adrenal glands that elicit cortisol and increases insulin. Cortisol is known as a stress hormone while insulin increases inflammation and makes you feel tired and lousy. However, empirical evidence also shows the opposite.

Decreases Insulin Sensitivity

When there is a decrease in insulin sensitivity caused by caffeine, it is difficult for your cells to respond appropriately to blood sugar. High sugar levels in the blood can lead to increased mortality rate linked to arterial deterioration and cardiovascular disease.

Causes Higher Levels of LDL and Triglycerides

Unfiltered coffee leaks the most diterpenes into the body. This has been linked to higher levels of LDL and triglycerides.

Increases risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Chlorogenic acids have been shown to increase homocysteine levels which can be an indicator of cardiovascular disease.

Acid Reflux

The acidity in coffee can be a cause of acid reflux and has been associated with digestive discomfort, GERD, dysbiosis, heartburns, and ingestion.

Coffee Addiction

Almost like that of a drug addict, coffee addicts tend to have a difficulty functioning without coffee and have a hard time kicking the habit.

Disrupts Sleep and Promotes Anxiety

Coffee drinkers can be at risk for lower levels of serotonin synthesis in the brain. Serotonin is vital for bowel function, mood, energy levels, and normal circadian rhythm. Caffeine can disrupt sleep, fuel anxiety and depression.

Excretion of Important Nutrients

Imbalance of electrolytes has been noted in most coffee drinkers. Important minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium tend to be easily excreted through urination.

Positive Effects of Drinking Coffee


Protects Your Heart

According to a study in Harvard, drinking more coffee on a daily basis can lower most people’s risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. This tends to be accurate for women than men.

Boosts Your Mood

Coffee boosts dopamine production. A study found that women who drank four or more cups of coffee were less likely to suffer from depression and less likely to be suicidal.

Decreases Risk of Diabetes 

According to studies, people who drink more coffee are less likely to be at risk of type 2 diabetes. This is attributed to the fact that it is rich in ingredients that lower blood sugar. However, there is no known ingredient responsible for this but since the effects are stronger with decaffeinated coffee, perhaps it is not the caffeine. Some studies pinpoint this to the antioxidants and the brewing method as preparation of coffee can vary. However, adding a lot of sugar to your coffee regularly can somehow discount the likelihood of this finding.

Good for the Liver

Coffee has been linked to liver health. Several researchers agree that the type of coffee is vital in determining its ability to be good for the health, specifically for the liver. Filtered coffee is believed to be hepatoprotective because it prevents kahweol and cafestol to be taken in. These substances may cause a rise of liver enzymes although certain studies disprove it.


A certain study found that people who drank coffee despite having poor diets and lifestyle habits had lower risk of dying from lifestyle-related health problems.

Healthy or Unhealthy

Coffee is a complex beverage that could deliver health benefits. It is true that it has tons of positive effects as well as negative effects. While some people may enjoy the health benefits of coffee, others may disagree. Being sensitive to caffeine may also bring unpleasant side effects. Perhaps the answer to whether coffee is good or bad for you boils down to knowing what you need and what you want. Know all the potential effects of coffee, both positive and negative. Assess your diet and lifestyle. If you are very stress-reactive and acidic or if you have certain unpleasant side effects that surface because of drinking coffee, you might consider lowering your intake or not taking at all. However, if you feel that the antioxidants, alertness, and positive effects of coffee can help you in the long run then you should consider drinking it and knowing the kind of coffee that best suits your needs.


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Freedman, N., Park, Y., Abnet, C., Hollenbeck, A. and Sinha, R. (2012). Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality. New England Journal of Medicine, 366(20), pp.1891-1904.

Dahl, M. (2016). Is your coffee habit killing you or saving your life?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 31 May 2016]. (2015). Is coffee good or bad for your health?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 31 May 2016].

Sandee LaMotte, C. (2016). Health effects of coffee: Where do we stand?. [online] CNN. Available at: [Accessed 31 May 2016].

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