More to coffee than its morning punch

Colin Lux, Staff Reporter

There is nothing better than a fresh brewed pot of coffee in the morning. Besides the delightful jolt of energy the caffeine provides, there is more to coffee than its morning punch. For years coffee has had the reputation of “stunting your growth” and “causing heart problems and cancer.” Although it can stain your teeth over time (I drink my coffee through a straw, even hot coffee!) researchers say the benefits of coffee may outweigh the risks.

It has been reported by researchers at the Mayo Clinic that about 200 to 300 milligrams of caffeine (which is about two to four cups of coffee) a day is moderate and safe. Research is beginning to show that caffeine helps prevent osteoporosis because it increases the excretion of calcium, which is a very important mineral for growing young adults. Caffeine stimulates your cardiovascular system making your more alert and it can even elevate your mood.

Coffee has other benefits beside caffeine. At Harvard University, scientists discovered that people who consume coffee have a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is an increasing problem in today’s society. Coffee is also proven not to cause cancer. It is actually suggested that coffee assists in reducing the risk of developing various types of cancer, such as liver cancer. It is known that coffee has a high content of antioxidants – which are key components to cancer prevention.

If you enjoy drinking coffee then keep drinking coffee, but do it in moderation. But you need to remember that everything is good in moderation, because with too much caffeine you can have anxiety, an uncomfortable heart rate and insomnia. To prevent this, drink coffee in moderation and don’t drink too much at once, space it out if you can. Also, caffeine stays in your body for a surprisingly long time, so researchers suggest that you quit consuming coffee (or anything with a high content of caffeine) eight hours before you go to bed. It sounds crazy but if you have trouble with tossing and turning at night this could be your problem.

Coffee has wonderful benefits but that does not mean that you need to drink more or even start drinking coffee if you don’t. If you are however looking for a caffeine fix it is suggested that you stay clear of the sodas and energy drinks (they provide almost not health benefits at all), coffee and tea provide the caffeine with a some extra health benefits.