Health Effects of Coffee - Effects of Coffee on Health

In moderation coffee is harmless, but, as with most things, excessive consumption can be damaging to your health, although nothing serious enough for us to see government health warning signs on coffee packets any time soon. It is the caffeine content of coffee that attracts the most interest from the health point of view.

Caffeine is a mild stimulant, and gives you that "pick me up" that many coffee drinkers look for. It is also the reason many people prefer to take their coffee in the morning rather than after dinner or before going to bed, when it is time to wind down.

For most of us a cup of coffee is just to give us a mild lift in our spirits to keep us on the go through our day. For some of us, coffee plays a larger role in their work.

Knowledge workers often claim their thought processes are improved and they can work more effectively and faster when well fuelled by endless cups of coffee, especially when working through the hours they might normally expect to be sleeping. The flagging attention of many a long distance driver has been revived by a break and a cup of coffee. These endurance and cognitive performance benefits account for much of the popularity of coffee.

Those who drink a lot of coffee can become over-stimulated, and unable to sleep. Taken to excess, they can even start to experience minor mood changes and physical effects like mild tremors. An increased heart rate and increased blood pressure can develop. For a normally healthy person these effects are unlikely to be serious or have any long-term consequences.

Caffeine is known to be mildly addictive, but this effect cannot be compared to the much more severe dependency, physical effects on the body, social impact or withdrawal symptoms that usually result from taking illegal drugs. Caffeine addiction also appears to vary between individuals.

There is more to coffee than it's stimulant effect from the caffeine. It has complex and interesting flavors that many coffee drinkers enjoy. Much of this pleasure is preserved in decaffeinated coffee, which has been processed to remove the caffeine content. This process eliminates most of the health concerns about coffee at the same time.

If you choose to add too much cream and sugar to your coffee you may not be acting in your body's best interests, especially if you take several cups a day. In this case, to blame your coffee for those added pounds is a little like shooting the messenger for bringing bad news.

On the other hand some medical research has suggested drinking coffee helps to ward of Alzheimer's disease - which is worth remembering! Coffee also appears to have beneficial effects lowering the risk of Parkinson's disease and colon cancer. Research also suggests coffee reduces your chances of getting asthma, type 2 diabetes, gallstones and cirrhosis of the liver. However, don't count on having your daily coffee funded under your medical health plan!