Coffee: Friend or Foe?

a coffee mug, seen from the top, with its delicious foam seen at the edge. Below is a review on the health benefits of coffee

The Bad

I don’t usually start off with the bad, but I’d like to switch things around and end with a bang. A well caffeinated bang.

As for the bad, it’s worth stating that coffee can, among other things, cause:

• elevated blood pressure •

• heartburn •

• agitation •

• development of breast cysts • 

• incontinence 

• insomnia •

 physical dependence 

(it is yet to be proven whether it induces a complete addiction)


When you recognize a dependence on coffee, you may attempt to wean yourself off. With weaning, comes the possibility of withdrawal.

Coffee withdrawal is a mental disorder, and is classified in the DSM, or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. To be classified as having this, you must experience one of the following 5 symptoms within 24 hours of your last caffeine fix:

  1. headache
  2. depressed mood and irritability
  3. difficulty concentrating
  4. fatigue
  5. flu-like symptoms

If you’ve been drinking coffee everyday, several times a day, you may experience one or many of the above symptoms. If you feel like it’s time to take a break, you can work on a scale-back plan. Here are a few pointers to help ease you into a more stress-free withdrawal period while you take this on:

* get rest *

* wean down, rather than cold turkey. Either decrease slowly by cup number or decrease the caffeine in your drink *

* stay hydrated with plenty of fluids *

* focus on an exercise regimen, which can help keep your energy levels up *

For a more extensive read on one blogger’s withdrawal experience and weaning suggestions, click here.

a mug filled with coffee sits in the foreground, on it written, "I'm sorry for what I said before I had my coffee", with a plant in a pink planter in background


 The Good

Here it is. The positive effects of the drink we love.

It tastes soooo good. I feel like this needs its own separate section. A special one where I can stress just how great its flavor is. There is no other scent in the world I would rather wake up to myself. A freshly brewed cup of coffee.

light blue mittens hold a white mug of hot coffee, still steaming

There are, of course, also health benefits. Here they are:

It’s loaded with antioxidants.

It has been shown to protect the body against disease processes such as type 2 diabetes, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and liver disease, specifically reducing the risks of alcohol-related liver disease.

Coffee also boosts physical performance and helps the body reduce fat.. and who doesn’t love that!

Finally, coffee helps us to be more alert during the day. Who hasn’t woken up in the morning, feeling completely lazy and tired, only to be brought right back to life after that sip of morning joe?

David Letterman famously said, “If it weren’t for the coffee, I’d have no identifiable personality whatsoever.”

A coffee cup is seen, filled with black coffee, on top of a stack of magazines, with beautiful pink flowers along the side

So there you have it. There’s good and there’s bad to drinking coffee. If you’re like me, and love the flavor, it’s an easy choice to make. I brew it right at my home, and drink a cup to go.

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