This Article is About
morning coffee
coffee drinkers
nutrient rich foods
sleeping through the night
type 2 diabetes
mind and body
The Morning Coffee Ritual - For Good Or For Bad?
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The Morning Coffee Ritual  -  For Good Or For Bad?

I get up every morning to the sound of my son calling me from his crib. On an average I usually get about five to six hours of sleep, four of them uninterrupted. I know this is the norm with a baby or toddler that isn't sleeping through the night yet. But after about a year and a half of this not sleeping business, I'd say I'm pretty used to it. And the first thing on my mind after getting my son out of his crib? Coffee.

Ah, yes. For most coffee drinkers out there, there's nothing quite like your first cup of the morning. This ritual is shared all over the world, making coffee one of the most consumed beverages worldwide. The first cup marks the start of a new day, in your own private kitchen or the local social hub. Whatever the case, the custom of drinking coffee is not going anywhere.

Whether this popular drink is good or bad for you is a rather controversial topic. There is no arguing that there are pros and cons, as well as other details factoring in such as how much or how often you drink it. There are short and long term effects, both on the mind and body. So what do studies show and do the benefits outweigh the risks?

For the most part, any of the following side effects are almost always influenced by consuming coffee on a daily, long term basis. Like anything in life, moderation is important.

The Pros...

  • Coffee is very rich in antioxidants which slow down the aging and damage of cells in the body. This also helps protect against many diseases including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Some studies show that Americans get more antioxidants from coffee than from any other food source. It is important to note that not all are equally absorbed upon drinking coffee, nor does this replace our need to consume nutrient rich foods containing antioxidants.
  • The potential to prevent type 2 diabetes is a benefit as well. Fortunately this is found true of regular coffee and decaf.
  • Coffee improves mental performance. As a stimulant, this is considered both positive and negative. Positively speaking is improves mental alertness, cognitive function, and aids in the function of short term memory. (I can personally vouch for this one!)
  • The caffeine in coffee can help asthma, opening airways and improving asthma symptoms.
  • It decreases the risk of colon cancer. Studies show those that drink two cups a day, lowering the risk up to 25%.
  • Reduces the risk of the liver disease cirrhosis. Again, those that drank two cups a day lowered their risk up to 80%.
  • A couple other possible benefits are protecting against the forming of gallstones and kidney stones in both men and women.

On the other hand, an honest look at drinking coffee include the cons...

  • Again, coffee contains caffeine. Although the FDA considers caffeine to be safe, there are multiple negative side effects that are caused by caffeine including anxiety and sleep disorders, elevated heart beat and stress, breathing problems in small children, and dependency.
  • Coffee causes dehydration. There is a definite need to consume extra water if drinking it.
  • Regularly drinking coffee can stain your teeth.
  • Coffee can trigger heartburn caused by the caffeine, oils, and acids it contains. This is especially true when drinking on an empty stomach.
  • A negative effect on your blood vessels. Coffee stimulates the release of hormones called epinephrine and norepinephrine. These can cause the vessels to constrict and become smaller, headaches, and nervousness. Studies find this mostly to occur when drinking three or more cups a day.

After seeing both sides, it's a good reminder to really think about what we put into our bodies and how it affects us. This is true of coffee and anything else we consume especially on a regular basis. There is always new information and new studies being done to help us make educated decisions. Remember, everything is best in moderation. It's up to you to decide whether the pros outweigh the cons.

Whatever you decide to drink to start your morning, I hope you have a pleasant one!

Street Talk

Tea for me, plenty all day, I remember when the experts said a glass of wine is good for you and that chocolate is bad for you. Now we have articles from Doctors saying wine is bad for you and chocolate good, your body will tell you what is good and what is bad. If coffee is what you need go for it. I'm a great believer your body tells you what it needs TAKE IT the body knows best.

  about 1 decade ago

Well said! I love tea and wine as well. A little bit of everything works for me. :)

  about 1 decade ago

Have to have the cup of coffee in the morning. Great Article. I drink a pot or two a day. I need to cut way back one of these days soon.

  about 1 decade ago

I know what you mean, I used to drink way more than I do now. I'm actually down to about 2 cups a day. It took me a while to get there, though!

  about 1 decade ago
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