Source: Tribune News Services

It took some time to come around to drinking coffee, despite all the good things I have heard. Whenever I tried drip coffees, the bitter taste turned me away. It wasn’t until I discovered lattes that I really got into the taste. The creaminess of the milk added extra flavor the placated my taste buds, and I started to drink it more.

Many people told me coffee was an “acquired taste,” and it truly did take me about two years of drinking lattes before I could drink drip coffee. After further researching coffee, I’ve found many more benefits to the drink than just the flavor.

It’s a great energy booster.

That’s a no-brainer, coffee gives you energy. Caffeine is absorbed into the bloodstream and stimulates the central nervous system, causing you to be more alert and energetic.

Caffeine increases the metabolism rate and starts to burn fat. This also has a great effect on burning fat and exercising. The added energy carries over into a regular exercise routine through the stimulation in the nervous system.

Coffee is good for your liver.

According to the Huffington Post, people who drink “large quantities of coffee on a daily basis had lower levels of abnormal liver enzymes.”

Other chemicals in coffee beans help to maintain a healthy liver when consumed daily.

It can make you happier.

In a recent Harvard study, researcher Michel Lucas found that women who drink four or more cups of coffee a day have a lower risk of depression compared to those who do not.

When I drink coffee, I am more alert. I find that I get more enjoyment out of my surroundings than on the days I don’t drink any. While the research verifies the long-term effects of coffee on depression, the short-term effects are quite apparent: I am livelier and happier.

There are many other health benefits.

Research has shown that drinking a healthy amount of coffee every day can help fight many diseases. This list includes liver and colorectal cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and dementia.
It can also lower the risk of strokes and diabetes.

It tastes amazing.

I have been a barista for six months now, so I have had plenty of time to experiment with different flavors and variations of espresso. I’ve tried cappuccinos, lattes, Americanos and espresso shots, both good and bad.

After all of this experimentation, I know what I like and what I don’t like. I enjoying brewing coffee and mixing flavors and changing recipes. I truly believe now I am addicted to coffee, and I see no harm in that. In fact, I feel livelier, happier and healthier, all while drinking an amazing cup of joe.

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  1. Here’s a freakishly bizarre idea. Instead of consuming everything only because you can either classify it as medicine or poison, how about consuming something because you might actually enjoy it?

    I know, crazy concept…

  2. Hey instead of giving a completely one-sided article, why don’t you give a detailed summary of Pros and Cons of coffee. Since you are not doing your job, I will.

    Research Showing Harmful Effects of Caffeine

    1. More than 4 cups of coffee linked to early death. A Mayo Clinic partnered study found that men who drank more than four 8 fl.oz. cups of coffee had a 21% increase in all-cause mortality. However, those that reported that they consumed excessive amounts of caffeine were also likely to smoke and have poor fitness. Dr. Nancy Snyderman from NBC said there were a few discrepancies with the study, but stresses that moderation is still key. See Her Interview Here.
    2. Caffeine consumption may raise blood pressure in those already suffering from hypertension. People with hypertension were given 250mg of caffeine (about 2 coffees) and the data revealed that their blood pressure was elevated for about 2-3 hours after the caffeine. Src.
    3. Caffeine linked to gout attacks. This study showed that people who binge on caffeinated beverages increase their risk for a gout flare-up. Src.
    4. Caffeine could cause incontinence. A study out of the University of Alabama showed that women who consume a lot of caffeine are 70% more likely to develop incontinence. Src.
    5. Caffeine may cause insomnia. Caffeine in a person’s system at bedtime can mimic the symptoms of insomnia. Src.
    6. Caffeine can cause indigestion. People who consume caffeinated beverages often report an upset stomach or indigestion. This mainly occurs when the beverages are consumed on an empty stomach. Src.
    7. Caffeine can cause headaches. While occasional doses of caffeine can relieve headache symptoms, the overuse of caffeine can cause headaches and lead to migraines. Src.
    8. Caffeine could reduce fertility in women. A study from The University of Nevada School of Medicine showed that caffeine can reduce a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant by about 27%. Src.
    9. Caffeine may not be healthy for type 2 diabetics. A study conducted by the American Diabetes Association showed that caffeine impaired glucose metabolism in those with type 2 diabetes. Src.
    10. Caffeine Overdose. While overdose is rare, it can lead to many adverse symptoms including death, especially in those with underlying medical conditions. Some have a lower tolerance for caffeine than others. Src.
    11. Caffeine Allergies. Some people have over-sensitivity to the caffeine molecule, which causes allergic-like reactions in the body such as hives and pain. Although not a true allergy, many report very negative symptoms after consuming even the smallest amounts. Src.
    12. Caffeine causes more forceful heart contractions. A recent study showed that immediately after energy drink consumption the heart produced more forceful contractions. It is unclear if this has any long-term health implications except for those with known health conditions. Src.
    13. Worse Menopause Symptoms. A recent study published in The Journal of The North American Menopause Society showed that menopausal women who consumed caffeine had a greater degree of vasomotor symptoms.

    Coffee Doesn’t seem that great now does it?

    1. That’s interesting, Bob, but not quite the whole story. Many of the negative health effects you post are found only in instances of excessive, long-term coffee consumption, or effect only a small percentage of coffee drinkers, and the page you cut and paste from (Caffeine Informer) is an anti-caffeine site. Even so, it still provides caveats, such as

      “However, those that reported that they consumed excessive amounts of caffeine were also likely to smoke and have poor fitness.” (from the Mayo report).

      Coffee clearly provides health benefits and may also be risky to some, but instead of vilifying it why not let people decide for themselves?

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