Coffee's Shocking Health Benefits & Risks

Health

Shocking Facts About Coffee and Your Health

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My morning routine: Wake up. Take a shower. Drink coffee. More coffee, and then more coffee.

Shocking Facts About Coffee and Your HealthLike most Americans, I am obsessed with drinking coffee to boost my energy anytime of the day. America’s coffee obsession is evident through the long lines and steep prices at Starbucks, and the ever-present catch phrase “America runs on Dunkin”. But despite the energizing jolt that we get from consuming caffeine, is coffee good for us?

Caffeine — a major ingredient in coffee, tea, and chocolate — blocks adenosine, which usually acts as a calming agent throughout the body. Because of this blockage there is an extra release of adrenaline, which causes your heart rate to increase, and your pupils to dilate. This causes that initial morning buzz that you feel when drinking coffee. Although this may feel like a jolt of energy, this feeling is temporary. In the long run, caffeine can cause restlessness, irritability and headaches (which, ironically, it can also cure for some people). Caffeine, like nicotine, is also addicting so after consuming caffeine on a regular basis your body becomes immune to the responses of caffeine. Because of this, caffeine addicts start drinking more coffee, which increases the negative effects.

But it might not be all bad. After years of negative press, I’m glad that coffee is finally getting recognized for health reasons, most popularly for being rich in antioxidants.

Read on for the benefits and risks of drinking coffee:

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Rebecca Ariane Givens is Urbanette's Beauty and Health Editor. She is an expert in all things related to beauty, holistic health, organic food, toxins and fitness. She is a part-time model and nutritionist who grew up in Canada and now lives in Brooklyn, with her boyfriend David.

9 Comments

  1. Melani Kalev

    When I’m at home, I usually drink 2-3 cups a day. But the funny thing is that it’s not for the energy boost! I just like the taste of it. So I can easily go a month without it, for example, because I don’t NEED it… but I often want it 😛

  2. Hannah Meyers

    Oh dear. Might need to reduce my coffee consumption. Thanks, Rebecca. I love your blog, http://www.radiantpeach.com btw 😀

  3. Francis Woods

    What a thorough and well-researched article! I never need to look at another article about coffee now LOL. I love how you explored both sides- the benefits and potential downsides. Very balanced.

  4. Ex-coffee addict here, switched to tea a year and a half ago. Wouldn’t want to start the never-ending debate of tea vs coffee though, both deserve their praise.
    These are some very curious facts about coffee that I haven’t heard before! But the article mostly talks about the effects of caffeine, and tea is rich in caffeine. It would be good to know wether we tea-drinkers get the benefits as well.

  5. Coffee (especially a small espresso or almond cold brew) is one of my favorite beverages during the day…with work and a full-time graduate course load I’m always on the go and sleeping a little less. I love how this article includes positive and negative benefits of caffeine. I didn’t know that coffee had beauty benefits…good to know! 🙂

  6. Jen Garcia

    This is an informative article and I love how the author discussed the “benefits” and “disadvantages” of drinking coffee!

    I’m also a coffee lover, but I never knew it can cause anxiety 🙁

    Drink coffee moderately!

  7. Hannah Mayers

    I am a coffee drinker… or I’d rather say, I am a coffee lover. Everything that we take should be in moderation. Coffee is good for the health, that’s what I truly believe BUT (there is a big BUT) it can be bad if too much is taken!

  8. Jen Spillane

    Sometimes I really feel like ignorance is bliss. With such conflicting information, it's hard to know what you should actually do for optimal health. I like that this article concludes with the advice that ultimately you have to listen to what feels right for you. So true.

  9. Randie Cadiogan

    I love coffee! 🙂 Thanks for the super-complete take on the pros and cons. I had no idea about most of the stuff mentioned here. Forwarding on to my other coffee-loving friends right now…

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