Hundreds of millions Americans grudgingly get out of bed each morning anxiously awaiting their beloved cuppa joe. For some individuals, this is their favorite part of their morning!
Americans drink 400 million cups of coffee per day and we spend $30 billion on it every year!* And according to a six-country survey... most people would rather give up SEX than give up their daily coffee fix.**
Despite the love American’s have for coffee, we often get asked if coffee is actually good for you or not. Our answer: It depends on each unique individual!
We know, probably not the information you wanted to hear!
The good news is that there’s a lot of research that links drinking coffee with health benefits, including lower risk of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease.
The bad news, while some individuals reap the benefits of coffee, it can be harmful to others.
The Good News
Let’s talk about the positives first.
It contains more than 1,000 bioactive compounds that help contribute toward its many benefits.
It’s also rich in antioxidants
Contains a very small amount of several micronutrients that your body needs as well. While not the biggest contributors to vitamins and minerals, it is a better choice than sodas, energy drinks and sweetened juices. It also contains no calories, no sugar, and no carbs (if you drink it black).
Can improve exercise performance, boost cognition, fight depression
The Bad News
Unfortunately, there are some cons to coffee as well. Coffee is the primary source of caffeine for Americans and it is one of the highest sources of caffeine available. How much caffeine coffee contains depends on the manufacturer, the type of bean and method used for making the coffee. The range can be from 95 to 500mg per average cup. This caffeine can cause spikes in blood sugar levels in some individuals which can over time result in pre-diabetes and/or Type 2 diabetes. And for 50% of the American population that has the CYP1A2 gene variant, they are slow metabolizers of caffeine, which means it takes extra long for them to clear caffeine out of their body. This means they can be impacted by caffeine's effects for up to 12 hours after consumption. For these slow metabolizers drinking coffee can:
Create an increased risk for heart disease
Create an increased risk for hypertension
Is associated with impaired fasting glucose
However, they can still receive some of the benefits of coffee such as neuroprotection.*
Some other universal downsides of coffee:
It’s the most heavily chemically sprayed crop on the planet.
They contain carcinogenic compounds from the roasting process and pesticide sprays
Coffee beans contain toxic mold compounds called mycotoxins which are a cause of many health conditions including neuron damage.
Elevated urinary excretion of important minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium have been noted in coffee drinkers. An imbalance in your electrolyte status can lead to serious systemic complications.
It can interfere with the absorption of thyroid medications, other hormonal medications and tricyclic antidepressants, making symptoms worse in individuals
Caffeine decreases insulin sensitivity, making it difficult for your cells to respond appropriately to blood sugar. High blood sugar levels lead to arterial deterioration and increased risk of mortality related to cardiovascular disease.
Coffee beans are high in histamine and for individuals with mast cell activation, mold toxicity, and environmental allergies this can elicit a strong histamine response.
Addiction to coffee can make it difficult for your body to rely on it’s own natural energy.
5-HIA, an organic acid and component of the neurotransmitter serotonin ( the happy chemical) seen in the urine tends to be elevated in coffee drinkers which means they may be at risk for lower levels of serotonin synthesis in the brain. Serotonin is necessary for normal sleep, bowel function, mood, and energy levels. It is a vicious cycle as caffeine can disrupt sleep and promote anxiety and depression****
So, Should You Break Up With Your Morning Cuppa Joe?
There are a few times when coffee isn’t a good idea but that’s due to the caffeine not the coffee itself. That being said, you might want to switch to organic decaf as standard decaf is more heavily contaminated with chemicals or switch to green tea if you:
You’re dependent upon it for energy. If you rely on coffee to get you going, this is a sign of a deeper issue and the caffeine can be making it worse.
It aggravates your nervous system. If you feel jittery, anxious, or have insomnia, than this is a solid answer, Yes - stop drinking coffee.
Have stomach ache or diarrhea when drinking it.This is a clue from your intestines that coffee does not agree with you. It may also be from your creamer, so you can try switching to black, but if the problem persists you should probably find another morning beverage.
Have the CYP1A2 gene, which makes you metabolize coffee slow (you’ll usually know if a cup or two makes you feel very uncomfortable or jittery)
Have mold toxicity and/or histamine intolerance
If your body agrees with coffee and you want to continue drinking it, opt for third party tested, organic coffee. Two of the brands that are the highest quality and have been tested free of mycotoxins include:
If you’re suffering from anxiety, depression, insomnia, allergies, fatigue, digestive issues, try ditching the coffee for a month to see what kind of impact it may have on you.
We’re here to support you through the process! What do you have to lose? Schedule your free 15 minute discovery call!
This blog post is for informational and educational purposes. It’s not meant to treat any health condition or to be prescriptive for anyone.
Always be sure to work with your healthcare practitioner before implementing new recommendations and/or supplements.