It’s a hot summer afternoon, and the benches outside my local Starbucks are packed with people who share the craving that brought me here: iced coffee. I prefer my coffee hot, but in July, adding ice turns it into the perfect summer refreshment.
Still, the more I drink—and I do drink a lot—the more the caffeine gets my mind racing and thinking about the wisdom of my habit. I know what my iced coffee is doing for me, but what’s it doing to me? I’ve heard that it’s dehydrating, for example, which is hardly a good thing, particularly in the heat of summer. And what about the articles I’ve seen that say coffee raises the risk of heart disease and cancer?
Fortunately, the answers to these questions turn out to contain some pleasant surprises. It’s true that the caffeine in coffee (and in tea, colas, and to a lesser extent, chocolate) is possibly the world’s most frequently used drug. But recent research suggests that for those of us who drink no more than a cup or two a day, the good news about its health profile outweighs the bad.
Perks and pitfalls
First, about that dehydrating effect. Coffee does have some diuretic properties, which is why people say it doesn’t count as one of the eight glasses of water we’re all supposed to drink in a day. But in a recent report, the Institute of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health concluded that caffeine’s diuretic effect is fleeting and does not contribute to significant fluid loss. Of course, eight cups of espresso might indeed make you feel a bit shriveled. But the occasional cup shouldn’t have that effect—and can even count toward your daily eight.
The main benefit of coffee—no surprise—is the buzz that gets us up in the morning, keeps us alert while driving, and prevents us from nodding off in boring meetings.
But there’s more: Despite periodic warnings that coffee raises our risk of cancer and heart disease, the weight of the evidence shows that it’s been falsely accused. As part of the ongoing Nurses Health Study at Harvard, researchers followed 85,700 female nurses for ten years and found that coffee played no role in their heart health. And in similar studies, Italian, Spanish, and U.S. researchers have concluded that coffee does not significantly contribute to cancers of the breast, bladder, or pancreas.
It does reduce the risk of gallstones, however, which
By: Dick Benson
Title: How Much Coffee Should I Drink Each Day?
Sourced From: alternativemedicine.com/how-much-coffee-should-i-drink-each-day/
Published Date: Tue, 06 Oct 2020 19:21:03 +0000
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