Coffee -- good for you, bad for you, or good and bad for you?

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Herman Melville

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I've read very different things about coffee being good and/or bad for us. Some say it makes you more intelligent. Recently it was claimed that it could reverse Alzheimer's.

I feel it makes me happier, but I never drink instant coffee and restrict myself to just two or three real coffees per week.

Is it good and/or bad for you? If so, in what quantities.

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lyner

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Coffee -- good for you, bad for you, or good and bad for you?
« Reply #1 on: 14/07/2009 13:40:07 »
It may reverse Alzheimer's but I can't remember to drink any, these days, so I may be too late.

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Offline JP

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Coffee -- good for you, bad for you, or good and bad for you?
« Reply #2 on: 14/07/2009 17:48:08 »
It had good points and bad points, and is probably best consumed in moderation, which is the usual advice for foods/beverages.  Most advice I've seen is to limit intake to 5 "cups" a day.

The good:
Studies have shown it may help protect against Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes and heart disease.
It may help with short-term memory and concentration.
It contains plenty of antioxidants and might help protect against cancer.

The bad:
It contains plenty of carcinogenic compounds (though no one's found that it causes cancer yet).
It can cause anxiety, the jitters, and can cause short-term concentration problems.
You can develop a dependence to it.

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Offline Edster

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« Reply #3 on: 14/07/2009 20:15:20 »
You missed out one major bad one, as an ex night shift worker I know it too well:
There is a tendency to cause minor tremor of the hands.
If you have ever tried to solder SMD`s after 2 am after 4 real perked cups of cofee it is almost impossible unless you put a rubber band around your wrist and clamp it in the desk vice to damp the hand shakes.

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Offline Chemistry4me

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Coffee -- good for you, bad for you, or good and bad for you?
« Reply #4 on: 15/07/2009 01:42:36 »
I don't know why people drink that stuff.

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I just remembered bad joke from my science teacher, he said that a coffee is someone who coughs
« Last Edit: 15/07/2009 01:44:58 by Chemistry4me »

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Offline Karen W.

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Coffee -- good for you, bad for you, or good and bad for you?
« Reply #5 on: 15/07/2009 01:57:36 »
I like coffee.. yum. but I usually have one mocha cappuccino on the weekend mornings.. then if I can one during week days but I am not strung out on coffee or addicted I can live with it or without!

"Life is not measured by the number of Breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

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Offline Karen W.

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Coffee -- good for you, bad for you, or good and bad for you?
« Reply #6 on: 15/07/2009 01:59:26 »
OH AND IT DOES NOTHING FOR ME AT ALL IN THE WAY OF MAKING ME HYPER.. NOHING DOES THAT I KNOW OF BUT THE WIND!

"Life is not measured by the number of Breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

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Offline wolfekeeper

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Coffee -- good for you, bad for you, or good and bad for you?
« Reply #7 on: 15/07/2009 14:51:58 »
Coffee is a slow poison- and many people are still being poisoned by it when they are into the 80s or 90s after a lifetime of drinking it!

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Herman Melville

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Coffee -- good for you, bad for you, or good and bad for you?
« Reply #8 on: 16/07/2009 12:46:56 »
Coffee is a slow poison- and many people are still being poisoned by it when they are into the 80s or 90s after a lifetime of drinking it!
In what way? Curious to hear more about this.

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Offline wolfekeeper

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Coffee -- good for you, bad for you, or good and bad for you?
« Reply #9 on: 16/07/2009 13:03:12 »
It's ever so slow. You'll never live past 130 if you keep drinking coffee. [;)]
« Last Edit: 16/07/2009 13:52:26 by wolfekeeper »

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Offline Mazurka

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Coffee -- good for you, bad for you, or good and bad for you?
« Reply #10 on: 16/07/2009 13:25:05 »
Although, by no means a scientific study, I have found that coffee helps me to avoid having migraine headaches.  It would seem that a trigger factor for me is withdrawl from cafeine.  I cannot envisage a life wholly without cafeine and I dislike tea, so to avoid losing hours to pain, I drink a couple of cups of coffee a day.  The best coffee is made in Cona coffee makers, which has the added bonus of resembling a chemistry experiment...





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Herman Melville

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Coffee -- good for you, bad for you, or good and bad for you?
« Reply #11 on: 16/07/2009 17:22:21 »
Is it true that coffee lowers the immunity? If so, should we give it up during flu pandemics?

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Offline JP

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« Reply #12 on: 16/07/2009 17:48:05 »
I've never heard that coffee lowers immunity to disease directly.  If you drink too much caffeine, you could have trouble sleeping, and lack of sleep would lower your immunity.

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Offline Make it Lady

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Coffee -- good for you, bad for you, or good and bad for you?
« Reply #13 on: 16/07/2009 19:06:21 »
Really strong coffee gives me a bad tummy but I luff Mochas sooo much. I have had to go for one shots these days. I do like the cafe culture. It is good for the soul to sit and watch the world go by for a bit.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

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Offline Karen W.

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Coffee -- good for you, bad for you, or good and bad for you?
« Reply #14 on: 16/07/2009 21:39:29 »
Really strong coffee gives me a bad tummy but I luff Mochas sooo much. I have had to go for one shots these days. I do like the cafe culture. It is good for the soul to sit and watch the world go by for a bit.

Ditto on all counts!

"Life is not measured by the number of Breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

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Offline carmen539tu

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Coffee -- good for you, bad for you, or good and bad for you?
« Reply #15 on: 21/07/2009 03:55:49 »
It had good points and bad points, and is probably best consumed in moderation, which is the usual advice for foods/beverages.  Most advice I've seen is to limit intake to 5 "cups" a day.

The good:
Studies have shown it may help protect against Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes and heart disease.
It may help with short-term memory and concentration.
It contains plenty of antioxidants and might help protect against cancer.

The bad:
It contains plenty of carcinogenic compounds (though no one's found that it causes cancer yet).
It can cause anxiety, the jitters, and can cause short-term concentration problems.
You can develop a dependence to it.
Yes, moderation is the key here. I drink only 3 cups per day, or a max of four. I alternate between instant and real coffee, and never sensed any major difference between them. I have been drinking coffee for years. I also agree on the addiction point you made: if I don't drink coffee for a day or two then I suffer from strange, irritating headaches. Then once I resume coffee drinking the headache goes away! :P

I have heard many rumors like coffee damages your earlobe, that it causes cancer and all that, and I guess they are just that-rumors. The only side effects of coffee I have found are: addiction, anxiety, feeling jittery and dehydration!

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Offline Karen W.

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« Reply #16 on: 21/07/2009 04:50:45 »
Coffee is a  stimulant and a diuretic! Thats why one gets so fidgetty and anxious and jittery...then you wee like crazy and get dehydrated.. I hear the caffeine withdrawal headaches can be real buggers!
« Last Edit: 21/07/2009 04:56:48 by Karen W. »

"Life is not measured by the number of Breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

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Herman Melville

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Coffee -- good for you, bad for you, or good and bad for you?
« Reply #17 on: 21/07/2009 10:48:57 »
It had good points and bad points, and is probably best consumed in moderation, which is the usual advice for foods/beverages.  Most advice I've seen is to limit intake to 5 "cups" a day.

The good:
Studies have shown it may help protect against Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes and heart disease.
It may help with short-term memory and concentration.
It contains plenty of antioxidants and might help protect against cancer.

The bad:
It contains plenty of carcinogenic compounds (though no one's found that it causes cancer yet).
It can cause anxiety, the jitters, and can cause short-term concentration problems.
You can develop a dependence to it.
Yes, moderation is the key here. I drink only 3 cups per day, or a max of four. I alternate between instant and real coffee, and never sensed any major difference between them. I have been drinking coffee for years. I also agree on the addiction point you made: if I don't drink coffee for a day or two then I suffer from strange, irritating headaches. Then once I resume coffee drinking the headache goes away! :P

I have heard many rumors like coffee damages your earlobe, that it causes cancer and all that, and I guess they are just that-rumors. The only side effects of coffee I have found are: addiction, anxiety, feeling jittery and dehydration!

I would say that withdrawal headaches are a sure sign you are having too much. I think one a day is the ideal balance.

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Offline JP

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Coffee -- good for you, bad for you, or good and bad for you?
« Reply #18 on: 21/07/2009 15:48:37 »
Some more tidbits:

One thing to watch out for is "size creep."  A cup of coffee is technically 6 oz.  Very few people probably drink it that way.  Most coffee shops in the US sell an 8 or 12 oz size as their smallest, so drinking a couple of Starbucks "cups" of coffee could get you 3-4 actually drinks worth.

Another interesting tidbit is that caffeine may not actually be a diuretic: http://www.medicinenet.com/caffeine/page3.htm .  It might just be that people drink it for a pick-me-up, rather than to quench thirst, so it's added on top of the usual allotment of fluids.

Finally, the LD50 in rats (the dose lethal to 50% of them) is 192 mg caffeine/kg body weight.  There's roughly 150 mg caffeine in a 6 oz cup, so that means don't drink more cups of coffee than your mass in kg!  I doubt your stomach would hold down that much coffee though.