Coffee is something everyone talks about and seemingly everyone drinks. Every time I pass by a Tim Horton’s with a line out the door, I wished I owned that location. Many people rely on coffee with the same degree that they need water and food. There was a period when I drank 6-7 cups per day and could hardly get out of bed without one. It became such a monkey on my back, that I eventually quit. I’ve backslid a little, but try to have no more than one caffeinated drink per day.
We all know that caffeine has negative affects upon sleep and is also not good for your heart. However, there are periodic articles stating that, no, caffeine is actually beneficial for the human body. The latest tells of two studies that claim people who drink coffee 2-4 times a day have an 18% lower risk of death than those who did not indulge. The studies were conducted using diverse populations, which can lend credence to the validity of the results thanks to divergent diets and lifestyles. Among the reasons cited for this good health are lower instances of inflammation, healthier lipid profiles, and better glucose control.
It can be very difficult to know what to believe when we hear such studies. I am tempted to give them the benefit of the doubt, but while a plethora of studies yield more information, they also mean more contradictory results. There are also studies where the results have been manipulated to favour interested parties or the people conducting the tests are not above board.
The best answer is to decide what works best for you and monitor how you feel. If you think you would like to try the 2-4 cups of coffee strategy, go for it, but if the added caffeine results in you sitting awake at night, it’s not worth the trade-off for something not proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.