Is Drinking Coffee Good or Bad for Your Health?

Caffeine, the main ingredient in coffee, has been extensively researched and studies have shown that caffeine can be both good and bad for your health.

By Megan O'Connell

Published August 26, 2020.

Caffeine, the main ingredient in coffee, has been extensively researched over time and studies have shown that caffeine consumption can have both benefits and downfalls.

Benefits of Coffee

  • Coffee contains a powerful stimulant known as caffeine, which has been shown to increase energy levels and mental focus.
  • Caffeine is also a natural thermogenic substance, meaning that coffee can help boost your metabolism and aid in fat loss.
  • Coffee is a natural physical performance enhancer. Caffeine increases the levels of adrenaline in your blood, preparing the body for physical exertion. Studies have shown that caffeine can improve physical performance by up to 12% on average.
  • Coffee has been shown to provide increased protection against many chronic diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, type 2 diabetes, liver disease, heart attacks and strokes.
  • Research shows that caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and boosts the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which elevate your mood. It has been shown that even just two cups of coffee per day can reduce the risk of suicide by up to 50%.

Downfalls of Coffee

  • Coffee can temporarily raise blood pressure. Therefore, people with hypertension should monitor their coffee intake.
  • High levels of caffeine may be dangerous to pregnant women, as the fetus may be sensitive to caffeine. A doctor should be consulted regarding coffee consumption while pregnant.
  • People suffering from gut issues, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), may react negatively to caffeine and experience discomfort with coffee consumption.
  • Being a powerful stimulant, caffeine may cause trouble sleeping for those who are sensitive to stimulants.
  • Studies have shown that caffeine may cause or increase anxiety in some individuals.

For most people, adding between one and six cups of coffee to your diet each day can be beneficial. However, should you have any concerns regarding coffee consumption, a doctor should be consulted.