The Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee: Separating Fact from Fiction

Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. Coffee became famous around the globe owing to its distinct flavor and stimulating properties. It’s difficult to picture a day without it. For many coffee drinkers, coffee is about more than simply the flavor and aroma of roasted beans. It’s a tradition to brew a steaming cup or ice drink of coffee to start the day.

However, the health benefits and hazards of coffee consumption have been the subject of considerable debate, there are numerous myths and misunderstandings regarding the effects of coffee on the human body. 

In this article, we’ll learn about coffee, its health benefits, distinguish between fact and fiction and how to include coffee in a healthy lifestyle.

The Components of Coffee

coffee beans in a cup image

Coffee contains naturally occurring components such as caffeine, antioxidants, and diterpenes. They contribute not just to the distinct flavor of coffee, but also to the well-studied physiological effects of coffee.

Caffeine. Caffeine is a significant pharmacologically active component in coffee and a moderate stimulant of the central nervous system. Caffeine is found in about 60 plant species, the most well-known of which are cocoa beans, kola nuts, tea leaves, and coffee beans. A typical cup of coffee has between 75 and 100 mg of caffeine.

Several studies have shown the health benefits of include caffeine in the diet, including enhanced focus, alertness, and physical performance. However, some individuals may experience adverse effects, such as having trouble sleeping.

Antioxidants. Coffee includes a number of components that have antioxidant effects. They include chlorogenic acids and melanoidins, both of which may aid in the deactivation of oxidants.

Diterpenes. Coffee oil contains naturally present diterpenes such cafestol and kahweol. According to research, consuming a lot of these compounds might elevate your total and LDL cholesterol levels.

Diterpenes may also provide some cancer protection, according to some studies, although further research is required before any firm conclusions can be reached.

Phenolic compounds. Plant secondary metabolites with antioxidant characteristics, such as chlorogenic acids, flavonoids, and lignans, are known as phenolic compounds.

The primary components of the phenolic fraction of green coffee beans are chlorogenic acids (CGA) and related compounds. The powerful antioxidant activity of these compounds, as well as their hepatoprotective, hypoglycemic, and antiviral activities, give them a number of health benefits.

Chlorogenic acids (CGAs) are a type of polyphenol that are found in high amounts in both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee).

Trigonelline. Trigonelline is an alkaloid that may protect the liver and heart and treat hypercholesterolemia, hyperglycemia, and disorders of the central nervous system.

These days, you can find a wide range of delicious coffees from different countries, each with its own taste and aroma.

However, there are only four primary coffee bean varieties: Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, and Excelsa.

Arabica Bean

The flowering coffea arabica plant is where the Arabica bean comes from. It was the first type of coffee that was cultivated.

Arabica beans are the most popular type of coffee bean worldwide. In fact, they make up about 60% of the world’s production. These beans are grown at high altitudes in places where it rains often and there is a lot of shade.

Arabica coffee beans smell and taste great, so it’s no surprise that coffee lovers all over the world like them so much.

Robusta Bean

Robusta beans are responsible for the production of the second-most coffee in the globe. 

Robusta coffee beans, which have a stronger taste than Arabica beans, are popular among those who desire a more intense coffee-drinking experience. Moreover, when compared to Arabica beans, Robusta beans have double the quantity of caffeine, making Robusta coffee ideal for persons who need to work or study for lengthy periods of time.

Liberica Bean

Liberica coffee beans are not nearly as common as the other two types. They have a distinct aroma that is described by many as smokey, flowery, and fruity.

It’s interesting to note that Liberica beans are the only irregularly shaped coffee beans in the globe.

Excelsa Bean

Although Excelsa beans belong to the Liberica plant family, they have a less smoky and aromatic flavor than Liberica beans. But, like the Liberica, the Excelsa coffee bean isn’t used to make commercial coffee very often.

Coffee may be beneficial to your health in a variety of ways, owing to the antioxidants and minerals included in all varieties of coffee beans.

Health Benefits of Coffee Based on Evidence

an image of a person holding a cup of coffee

Coffee is one of the world’s most popular drinks, and for a good reason. Consuming coffee has been shown to be beneficial to one’s health in a variety of ways. Below, we look into the science behind the health benefits of drinking coffee.

Cardiovascular Health

Is coffee healthy for the heart?

One of the biggest causes of mortality in the world is cardiovascular disease. Coffee may enhance heart health and help prevent heart disease.

Numerous research suggest that drinking coffee may be beneficial for your heart. One study indicated that those who drank three to five cups of coffee daily had a 15% lower chance of developing heart disease.

In 2013, a review of research examining the relationship between coffee drinking and cardiovascular disease was published in the journal Epidemiology and Prevention. People who consume between three to five cups of coffee per day were shown to have a reduced risk of heart disease than those who drank either no coffee at all or more than five cups of coffee per day, according to the findings of 36 separate research.

Cognitive Function and Mental Health

Coffee may enhance cognitive function and increase memory, alertness, concentration, and overall mental performance. Caffeine, a primary component of coffee, is responsible for these effects because it blocks adenosine receptors, activating the neurological system and enhancing communication between neurons.

Adenosine receptors are principally responsible for the regulation of alertness, relaxation, and drowsiness. In order to induce sensations of tiredness and relaxation, they receive chemical instructions and activate pathways. Caffeine blocks these adenosine receptors, preventing the transmission of these signals, resulting in increased alertness. As a result, individuals may feel they can concentrate better, feel more alert and stimulated, and recall more information.

Metabolic Health and Weight Management

Coffee has several health advantages, one of which is weight reduction. Coffee, when included in a balanced diet and consume in moderation, may help with weight management. More calories and fats may be burned thanks to the substances it contains that promote fat burning and increase metabolism.

There is a reason why almost every fat-burning supplement contains caffeine. Caffeine is one of the few naturally occurring substances that aid in weight loss. Caffeine can speed up the body’s metabolism by about 10%, which helps it burn fat more quickly.

Furthermore, one research indicated that compared to individuals who drank less than one cup of coffee per day, those who drank one to two cups per day were 17% more likely to fulfill prescribed physical activity levels.

Cancer Prevention

Researchers have also discovered a connection between consuming coffee on a daily basis with a decreased risk of developing liver, colon, breast, and rectal cancers. The primary reason for this is that coffee contains an abundance of anti-inflammatory compounds.

Polyphenols, a kind of antioxidant phytochemical, have shown anticarcinogenic qualities and may help decrease inflammation. These antioxidants are also considered to help lessen inflammation, which has been linked to several malignancies.

Liver Health

The liver is one of the body’s most important parts, so it’s very important to keep it in good shape. A healthy liver aids in immunity, digestion, and energy storage. When it becomes damaged, its efficacy decreases, putting your life at risk.

Coffee is good for your liver since it keeps it happy and healthy. The prevalence of liver scarring (hepatic fibrosis) was shown to be lower among those who drank more than two cups of coffee per day on average.

Helps Lower Diabetes Risk

Type 2 diabetes is presently a major issue that affects millions of individuals worldwide. Diabetes is defined by high blood sugar levels in the setting of insulin resistance or inability to produce insulin. People who consume coffee on a regular basis had a lower chance of getting type 2 diabetes, according to research. Coffee’s ability to protect the pancreatic beta cells responsible for insulin production and blood sugar regulation may explain this.

In addition, it contains a high concentration of antioxidants and may have an effect on metabolism, inflammation, and insulin sensitivity, all of which are risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

Coffee can be brewed in different ways through the use of various coffee makers. Check out the graphic below to learn about the different types of espresso coffee makers:

Espresso Coffee Makers Types image

Myths and Misconceptions About the Health Effects of Coffee

Since coffee has been around for a while, it is not surprising that there have been a large number of coffee myths throughout the years.

Here are some of the most widespread coffee misconceptions, along with the facts that debunk them.

  • Osteoporosis. Caffeine may enhance the excretion of calcium and magnesium in urine. Recent studies, however, indicate that it does not increase your risk of bone loss, particularly if you consume adequate calcium. Just two tablespoons of milk can make up for the calcium you lose when you drink one cup of coffee. However, research indicates a relation between caffeine consumption and the risk of hip fractures in older adults. The effects of coffee on the metabolism of calcium may be more noticeable in older persons. If you are an older person, talk to your doctor about whether or not you should limit the amount of caffeine you drink each day to 300 milligrams or less.
  • Dehydration. Caffeine might make you want to urinate. However, the fluid intake from caffeinated beverages tends to compensate for the fluid loss that occurs during urination. Caffeine is a mild diuretic; however, studies show that consuming caffeinated beverages in moderation does not lead to dehydration.
  • Addiction And Withdrawal. The most widely ingested psychoactive substance in the world is caffeine. However, is it truly addictive? The answer is no. This indicates that you can stop drinking coffee without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. If you are determined to give up coffee, the easiest way to do it is to cut down slowly at first. By doing so, you will reduce your risk of experiencing any possible adverse effects, such as headaches or tiredness. Additionally, bear in mind that some individuals are more susceptible than others to the effects of coffee. If you discover that you really need your daily cup of coffee, it is best to gradually decrease your consumption until you can.
  • Harmful For Pregnant Women. Often, pregnant women are advised to avoid caffeine. While it is essential to limit your caffeine consumption during pregnancy, but it doesn’t mean you have to give up coffee totally. In fact, research has shown that pregnant women who consume less than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day has no negative effects on pregnant women. So, if you’re pregnant and like coffee, there’s no need to give it up completely. Just be careful to limit your daily consumption to no more than 200 mg.
  • Insomnia. Caffeine is quickly absorbed by your body. It gets rid of it quickly, though. Caffeine, which is mostly processed by the liver, may remain in the body for several hours. However, for most individuals, a cup or two of coffee in the morning will not interfere with their ability to sleep at night.

However, caffeine consumption late in the day can interfere with sleep. If you’re like the majority of people, your sleep will not be affected if you refrain from consuming caffeine at least six hours before bedtime. Your metabolism and how often you consume coffee might affect how sensitive you are to its effects. People who are more sensitive to coffee may not only have trouble sleeping, but they may also feel anxious and gastrointestinal distress.

Possible Risks and Precautions When Consuming Coffee

brewed coffee in a glass image

Coffee still has risks, mostly because it has a lot of caffeine, and some individuals may be more sensitive to the caffeine in coffee than others. To minimize difficulties or harmful consequences, some people may choose to minimize or avoid caffeine entirely.

Here are some potential risks and precautions related to coffee consumption.

Caffeine Sensitivity 

Most people drink at least one caffeinated drink every day, with some being more sensitive to caffeine than others. This means that even small amounts of coffee give them strong or unpleasant side effects, like headaches, nervousness, dizziness, or trouble sleeping. 

Caffeine in small amounts is linked to feeling more awake, aware, and full of energy. Caffeine sensitivity is how much these effects are felt after a person drinks it. Caffeine may cause a severe adrenaline rush in those who are sensitive to it. In other cases, people who take just a few sips of normal coffee report feeling as if they’ve had five or six cups of espresso. People who are sensitive to caffeine may have symptoms for many hours since their metabolism of caffeine is slower than average. Here are some possible signs:

  • rapid heart rate
  • headache
  • a feeling of uneasiness or anxiety
  • restlessness
  • insomnia

Those who are extremely sensitive to caffeine should drastically reduce or eliminate their consumption. Some individuals feel most at ease when they do not consume any caffeine. Others may be able to tolerate 30 to 50 milligrams per day, on average.

Caffeine Overdose

Caffeine is a stimulant that can be found in many drinks, foods, and other products. 

Caffeine overdose happens when the amount of caffeine in the body is higher than what is considered safe. This is equivalent to 400 mg of caffeine daily. This quantity is typically achieved by brewing 4 cups of coffee. Anything in excess of this could lead to an overdose. Caffeine overdose symptoms may include:

  • rapid or irregular heart rate
  • shakiness
  • feeling nauseated or vomiting
  • anxiety attack

If you experience any of the symptoms of a caffeine overdose or accidentally consumes a large amount of caffeine, you should seek medical attention immediately. In order to determine the reason, the doctor will conduct a thorough medical history. Hospitalization may be necessary in severe situations in order to monitor the cardiac parameters, blood pressure, and temperature.

The key to prevention is raising awareness about the dangers of caffeine overdose. To avoid caffeine overdose, limit your caffeine consumption to less than 300 mg per day. This is particularly significant for caffeine-sensitive individuals, as even tiny amounts might trigger caffeine intoxication.

Interaction With Medications

You may already know that coffee may alter the way some drugs work in your body. Here are some ways in how caffeinated drinks and medicines can interact:

  • Caffeine acts as both a diuretic and a stimulant. Some drugs are diuretics as well as stimulants. Putting these two together? It may lead to each other’s effects being amplified. For instance, if you take a migraine medication, which increases heart rate naturally, and coffee at the same time, your heart rate will speed up even more.
  • The majority of pills are made with chemical coatings or capsules that are designed to gradually release chemicals. Caffeine’s relative acidity may influence the rate of release, interfering with drug efficacy.
  • One study found that caffeine can reduce drug absorption by as much as 60%, particularly for thyroid and osteoporosis medications.

Prescription medication is necessary for maintaining health and treating certain medical conditions and coffee might affect their efficiency. But the thought of having to get through the day without coffee is unbearable for many people. What can you do when this happens? First, you need to talk to your doctor about this problem. Second, you can set the size of your coffee cup to get the right amount of caffeine to help you work without affecting how well the drug works.

Coffee and prescription drug interactions may have serious consequences. The effects might range from moderate to severe. That is why it is important to discuss the possible side effects with your doctor.


Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world. Many individuals throughout the globe, maybe millions, would likely struggle without their morning coffee.

The science underlying the advantages and disadvantages of coffee consumption is intricate, and different people can have different reactions. While coffee may provide certain health advantages, such as increased cognitive ability, athletic performance, and antioxidant consumption, it’s important to weigh any concerns, such as adverse effects on the heart and sleep quality. The more you know about the science underlying coffee’s impact on our health, the better judgments you’ll be able to make about drinking your favorite caffeinated beverage.