A 2019 survey by Reuters shows that 64% of Americans drink (at least) a cup of coffee every day. It’s not uncommon for habitual coffee drinkers to consume more than a cup of coffee every day. Elsewhere, it has been estimated that US coffee drinkers consume about 2.7 cups of coffee each day. That is the highest it’s been in 6 years. That figure translates to millions of Americans drinking a staggering 400+ million cups of coffee each day or over 140 BILLION cups of coffee consumed each year! To say that coffee drinking is a national habit is putting it mildly.
Coffee Drinking: Is it Healthy?
One might think that drinking several cups of coffee per day is unhealthy, but you would be surprised. According to scientific studies, drinking 3 (even 4) cups of coffee daily is not only safe, it can also be good for you.
Why Drinking More than a Cup of Coffee is Good for You
Coffee Has A Dose of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are nutrients that protect healthy cells from oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Oxidative stress causes cell mutation that increases the risk of health problems, particularly cancer.
Coffee is naturally one of the richest sources of antioxidants. It contains even more antioxidants than wine, cocoa, and tea. Clinical tests show that a single cup of unprocessed coffee beans contain 1,000 antioxidants. The number of antioxidants multiplies by the hundreds during the roasting process. The general rule of thumb is that the lighter the roast, the higher the antioxidant content.
Drinking at least 2 cups of coffee every day lowers your risk of liver cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer, and type-2 diabetes.
Coffee Is Good for the Heart
One of the most relevant reasons why coffee sometimes gets a bad rap is that its caffeine content accelerates the heart rate. This means people living with cardiovascular ailments could have some negative effects with too much caffein. Therefore, they are discouraged from drinking coffee. Still, the risks of consumption of caffeinated drinks appear to outweigh their benefits, it's potentially safe to drink at least 3 cups of coffee even if you are afflicted with a cardiovascular ailment or if you are at risk of developing heart problems.
An Australian study found that caffeine from coffee starts affecting known hypertensive participants only after drinking 6 cups of coffee in a lab test. Previous studies show that limiting coffee drinking to 3 to 4 cups have no adverse effect on people with cardiovascular disease and may actually lower the risk of heart disease by up to 22%.
Protection from Progressive Diseases
Regular coffee drinking is thought to minimize the risk of Parkinson's disease by a whopping 80%. The combination of caffeine, antioxidants, and bioactive ingredients is estimated delay the onset of Parkinson's disease by keeping the brain healthy. These nutrients promote normal brain and nervous system functions while also boosting athletic performance.
Coffee could also decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia among the young and the elderly by 65%. The caffeine in coffee reduces brain inflammation that's associated with cognitive decline.
To date, more than 19,000 studies have been conducted to determine the health benefits of coffee drinking. According to Tomas DePaulis, PhD, a research scientist at Vanderbilt University's Institute for Coffee Studies, "Overall, the research shows that coffee is far more healthful than it is harmful."
Some Factors to Consider
Too much of a good thing can be bad for you however, but as long as you are keeping these factors in mind and erroring on the side of moderation, you can enjoy several cups of coffee each day without any guilt.
About Caffeine: We all have different thresholds for caffeine. In studies, some could only tolerate its effect after 1 cup of coffee, while others could go for three or more. A cup of coffee contains about 94.8 mg of caffein. As long as your body can metabolize your caffeine without obvious side effects and you’re mindful of your daily caffeine total, drinking more than a cup of coffee won’t negatively affect your health. Caffeine is also naturally present in other beverages - including chocolate and tea.
About Calories: Some say drinking many cups of coffee is fattening but that only depends on the number of add-ons you used to flavor the brew A cup of plain black coffee with no sugar contains less than 2 calories. It’s also worth noting that coffee, by itself, may suppress the appetite. It inhibits the release of ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger. Adding cream, milk, sugar, cocoa, and other flavorings could increase its calories and fat content. Taking coffee with sweet snacks could also increase your caloric intake. If you’re watching your weight, drink your coffee plain and black.
About Sleep Problems: If you’re losing sleep because of your coffee habit, perhaps you should consider the timing. The caffeine in coffee could disrupt sleep but only if you drank coffee a few hours before hitting the sack. Caffeine takes effect an hour after drinking coffee and the effect will last for a few hours. If you don’t want your coffee to get in the way of a good night’s sleep, do not drink coffee in the late afternoon (4 to 5 PM) or early evening (6-7 PM).
As you can see, drinking 3 cups of coffee is not bad for the health. In fact, it’s good for you! So, the next time you wake up in the morning, why don’t you go ahead and treat yourself to a cup of coffee? Or better, make that a sexy glass of nitro coffee?