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Health Benefits of Coffee: A Must Read for Coffee Lovers!

For caffeine enthusiasts, gaining health benefits from simply enjoying a cup of coffee— is purely a blissful moment. Is it possible for a tasty iced latté, or a warm coffee brew to intrinsically possess healthy attributes? Hold on tight to your café… there’s plenty to share on coffee and health! Dr. Frank Hu— professor at Harvard School of Public Health, states the following in WebMD, “There is certainly much more good news than bad news, in terms of coffee and health…it’s the whole package.” For those who question Dr. Hu, a recent analysis may have you thinking twice. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) conducted a study and found that adults within the ages of 50-71, drinking more than three cups of coffee per day, had a 10 percent lower death risk than individuals not consuming coffee. Amazing how a few cups of coffee can change the course of life! Surprisingly enough, some products and medications contain caffeine. Yet, before delving further into these products, let’s explore one of America’s most delightful beverages— coffee!

What are some advantages of coffee in health?

1. Coffee contains many health properties like antioxidants and minerals. One of which is chromium— a mineral involved in maintaining adequate blood sugar levels.

WebMD comments on the effects of coffee and diabetes:

In 2005, Hu's team reviewed nine studies on coffee and type 2 diabetes. Of more than 193,000 people, those who said they drank more than six or seven cups daily were 35% less likely to have type 2 diabetes than people who drank fewer than two cups daily.

2. Caffeine also boosts memory and concentration, which enhances performance and attentiveness.

3. Some individuals notice improved mood, which can be traced to increased alertness and productivity.

4. Recent studies correlate coffee to the prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

AARP expounds on the influence of coffee in mental health:

It may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. A caffeine habit in your 40s and 50s— three to five cups daily of the high-octane stuff, not decaf— seems to reduce by up to 70 percent the risk of Alzheimer's and dementia in your 70s, a 2009 University of Florida study found. Other studies have found that regular caffeine consumption may help slow the rate of cognitive decline in older adults.

Other benefits of Caffeine:

Caffeine is an active ingredient in many over the counter (OTC) products and prescription drugs, marketing to relieve migraine headaches. As cited in WebMD, “Caffeine additives make pain relievers 40% more effective in treating headaches. Caffeine also helps the body absorb headache drugs more quickly, bringing faster relief.” Please continue reading below for examples on OTC products and medications containing caffeine.

What are some disadvantages of coffee in health?

1. Insomnia related to high intake of caffeine, low tolerance to caffeinated products, caffeine sensitivity, or time of day when caffeinated product(s) were consumed.

2. Anxiety

3. Irritability

4. Heartburn

5. Increased Urination

6. Interference with thyroid, psychiatric, and anti-depressant medications. Consult with a physician if you are on a medication regimen, and consume caffeinated foods or beverages.

7.  Drinking coffee and poor calcium intake can contribute to bone loss in post-menopausal women. Make sure to discuss your caffeine intake with your physician.

Here is list of beverages, foods, and products containing caffeine:

1. Chocolate (particularly dark chocolate): bars of chocolate, cookies, cakes, deserts, drinks, and more.

2. Green tea: Hot & cold drinks, and foods.

3. Black tea: Hot & cold drinks, and foods.

4. White tea: Hot & cold drinks, and foods.

5. Brewed coffee: Hot & cold beverages.

6. Energy drinks: Company brands like Red Bull, Starbucks Refreshers, Monster, Rockstar, and others.

7. Energy food bars: Company brands like Awake Caffeinated Chocolate, Cool-Mint Chocolate & Peanut Toffee Cliff Bars, and others.

8. Energizing candies & gum: Company brands like Snickers Charged, Butterfinger Buzz, Jolt-Caffeine Energy Mints, Amp Energy Gum, and others.

9. Coffee flavored ice creams & yogurts.

10. Over the counter (OTC) pain relievers: Midol Menstrual Maximum Strength Caplets, Excedrin Caplets, Bayer Select Maximum Strength Headache Pain Relief, and others. To review the entire list of OTC products containing caffeine click here

11. Prescribed pain relievers: Cafetrate, Gotamine, Triaminicin with Codeine Tablets, and more. To review the entire list of prescriptions containing caffeine click here.

Some things are too good to be true— glad it’s not coffee! Before increasing your visits at Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts, consult with your physician on recommended caffeine intake for your health needs. Keep in mind; caffeine levels vary within coffee brews and roast. A moderate consumption of caffeine is about 300 mg per day, which is equivalent to three- 8 oz. cups of coffee. Several coffee shops and restaurants have printable materials outlining caffeine doses in food products and beverages. Overall, there are many positive health attributes in coffee, and some disadvantages to reflect upon. 


* All information shared in this article should be discussed with your healthcare provider prior to incorporating any suggestions. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide advice or direct client decisions. 

in Health Hits: 4688

Yeneilyn is a Registered Nurse in the state of Florida since 2006. Her nursing practice began in the field of Cardiology at Mount Sinai Medical Hospital and expanded to care for clients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). She was provided the opportunity as LPN Instructor, which changed the course of her nursing career. She states, “Teaching nursing students expanded my view on positive influences nurses contribute beyond beside care. Nurses are central leaders in health education, client advocacy, and disease prevention.” Currently, Yeneilyn writes health articles and prepares Continuing Education (C.E.) courses for healthcare professionals. She continues her studies in the field of Nursing Education and evidenced-based nursing practice. In her free time she enjoys sharing time with family and friends.

For questions or topics of interest contact Nurse Yenny at:    




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