Coffee, more damage than good?


The coffee debate:

For those of us who enjoy a coffee, coffee, can be the only thing you think about when you first wake up, your favourite thing about mornings, and the only thing that gets you out of bed.

Over the years there has been much speculation about whether coffee is good or bad for you?

Studies have shown that coffee can be good in moderation.

A paper published in 2007 stated that “coffee drinking seems to be a non-harmful habit for those who drink it regularly and in moderation” [1].

Similarly, a study done in 2014 stated that “coffee is good for your health when consumed in moderation” [2].

Interestingly, negative effects have only been reported in cases of excessive consumption of coffee. In fact, there are a lot of benefits to coffee that you may not be aware of.

Coffee has a strong antioxidant effect

Coffee contains a polyphenol called chlorogenic acid [1]. The amount of antioxidant that remains in the final product that is consumed however is dependent on the roasting process; the most amount if found in medium-roasted coffee [1].

Coffee may help you burn fat

Caffeine can be found in many weight loss supplements as it can reduce food cravings and promote fat loss by increasing energy expenditure, accelerating the central nervous system, increasing lipolysis and thermogenesis, and increasing metabolic fat oxidation [4].

Coffee may have a positive impact on brain function

Caffeine has been found to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease [1][2][3].

Research has shown that caffeine and chlorogenic acid may precent cognitive deterioration [3].

It is also known for its ability to increase mental alertness and function [1].

Coffee may improve athletic performance

Studies have shown that moderate amounts of caffeine can have an ergogenic effect (enhancing physical performance) [1].

It has been shown that coffee may delay fatigue, increase endurance, and improve respiratory fitness [1].

Coffee may have a positive impact on your digestive system

Studies have related coffee consumption with a lowered risk of digestive system disease, including colorectal cancer, and gallstones [1].

Coffee may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes

Research has shown that chronic coffee consumption may have a protective effect against type 2 diabetes [1].

Regular coffee drinkers have been found to have improved insulin sensitivity and enhanced insulin response [1].

What you put in your coffee can determine how ‘good’ it is for you

Adding sugar and syrups, especially regularly, can significantly decrease the health aspect of coffee.

If you can’t drink your coffee without sugar or syrup, try a natural sweetener like stevia and attempt to slowly ween yourself off as your taste buds adapt.

Being mindful of the size of your coffee is also important, lower calorie coffee options include macchiato, long black, or piccolo latte which can satisfy your coffee hit without drinking a full-sized latte.

The choice between skim and full cream milk is a debate in itself, however the important thing to note is that full cream milk is 97% fat free and so contains 3% fat (8-9g fat per cup), whereas skim is about 1% fat (2-3g fat per cup). Then there is soy milk… the bottom line is that there is only slight differences between milks, it is up to your personal choice.


Coffee can be ‘good’ for you in moderation!

Negative effects have only been reported in cases of excessive consumption of coffee and when sugar is added…

Stick to 1 or 2 cups a day with no sugar and all will be well.



1. Taylor SR, Demmig-Adams B, 2007, To sip or not to sip: the potential health risks and benefits of coffee drinking, Nutrition and Food Science, Vol 37, ppg 406-418
2. Bae, J, Park, J, Im, S, Song D, 2014, Coffee and Health, Integrative Medicine Research, ppg 198-191.
3. Messina G, Zannella C, Monda V, Dato A, Liccardo D, De Blasio S, Valenzano A, Moscatelli F, Messina A, Cibelli G, Monda M, 2015, The Beneficial Effects of Coffee in Human Nutrition, Biology and Medicine.
4. Kim T, Shin, Y, Lee J, Min Y, Yang H, 2010 Effect of Caffeine on the Metabolic Responses of Lipolysis and Activated Sweat Gland Density in Humans During Physical Activity, Food Science and Biotechnology, Vol 19, Issue 4, ppg 1077-1081.
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