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Coffee: What’s the Verdict?

August 23, 2011
This morning I was up early and headed out for an easy run. The Map My Run program on my phone wasn’t feeling like working, so I had to time my run and figure out the distances on google maps, which was rather frustrating… I ended up running 2.5 miles in 23 min, which comes out to about 9:15 min/mile. Not awesome, but I was a bit distracted by trying to fix my phone.

When I got back, I had a banana with some bread and PB2 powder made into peanut butter (2 tbl PB2 and 1 tbl water with a bit of honey!).

After I ate, I got a few things done around my apartment and then headed off to Power sculpt at Core Power Yoga. My Groupon for one month of yoga classes at Core Power Sculpt starts today, so I’m going to be taking advantage of this for the next month! I hope I don’t get tired of yoga! Power sculpt is one of my favorite classes there because it’s more of a workout than a normal yoga class. They use weights during the yoga moves and have pumped-up music. The purpose is to both add in strength training and get your heart rate up!

After yoga I walked home (in the rain…), jumped in the shower, and then made myself a smoothie before heading to school!

On my first day back at law school I immediately headed to the Starbucks across the street on my way to the building and felt my old law-school self coming back. I spewed out my complicated order in Starbucks terminology and felt like someone else was talking. I hadn’t been to Starbucks in months!

That afternoon, I came across an article from Health.com discussing the never-ending coffee debate. I’ve heard that it’s bad for you and that people should cut back on coffee. On the other hand, I’ve also seen articles saying that coffee can actually be good for you! The article in Health.com featured two doctors with different opinions.
Rob van Dam’s, PhD and adjunct assistant professor of nutrition at Harvard, found that for most of the population, coffee is not harmful and may have certain benefits. The only reasons to stop drinking it, he claims, is if you have hypertension or if you believe that caffeine is interfering with your sleep.
Dr. van Dam also found that drinking coffee may lower your risk of becoming diabetic. A review of research in Archives of Internal Medicine found that after three or four cups a day you see a 25% lower risk, while another study found that it might not be the caffeine that reduces diabetes risk, but another ingredient in coffee. Caffeine also has benefits, such as possibly reducing the risk of Parkinson’s and even Alzheimer’s.
On the other hand, James D. Lane, PhD and director of the Duke University Medical Center Psychophysiology Lab, believes that coffee is not a good choice. He found that the research showing that coffee is helpful is weak since the studies compare non coffee drinkers with coffee drinkers and believes that just because there is a correlation between coffee and benefits doesn’t mean there is causation.
Dr. Lane also points out that the caffeine in coffee can make health conditions worse, especially for people with high blood pressure or diabetes, finding that quitting coffee brings down high blood pressure. He also has seen many studies that show caffeine can aggravate stress as well as give you sleep problems.
So coffee or no coffee? As long as you don’t have diabetes or high blood pressure, drinking coffee probably won’t hurt. I’m sure not ready to give up my morning cup or my afternoon pick-me-up! It really depends on how coffee affects you. Personally, I always make sure to have my last cup by 6pm, that way the caffeine won’t keep me up at night. As long as it doesn’t seem to be affecting your health, stress or sleep, there’s no need to cut back! Coffee lovers, rejoice! 
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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 23, 2011 6:19 pm

    I am also a big fan of coffee, so it's good to know it's somewhat healthy. I really noticed a large difference when about a year and a half ago I went from lots of sugar soda to iced tea/coffee as my beverages, because I was still getting the caffeine I need, much sooo much less sugar!

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