It seems like every month there is a study that comes out saying coffee is good bad for you, which is then followed by another study saying the opposite a few weeks later.
So which is it?
Truthfully, there's a reason why it seems to go back and forth. This is because, like many foods and beverages we consume, coffee has both beneficial and harmful effects on our body. These pros and cons are further amplified by various factors such as our genetic makeup and the environment we live in. Because of this, study results can be somewhat inaccurate or only relevant to certain people.
In addition, many older studies were conducted in ways that increased the room for error. For example, coffee was previously stated to have led to increased risk of cancer and heart disease. However, this claim has come into question, and rightfully so, due to the nature of how this connection was established. Many early studies failed to account for other factors in the lives of the participants such as smoking and physical inactivity that occurred at a higher rate in heavy coffee drinkers at the time.
As a result, there are many studies like these that have been proved false, but whose conclusions still float around conversations today. This contributes to the overall confusion regarding coffee's effects on the body.
Of course, there are more simple and obvious cons to drinking coffee. One is the opportunity cost, or the fact that, compared to most other beverages you could drink instead, coffee does not have much nutritional value. In addition, adding cream and sugar to coffee (which many of us do) will substantially increase one's daily intake of fat, calories, and sugar, all of which most of us get more than enough of.
In the end, the best approach is one of moderation. If you find yourself relying on coffee to function as a human being and not a zombie, you may want to consider lowering your coffee intake and switching up your diet and/or exercising to compensate for that loss of energy.
On the other hand, don't be afraid to enjoy a good cup of joe every now and then. For some of us, there really is no substitute for a pure cup of coffee.
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