In the United States, coffee is the most commonly consumed beverage, second only to water. The effects of drinking coffee depend on the amount and type of coffee you drink, but in general it has a beneficial effect on health for adults as long as it's consumed in moderation. Children and adolescents, however, may be better off avoiding coffee.
Potential Health Benefits
Drinking 2 to 3 cups of coffee per day has either neutral or beneficial effects on adults in terms of heart disease, stroke, neurodegenerative diseases, gastrointestinal diseases and asthma, according to a review article published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology in September 2013.
Another review article, published in The New England Journal of Medicine in May 2012, came to a similar conclusion, saying that the antioxidants and other active compounds in coffee may help lower the risk for heart disease, diabetes, inflammatory diseases stroke and early mortality.
Drinking a moderate amount of coffee during meals may also help you eat less, potentially making it easier to lose weight, according to a study published in Obesity in June 2013.
Potential Health Risks
Coffee may interfere with oral contraceptives and postmenopausal hormones and isn't recommended for pregnant women or women with postmenopausal problems. It can also cause caffeine withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly decrease your intake. These symptoms include headache, trouble concentrating, fatigue, nausea, muscle pain, depression and irritability.
Getting too much caffeine from coffee can make you jittery, cause dehydration, increase your blood pressure, cause abnormal heart rhythms, make it hard to sleep, increase the risk of dehydration, make you dizzy or give you headaches. Too much caffeine may also increase your risk for osteoporosis or fibrocystic disease, which causes lumpy, painful breasts.
While coffee is fine in moderation for adults, it may be harmful for children and teenagers. A study published in the Journal of Adolescence in April 2011 found that teenagers who consumed higher amounts of caffeine were more likely to be sleepy during the daytime and be academic underachievers. Caffeine may affect brain development when used during the formative years and is associated with more risk-taking behaviors in adolescents, according to the National Council on Strength & Fitness.
The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University also notes that girls who drink coffee are more likely to smoke and drink alcohol than those who do not.
Speak with your doctor to determine a safe amount of coffee for you to drink. In general, adults should drink no more than two or three 8-ounce cups of caffeinated coffee per day and limit total caffeine to no more than 200 to 300 milligrams daily. Some people are particularly sensitive to caffeine and may need to limit their caffeine intake even more. If you want to drink more coffee than this or drink coffee in the late afternoon or evening, choose decaffeinated coffee.
- Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Effects of Habitual Coffee Consumption on Cardiometabolic Disease, Cardiovascular Health, and All-Cause Mortality
- The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking With Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
- Obesity: Effect of Different Amounts of Coffee on Dietary Intake and Appetite of Normal-Weight and Overweight/Obese Individuals
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Medicines in My Home: Caffeine and Your Body
- MedlinePlus: Caffeine in the Diet
- Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition: Coffee and Its Consumption: Benefits and Risks
- Journal of Adolescence: Adolescent Substance Use, Sleep, and Academic Achievement: Evidence of Harm Due to Caffeine
- National Council on Strength & Fitness: Caffeine Consumption Among Children and Adolescents
- The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University: CASA's New Report Finds Big Differences in Why Girls and Boys Use Cigarettes, Alcohol and Drugs
- Johns Hopkins Medicine: Caffeine Withdrawal Recognized as a Disorder
- Photo Credit iplan/a.collectionRF/amana images/Getty Images
Coffee's Bad Side Effects
The Effects of Drinking Black Coffee. ... The Negative Health Effects of Drinking Coffee. Coffee is a popular breakfast beverage. How to...
Can You Drink Black Coffee Before a Cholesterol Test?
The most accurate test to determine your cholesterol requires fasting for 12 to 14 hours before a blood sample is taken. Fasting...
Pros & Cons of Coffee
I'm Raphael and I've just talked to you about the pros and cons of coffee. Follow eHow Follow @eHow. ... Vegetarian Black...
How to Make the Perfect Long Black Coffee
A long black coffee is a type of espresso drink commonly found in Australia or New Zealand. This coffee drink is prepared...
How to Make the Good Coffee Vodka Drink
Part of the series: Vodka Mixed Drinks. The Good Coffee is a vodka-based mixed drink that's easy to make at home. ......
The Pros & Cons of Caffeine
Drinking too much caffeine can cause the user to feel nervous and may interfere with sleep. Caffeine, even in smaller doses, ......
Rum Coffee Drinks
The Dutch rum and coffee drink, Koffie Van Brunt, translates to "street coffee." ... Another rum and coffee cocktail is the Black...
How Does Coffee Affect Your Teeth?
While the side effects from coffee are minimal, ... Can You Drink Black Coffee Before a Cholesterol Test? ehow.com. About eHow; eHow...
Does Coffee Suppress Your Appetite?
The idea that drinking coffee can keep you from getting ... there are a couple of reasons why coffee may be effective...
About Fair Trade Coffee
Pros & Cons of Coffee. About Coffee Shop Furniture. ... Vegetarian Black Bean & Squash Chili; Josh Ozersky. Man Food. Classic Roast...
The Effects of Drinking Coffee at Night
Some people report no side effects from drinking coffee at night, while others suffer from sleeplessness, ... The Effects of Drinking Black...