Want to stay healthy? Drink less coffee.
Want to stay healthy? Drink more coffee.
Want to know reality? Here it is in all the nitty-gritty detail, along with references in the endnotes.
Cloud Behind the Silver Lining: Caffeine Side Effects
One reason non-coffee drinkers hesitate to begin consuming coffee is a fear of its side effects. Coffee contains caffeine, which is a stimulant. Many coffee drinkers are truly addicted to the caffeine. Although there are far unhealthier vices, an addiction to caffeine in coffee (and tea) is real and can manifest itself both physically and psychologically.
Professor Roland Griffiths of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine demonstrated that people who take in as little as 100 mg of caffeine daily, about the amount in a regular cup of coffee, can acquire a physical dependence that produces withdrawal symptoms which include:
- Muscle pain and stiffness
These signs can appear within 12 to 24 hours after the cessation of coffee and can last as many as nine days after withdrawing from caffeine. If you then start drinking coffee but you limit your intake, the addiction is not guaranteed to return. But if you repeat the same quantities over time, the effects will return and you can once again adopt some of the addictive traits.
Note: More than 300 mg, or three cups of coffee, over a long period of time can cause intoxicating effects that overstimulate the nervous system, flush your face, and even cause a rapid heartbeat that can result in rambling thoughts and slurred speech, not unlike intoxication through alcohol.
Certainly most people don’t show signs of intoxication after three cups of coffee. But the fact that some do means that one should always be on the lookout for the side effects. Cut back if those side effects manifest in ways you don’t want.
It’s all perspective. Anything that requires your body to fight, such as caffeine-induced muscle stiffness, takes away resources from your body’s full capacity performance at healthy living. Your body needs a good number of resources to fight infection, digest food properly, produce needed hormones, rid and detoxify poisons, move, sleep, talk, think, and everything else you do from day to day.
When you add an addiction into the mix you make it more difficult for your body to perform optimally. This means that too much caffeine can somewhat hinder your body’s ability to lose fat and gain muscle. Then again, even a low level addiction to coffee, as many fully-functioning people have today, will not necessarily cause any adverse side effects or reduce the effectiveness of your weight loss through the 10-Hour Coffee Diet or any other diet you try.
It’s time for you to go brew some coffee. We’ll wait, we already have ours in hand…
What? “Who would want coffee after reading all that?” You will when you read what follows!
Oh, and let’s not forget to thank the sponsor, the authors of The 10-Hour Coffee Diet, who provided some of the material for this most-excellent post. The 10-Hour Coffee Diet isn’t a fad, it’s a fully-referenced provable tome for anyone who wants to get healthier, not just lose weight.
And Now, If and Only If You Have a Fresh Brew in Hand…
I biased you early against coffee by discussing the side effects before the healthy benefits that coffee brings to your system. At this point if you’re a coffee drinker, don’t stop based on what you’ve read so far. And if you’re not a coffee drinker, don’t keep avoiding it just because of its possible side effects.
There’s another side of the coin. Oh, it’s good!
The Health Benefits of Coffee
As a lover of coffee, I’d never let you leave this post about coffee without touting its beneficial and, yes, healthful impact on your body. As with most things, “nothing in excess” seems to work well for coffee. You can get all of coffee’s benefits without experiencing the side effects.
This means if you don’t drink coffee now, you can drink it in moderation without taking on the side effects that an addiction would produce. Although coffee can be an acquired taste, people who doubt they will like the flavor often quickly learn that coffee can be one of the most enjoyable drinks available. As mentioned earlier, if you’ve tried coffee in the past and didn’t care for it, you should consider trying coffee once more… the 10-Hour Coffee Diet way.
Massive Antioxidants in Every Cup
Antioxidants are enemies of free radicals in your body. Free radicals are thieves. They steal stable molecules’ electrons from your body. This is a normal process of living and aging. Still, free radicals cause damage to cells over time in numbers that can cause problems in your body. While there is no way to eliminate this, antioxidants fight the effects of cell damage done by free radicals.
According to one study in 2005, there is “nothing close” to coffee that provides as many antioxidants for your body’s well-being[ii]. In addition to having loads of these cancer-resistant and age-prolonging antioxidants, the antioxidants in fruits and vegetables don’t seem to be absorbed by our bodies as well as the antioxidants in coffee. Perhaps that’s due to coffee providing them in a liquid form and getting those needed nutrients to our cells more quickly. In doing this, your healthy cells stay healthy longer and are damaged less. Toxins have more difficulty remaining in your system because your waste disposal mechanisms work best with reduced free radicals that drain your body’s resources.
Stress Less by Smelling More
Can’t sleep? Coffee certainly won’t help on that front, but if you are tired from too-little sleep, researchers at the Seoul National University[iii] actually discovered that sleep-deprived rats only had to smell coffee and they’d begin producing brain proteins that deal well with sleep-deprived stress.
The morning smell of coffee brewing truly does give you a morning pick-me-up by stimulating some good proteins to help you through the morning.
Coffee Can Help with the Effects of Alcohol
Liver failure is a common side effect of drinking too much alcohol over a long period of time. Liver cirrhosis develops in people who drink too much alcohol. Liver cirrhosis is an autoimmune disease that can result in both cancer and liver failure.
A single daily cup of coffee, however, can shield many against liver cirrhosis.[iv] Obviously you don’t want to use coffee as a crutch to go wild on alcohol, but even non-alcoholics may find a healthier liver as they age if they drink coffee. The association between coffee and a healthier liver cannot be ignored. Especially when the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School found that drinking four or more cups of coffee daily could help prevent non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).[v]
Happiness is a Warm Cup
Although an addiction can occur with only a few cups, four or more cups daily provide benefits to your well-being. (Life’s full of trade-offs, especially with coffee!)
The National Institute of Health determined that people who drank at least four cups of coffee daily had lower rates of depression than people who don’t drink coffee.[vi] This depression wasn’t connected to the caffeine either. The lower depression numbers didn’t correlate with Coke, which also has caffeine. Coke, they stated, as opposed to coffee, actually increased depression factors in its drinkers.
The NIH’s specific conclusion was this:
Conclusions: This large prospective study suggests that frequent consumption of diet-sweetened beverages may increase depression risk among older adults, whereas coffee consumption may lower the risk.
Related to these findings, the Harvard School of Public Health found that coffee drinkers – all other factors being equal – had a lower rate of suicide than those who drink fewer than two cups daily. The mild antidepressant in coffee stimulates your body’s own “happy” neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline.[vii] These findings were quite astonishing when one learns that the Harvard School of Public Health determined that two or more cups daily can decrease the suicide risk by as much as 50 percent.
Note: You’ll learn all about these brain neurotransmitters and how to maximize them in the second section of the The 10-Hour Coffee Diet book. Oh, don’t forget there’s an audiobook version of The 10-Hour Coffee Diet too, for those who drink their coffee on their commute to work.
Parkinson’s Patients Find Relief in Java
Victims of Parkinson’s disease find that their symptoms are lessened when they drink coffee. Ronald Postuma, M.D., of Science Daily, recently reported that not only are people who drink coffee less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease, but that the caffeine in coffee helps with the movement problems that Parkinson’s patients often experience.[viii]
Help for Type 2 Diabetes Risk
The American Chemical Society’s researchers found that those who drink four or more cups of coffee daily reduce their Type 2 diabetes risk by as much as 50 percent.[ix] For those of us who really love the stuff, there’s even better news that came out of that study: for each additional daily cup, your chance of developing Type 2 diabetes lowers another 7 percent!
Female Skin Cancer Countered
Skin cancer has been a growing problem for the past 40 years or so, especially due to the now-determined bad advice to avoid the sun and its vitamin D3. There are discussions underway to put labels on sunscreen, warning against their overuse after decades of saying the opposite. It turns out that people today get far too little vitamin D3, a vitamin that used to be in ample supply for most of us who got regular sun exposure.
Not only does adequate exposure to the sun actually appear to reduce skin cancer, as you probably guessed by now, so does coffee. At least coffee apparently reduces skin cancer in females who drink three or more cups daily. Harvard Medical School conducted an 112,897-person study along with the Brigham and Women’s Hospital over 20 years and their findings are welcome results for female coffee drinkers.[x]
For Brain and Brawn
Coffee keeps your brain healthier and makes you a better athlete!
Alzheimer’s disease is a growing problem, but it grows more slowly in coffee drinkers according to a combined study lead by the University of South Florida and the University of Miami.[xi] They found that regular coffee consumption helped reduce the chance of Alzheimer’s and kept the brains healthier. Those who did develop Alzheimer’s did so later than the non-coffee drinkers, as many as four years later.
In addition, coffee makes you smarter!
CNN’s health website explained how coffee makes you much sharper if you’re sleep-deprived.[xii] We all should get plenty of sleep, but at times life doesn’t allow us to get a lot of sleep due to a deadline or other activities. Time Reporter Michael Lemonick explained that sleep deprived coffee drinkers experience a surge of several mental activities including:
- Speed of reaction
- Attention span
- Logic and reasoning
- Reaction time
Coffee improves not only the brain’s performance, but also your body’s overall performance. The New York Times recently reported that a pre-workout or pre-event cup of coffee enhances an athlete’s performance. This is due to the increased number of fatty acids that enter the bloodstream from coffee drinking. Those fatty acids enable muscles to absorb and burn those fats for fuel more readily than they could otherwise do.[xiii]
Your Remedy: Drink Coffee
And remember, not only does coffee help with the health effects above, you can use coffee to experience one of the most unusual and most effective fat-loss diets you’ve ever seen in The 10-Hour Coffee Diet… and its centerpiece is nothing short of a good ol’ cup of coffee.
So, the next time someone reminds you of the side effects to caffeine, you remind them that good coffee, made right and in moderation, can be just what the doctor ordered!
[i] Studeville, George. “Caffeine Addiction Is a Mental Disorder, Doctors Say.” National Geographic. Jan. 15, 2010. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/01/0119_050119_ngm_caffeine.html
[ii] “Coffee is the Number One Source of Antioxidants,” http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-08/acs-cin081905.php
[iii] “A Whiff of Coffee Can Wake You Up,” http://www.livescience.com/2614-whiff-coffee-wake.html
[iv] “Coffee drinking associated with lower risk for alcohol-related liver disease,” http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-06/jaaj-cda060806.php
[v] “Coffee and Tea May Contribute to a Healthy Liver,” Science Daily, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130816153019.htm
[vi] “Hold the Diet Soda? Sweetened Drinks Linked to Depression, Coffee May Lower Risk,” http://www.aan.com/PressRoom/home/GetDigitalAsset/10430
[vii] “Coffee drinking tied to lower risk of suicide,” http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2013/07/drinking-coffee-may-reduce-risk-of-suicide-by-50/
[viii] “A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms,” http://www.aan.com/pressroom/home/pressrelease/1096
[ix] “Why coffee drinking reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes,” http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/presspacs/2012/acs-presspac-march-14-2012/why-coffee-drinking-reduces-the-risk-of-type-2-diabetes.html
[x] “Increased Caffeine Intake Is Associated with Reduced Risk of Basal Cell Carcinoma of the Skin,” http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/72/13/3282
[xi] “High Blood Caffeine Levels in Older Adults Linked to Avoidance of Alzheimer’s Disease,” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120604142615.htm
[xii] “A smart way to start the day,” http://www.cnn.com/2006/HEALTH/01/11/caffeine.smarter/
[xiii] “How Coffee Can Galvanize Your Workout,” http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/14/how-coffee-can-galvanize-your-workout/?_r=0