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Is Coffee Good or Bad for your Health?

Is Coffee Good or Bad for your Health?

Are you the type of person who drinks a cup of coffee with breakfast every morning? Or perhaps you need that cup of coffee first thing in the morning in order to be able to go about your day? And if so, how many cups of coffee do you drink? With more and more people stopping by coffee shops before work on a regular basis, the debate on whether coffee is good or bad for your health is one that has become increasingly important to researchers and consumers alike.

Several research studies have demonstrated coffee's remarkable benefits towards lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson's Disease, while several have associated high coffee consumption with an 8 to 15 percent decrease in risk of death, others have warned how coffee can be harmful towards your health. The World Health organization and the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee have changed their idea from coffee being detrimental to coffee being a health food, going so far as advocating the consumption of 3 to 5 cups every day for achieving overall health and wellness.

The Coffee Debate

As many coffee aficionados would do anything to defend this dark elixir to the end, science is helping shed some light on the true advantages and disadvantages of drinking coffee on a regular basis. Whilst coffee on its own is full of a variety of beneficial antioxidants, caffeine being the active ingredient of this popular beverage is also at the center of the entire debate.

Commonly known to be a psychoactive substance, caffeine addiction, intoxication and withdrawal has been previously examined and explained in the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, otherwise called DSM-V. Moreover, according to the DSM-V, it is surprisingly easy and common for someone to overdose on caffeine. This can be characterized if after simply consuming 250 milligrams of caffeine, the individual reports experiencing the following five or more symptoms, including: restlessness, nervousness, excitement, insomnia, flushed face, diuresis, gastrointestinal disturbance, muscle twitching, rambling flow of thought and speech, tachycardia or cardiac arrhythmia, periods of high energy, or psychomotor agitation.

Aside from avoiding any of the symptoms listed by the DSM-V, there are other reasons why you should decrease or stop your consumption of caffeine and prevent caffeine intoxication. Caffeine has also been reported to display adverse effects on individuals with hypertension, nervousness, adrenal fatigue, and GERD. Its intake can aggravate symptoms of circulation diseases like Raynaud's Phenomenon. We also shouldn't ignore the fact that many healthcare professionals regularly indicate removing caffeine through a structured detox program to rest the liver.

But quitting the consumption of coffee is simpler said than done. The average amount of caffeine found in a normal coffee shop beverage easily exceeds the quantity indicated for overdose. By way of instance, a 20-ounce Blonde Roast coffee from Starbucks is roughly 475 mg. The same size of a Dunkin Donuts coffee with a turbo shot is almost 400 mg and a 16-ounce light-roast from Panera Bread is 300 mg. Even if we avoid drinking coffee altogether, caffeine can also be found in teas, chocolate and soda. As a result, a lot of us are walking around every single day overdosing on caffeine. According to a review, nearly 90 percent of people in the United States consume well over 250 milligrams of caffeine daily.

While the debate on whether coffee is good or bad for your health continues, an important thought to consider is that "one size does not fit all" when it comes to the consumption of caffeine. Personalized treatments have gained plenty of popularity because of this. While some individuals may get the jitters from drinking caffeine, not everybody will report experiencing the same symptoms needed to determine the diagnosis of an overdose. The main cause of this is simple, the liver's capacity to metabolize caffeine will often differ from person to person. Concentrations of CYP450 enzymes required for stage I liver detox causes some people to be "fast-clearers" of caffeine, or people who may have a double espresso and drift dreamily to bed within the hour, and lots of others may be slow-to-impossible clearers, or people who can be considered as no more than nervous wrecks when given the tiniest sip of hot chocolate.

Alternatively, the effects of caffeine can be utilized to treat certain symptoms associated with headaches or asthma, and provide attention and focus, as well as energize the muscles of a training athlete. However, caffeine's addictive quality, and its capability to tax the liver and nervous system, shouldn't be ignored. When confronted with a reason to decrease or eliminate caffeine from their diet, conventional coffee lovers may be challenged by withdrawal symptoms, such as headache, agitation, muscle strain, and even anxiety, as well as altering psycho-social behaviours, such as a societal coffee-culture or an afternoon chocolate pick-me-up.

If you are on the path to attempt to detox from your coffee drinking habits, then here are a few tips that can help make the process easier for you:

  • Drink additional water
  • Eat a minimally-processed diet rich in minerals and vitamins
  • Get plenty of exercise and/or physical activity
  • Sleep properly
  • Find other choices to decaffeinated coffee, from several chicory and dandelion mixtures, to herbal teas
  • Supplement using a full-spectrum multivitamin, magnesium, L-theanine and L-DOPA

Persistent caffeine consumption can also deplete calcium, leading to muscle tension and headaches. Restoring healthy magnesium levels will help alleviate these symptoms. In addition, L-theanine is considered to have a calming effect. One research study from 2012 revealed that L-theanine reduced stress and inhibited increases in blood pressure from participants who were confronted with stressful tasks on a computer. L-DOPA, or Dopamine, otherwise referred to as the "happy chemical", is accountable for controlling the joy and reward centers of the brain, the very same regions aroused by addictive substances like sugar and caffeine. A recent double blind, randomized controlled crossover trial compared the pharmaceutical levodopa used to treat Parkinson's sufferers to Mucuna pruriens, a natural supply of L-Dopa, and found them similar in clinical efficacy, with Mucuna pruriens being considered more tolerable.

The right answer for when to drink coffee or not is as private as a Starbucks custom coffee order. If you'd love to kick the caffeine habit, however, here's a simple, no-nonsense approach to slowly getting away from caffeine:

  • Days 1 to 2: Combine 25 percentage decaf, 75 percent caffeinated
  • Days 3 to 4: Combine 50 percent decaf, 50 percent caffeinated
  • Days 5 to 6: Combine 75 percent decaf, 25 percent caffeinated
  • Day 7: Try entirely decaf.


Dr. Alex Jimenez's Insight

The advantages and disadvantages of drinking coffee have become highly dependent on the amount of evidence provided over the numerous of research studies conducted to solve the health mysteries of this popular dark beverage. While some studies describe coffee to be good for your health and others urge that coffee is bad for your health, the answer to this debate is simple, it's a little bit of both. Too much coffee can cause a variety of undesirable symptoms, however, a moderate amount of coffee can provide a wide array of benefits, including lowering the risk of developing many health issues like type 2 diabetes. Whether you choose to believe if coffee is good or bad for your health, alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can help provide you with a variety of health benefits in order to help improve and maintain your overall well-being.

As mentioned above, with the increasing number of coffee lovers found around the world today, the debate regarding whether coffee is good or bad for your health has peaked the interest of many healthcare professionals as well. While research studies and scientific evidence continues to amount to both of these options, you can find alternative treatment options which can help improve and maintain overall well-being. Chiropractic care is a healthcare profession which focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of a variety of injuries and conditions associated with the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. A chiropractor, will utilize spinal adjustments and manual manipulations to correct spinal misalignments, or subluxations, to restore the natural integrity of the human body. When a spinal misalignment is interrupting the signals being sent from the brain, to the spinal chord and the rest of the body, many important structures and functions can suffer.

Like the favorable effects expected from coffee and caffeine by consumers, chiropractic care can help increase strength, mobility and flexibility. Furthermore, chiropractic care can promote proper circulation and reduce inflammation associated with stress and tension. By reducing pressure around the complex structures of the spine, spinal adjustments and manual manipulations can also help reduce pain and discomfort, increasing many fundamental functions. In addition, a doctor of chiropractic, or DC, can offer exercise and nutritional advice, which may be important to those individuals who wish to cut back on their coffee intake. With the additional benefits you experience from chiropractic care, even the most avid coffee aficionado can benefit from the advantages of chiropractic care. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic as well as to spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez


Additional Topics: Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most prevalent causes for disability and missed days at work worldwide. As a matter of fact, back pain has been attributed as the second most common reason for doctor office visits, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Approximately 80 percent of the population will experience some type of back pain at least once throughout their life. The spine is a complex structure made up of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles, among other soft tissues. Because of this, injuries and/or aggravated conditions, such as herniated discs, can eventually lead to symptoms of back pain. Sports injuries or automobile accident injuries are often the most frequent cause of back pain, however, sometimes the simplest of movements can have painful results. Fortunately, alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can help ease back pain through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, ultimately improving pain relief.

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General Disclaimer

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to contact us. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN* email: phone: 915-850-0900 Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*