by Dennis Townsend, Contributing Writer
There are 165 million coffee drinkers in the United States alone, and sometimes we wonder how many cups a day can we drink without worry. The worry is a conditioned response because the caffeine in coffee has been blamed over the years for everything from heart disease to cancer.
I myself sometimes wonder about this because without my "cup of Joe" in the morning, I don’t feel motivated to get my day started. I’ve been a truck driver for the past 29 years, and I dread to think of how many cups I’ve had over that period of time. But after doing some research, I found out that coffee can actually be good for you,....imagine that.
There have been over 19,000 studies over the past decade that has looked into the dangers and benefits of coffee and research has shown that drinking moderate amounts can cut the risk of cancer and other diseases, and is a popular source of antioxidants. The next question you may ask is what is considered "moderate."
For most people, drinking 3 cups a day does more good than harm but remember however that our tolerance to caffeine varies from person to person, and for some, even a small amount can make them nervous and irritable. This is especially true if you are consuming additional caffeine, found in certain energy drinks, colas, tea, chocolate, and various cold and headache remedies. Research has found that most of coffee’s side effects occur when we consume "massive quantities".
In addition to antioxidants, coffee contains a host of antibacterial compounds that protect against infections and other ingredients that may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Just remember to check with your doctor and get his take on how much you can safely drink if you have any health problems.
The benefits of coffee has affects throughout the entire body from preventing gallstones, to reducing the symptoms of Parkinson‘s disease, and even preserving cognitive functions. Also doctors at John Hopkins Hospital even found that 5 cups a day will not raise the blood pressure in a healthy person. I must say that if your doctor tells you that you must switch to decaffeinated coffee, then in my opinion, you lose the main reason people love to drink it, the caffeine.
So here’s the bottom line for you coffee lovers, most side effects occur at high doses and people with heart disease, cardiac rhythm problems, high blood pressure, active gout, or stomach ulcers, should reduce or eliminate their intake based on the advice of their physician. As for the rest of us who look forward to our morning cup of coffee, we should have no qualms about drinking it. Moderation is the key and for some of us, moderation means to the point where we couldn't thread a needle if our life depended on it.
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