Have you ever wondered if coffee is good or bad for you? Although I’m not a coffee drinker myself as I’ve never tolerated caffeine very well, I did have a cup or two this past summer and I discovered very quickly why it’s so popular. My energy levels were through the roof and my concentration and productivity levels were on point. A week or two later I had another cup, and by the late afternoon I was riddled with anxiety levels that I hadn’t experienced in years.
 
I had a full-scale panic attack lasting several hours and I was quickly reminded why I’ve always avoided caffeine.
 
Even though I choose to avoid coffee, I’m not against it. There also isn’t a straight answer to whether or not it’s good for us, because truly, it depends! So let’s dive in to some of its advantages and disadvantages so you can determine what’s best for you.
 
Coffee contains caffeine which is a central nervous system stimulant and is also found in some tea, energy drinks, soft drinks, cacao (chocolate), and certain kinds of medication. It’s found naturally in more than 50 different plants and is well known to increase alertness, provide a temporary energy boost and elevate mood.
 

The Pros & Cons

Advantages
There have been many studies that show coffee’s positive effects, including:
  • caffeine’s potential role in preventing Alzheimer’s and supporting cognitive health
  • rich in a blend of polyphenol antioxidants including chlorogenic acids, minerals, vitamins and bioflavonoids
  • temporary energy boost and mental alertness
  • may have a protective effect against certain kinds of cancer

Disadvantages

  • increased anxiety and heart rate
  • sleeplessness/insomnia
  • hard on adrenals and can exacerbate existing problems with adrenal fatigue
  • can irritate intestines (especially for those with a sensitive gut) and stimulate peristalsis which can have a laxative effect
  • can interfere with absorption of some vitamins/minerals including calcium and iron
Note: Although popular opinion suggests that caffeine is dehydrating, it actually hasn’t been shown to dehydrate the body. This is especially true if we consume it regularly and have adapted to its effects.
 
Coffee can have diuretic effects in higher amounts so I still recommend drinking at least 1 cup of water before or after each 1 cup of coffee. Furthermore, if it’s used as a means to increase energy levels, I strongly suggest drinking water first to help address low energy levels as dehydration is often a contributor.
 

Is Coffee Good For You?

 
The answer is that everybody’s different and everyone tolerates it differently. Consider these lifestyle factors to help you determine whether it’s good or bad for you. Your:
  • sleep quality/habits
  • stress levels
  • eating habits
  • anxiety levels
  • energy levels; are you relying on it to wake you up or multiple cups to get you through the day?
  • digestion
  • sugar/carb cravings
If you are struggling with any of these things, then adding on a nervous system stimulant might not be a good idea. But if you find that you sleep well, your energy levels and appetite are balanced, you aren’t under a lot of stress or dealing with anxiety, then enjoy a cup!
 
It’s important to assess your individual response to coffee and how it makes you feel.
 
Aside from coffee alone, many people add things like milk and sugar, and sometimes multiple spoonfuls of it. I said I’m not against coffee, but I am against this! Starting your morning with a load of white sugar is not the best way to start your day, support digestion, energy, mood or blood sugar levels.
 
If You Decide Coffee Is Good For You:
If you do decide you tolerate coffee well, consider making Bulletproof Coffee, which is good-quality coffee beans mixed with fats for blood sugar balance. Be sure to buy good quality organic coffee when possible as the coffee plant is often highly sprayed with pesticides.
 
If You Decide Coffee Is Bad For You:
If you do decide to cut it out, do so slowly, as withdrawal symptoms can occur.
  • Cut down the amount you drink by 1/2 cup per week until it’s eliminated
  • Mix your regular coffee with half decaf
  • Try caffeine-free herbal teas (I’m a big fan of peppermint, fennel, and chai teas)
  • Try an almond or coconut milk latte instead for a weaker cup

 


I hope you found this helpful! I’m curious…
  1. Do you drink coffee?
  2. Do you feel great, or do you feel not-so-great after drinking it? 
Share your experiences by leaving a comment and be sure to watch my video below: