Coffee is one of the most universally beloved beverages due to its rich flavor and energizing caffeine boost.
Although millions worldwide start their day with a cup of joe, there are some potential downsides.
Coffee is still worth drinking in 2023. If you drink in moderation, your daily cup of coffee can give you energy and antioxidants and help you relax. However, some people find it gives them an upset stomach, aggravates anxiety, and is addictive.
So how do you decide whether coffee is the right choice for you? Here’s a rundown of the pros and cons of drinking coffee to help determine if it’s something you still want to do in 2023.
Pros of drinking coffee in 2023
Many people still choose coffee to power through their day, so there must be a reason. Here are a few positives to drinking coffee in 2023.
Drinking coffee in moderation is safe
People are often reluctant to drink too much coffee and cut it out altogether, but this is entirely unnecessary.
It’s safe to consume up to 400mg of caffeine daily for a healthy adult, which is about 4 servings, so enjoying your favorite drink once or twice a day will keep you well below that limit.
If you don’t notice any significant side effects from coffee, chances are your body can tolerate it.
Coffee boosts your energy levels
The average American works 38.7 hours a week, and many of these jobs start early or involve physical labor. Drinking coffee is a great way to get yourself out of bed in the morning and out to work.
It can also improve cognitive performance, so if you’re not a morning person but your job requires you to switch on first thing, then coffee can help.
It can increase focus and efficiency, preventing you from making silly mistakes you spend the rest of the day fixing.
If you’re a student, coffee is also a great way to perform well in college.
While it can be challenging to attend 9 AM lectures after an all-night cramming session, sometimes it must be done.
Coffee is the easiest and most readily available way of boosting your energy and staying on track with a demanding college schedule.
So whether you want to succeed at work or school or just get out of bed and enjoy the day, coffee can be an excellent way of achieving that.
Coffee is full of antioxidants
While coffee has many lifestyle benefits, could it also be good for your health? Research shows that coffee contains a high level of antioxidants and can benefit your health.
The role of antioxidants in the body has been found to be essential in disease prevention and maintaining important body functions.
Several types of antioxidants play different roles in keeping the body healthy. Here are some of the essential antioxidants present in your cup of coffee:
- Cafestol is excellent for gut health. It modulates bile acid in the intestine to aid in digestion.
- Nictonic Acid (vitamin B3) helps release energy from our food. It fights fatigue, increases brain function, and is excellent for the digestive system. It comes from the breakdown of Trigonelline in coffee.
- Melanoidins are essential for the immune system. They contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that keep the body running smoothly and fighting off disease.
There are many more antioxidants, and they all work together to prevent cancer and significant physical or mental decline. Drinking coffee can contribute to your overall intake of these healthy antioxidants.
However, coffee should still be consumed in moderation, as some antioxidants in coffee, such as Quinine, are harmful on a large scale.
A moderate amount will do you good, but don’t load up on the stuff for the sake of your health.
You can drink coffee in small doses to relax
If you feel wired from coffee, you might be drinking too much. But drinking it in moderation can actually help relax you.
Many people report that a small amount of coffee can relax their systems and help them to de-stress.
For some, an espresso after dinner doesn’t disturb their sleep but supports digestion and helps them wind down before bed.
If you have ADHD, coffee can actually be beneficial. Like the ADHD drug Adderall, coffee causes calm in people with ADHD, whereas it causes hyperactivity in others.
In fact, many people with ADHD self-medicate with coffee without even realizing it.
Drinking coffee won’t make you completely zen, but if you feel particularly stressed and can’t focus, sitting down with a cup of coffee could do wonders.
Coffee is versatile and tastes great
Not everything has to be practical. Sometimes you just want a good old cup of joe because you like the taste, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
There are so many ways to have your coffee now that you’re bound to find one you like.
If you’re worried about other issues with your favorite coffee, such as dairy or sugar content, most coffee shops have great alternatives for any dietary restrictions you have.
From a whole array of dairy-free milk to sugar-free syrups, you’ll enjoy your favorite drink without worrying about your health.
If you like to make your dairy-free coffee at home, here is a recipe for a great almond milk latte that is dairy free and still gives you your caffeine fix.
Or, if you want to drink coffee for the taste but don’t react well to caffeine, opt for decaf. Decaf has all the flavors of coffee without the caffeine buzz.
Cons of drinking coffee in 2023
Like most food, people should consume coffee in moderation. While everyone’s tolerance level varies, too much coffee can have negative side effects. Here are a few downsides to drinking coffee in 2023.
Coffee can be unsettling on the stomach
Coffee can be great for its antioxidants and digestive support but can cause severe stomach distress in some. (Source)
Many people report stomach pains after drinking coffee, with the effect becoming stronger when more coffee is consumed.
While this doesn’t affect everyone, it can be a nasty side effect for those with a heightened sensitivity to the acidity of coffee.
Stomach pains can worsen if you suffer from heartburn or drink coffee on an empty stomach.
While it can be tempting to get that coffee down the moment you wake up, eating a slice of toast or some cereal can prepare your stomach for the acidic drink.
Drinking coffee with milk or cream can also dilute the acidity and be more tolerable for your gut.
If you’re experiencing stomach pains after several cups of coffee, you may want to reduce your intake.
And, if you experience pain after just one cup, you may have to switch your drink of choice to a lighter cup of tea.
However, if your drink of choice is a latte or other milk-based coffee, check that it isn’t the milk that is causing you distress, as you might be lactose intolerant.
Coffee can cause issues for people with anxiety disorders
Coffee can have minor side effects that don’t bother the average person, such as jitteriness and increased heart rate.
While most people find these manageable, people with anxiety disorders already suffer from these symptoms, and coffee can exacerbate them.
However, coffee doesn’t necessarily make anxiety worse in everyone. While some have reported that it does, others say it doesn’t, and some even say it helps their anxiety.
There isn’t significant research on the topic, so the only way to figure out how it affects you is to try and see.
Drink your first coffee slowly and with food so your body has time to adjust and won’t react so strongly.
Anxiety isn’t a danger to your health in most cases, so it’s up to you to determine what you can tolerate.
However, it’s probably best to quit if you’re experiencing panic attacks, shortness of breath, or stomach distress after drinking coffee.
It may be helpful to speak to your doctor if you experience these symptoms with or without coffee.
If coffee is causing you minor anxiety issues, then there might be some things you can do to help.
Drinking coffee on an empty stomach is sure to jolt your system into gear, which can overwhelm the body.
Making sure to have something to eat is a great way to ensure that coffee doesn’t cause you too many issues.
Coffee aside, it may simply be the caffeine causing anxiety.
Since caffeine is a stimulant, it can activate the sympathetic nervous system, which can make you alert.
However, it can also aggravate anxiety in those with an overactive nervous system, which is common in people with anxiety.
You can become easily addicted to caffeine
One of the most troublesome side effects of coffee is the potential for addiction.
Caffeine is a drug and can cause addiction if consumed in high quantities, and many people worry about how this will affect their day-to-day lives.
Caffeine addiction should be taken very seriously and has many symptoms that can cause short-term and long-term issues.
Here is a list of some of the symptoms associated with caffeine addiction:
- Blood pressure issues
- Heart problems
- Sleep issues
Long term, it can also cause issues with your blood pressure and heart, as research shows caffeine can increase blood pressure, even when consumed in moderation.
Withdrawal symptoms can be just as bad because if you suffer from a caffeine addiction and suddenly go without, you may feel very unwell.
The following are caffeine withdrawal symptoms:
- Fatigue and sleepiness
- Lowered brain functions
- Reduced mental alertness, which can be especially dangerous if you need to drive or operate machinery
The good news is that caffeine addiction is rarer than you think. You need to have repetitive and excessive coffee consumption for caffeine addiction to develop, so it’s unlikely that you will suffer.
Make sure to keep your caffeine intake to a minimum, and you will be fine. You can enjoy almost anything in moderation.
Furthermore, since caffeine is responsible for most of the adverse effects and addictive qualities of coffee, you can always switch to decaf.
While it won’t give you the same energy boost, you can still enjoy the flavor and morning ritual of drinking coffee.
Common misconceptions about drinking coffee
I’m sure you’ve heard a few rumors about the harmful effects of coffee. However, not all of them are rooted in facts.
Here are some top misconceptions about coffee to consider if you are reluctant to drink it.
Caffeine is dangerous and should be avoided
Because of the risks associated with too much caffeine, many people assume that drinking coffee is inherently bad for you. Thankfully, this is not the case.
Everything should be enjoyed in moderation, and coffee is no exception. There are serious risks associated with the overconsumption of caffeine.
Still, assuming you don’t have side effects, there is no reason you shouldn’t drink a reasonable amount, as caffeine won’t cause problems as long as you know your limits.
To ensure that coffee isn’t causing you problems, here are a few helpful tips to keep yourself healthy while enjoying the beverage:
- Stay well below the recommended daily caffeine limit of 400mg. While up to 400mg is safe, 1-2 servings are sensible if you drink coffee daily.
- Consume coffee slowly and with food. All the issues associated with coffee worsen when you drink it on an empty stomach.
- Listen to your doctors. If you have certain heart conditions, coffee may not suit you. If this is the case, avoid it whenever possible.
- Don’t mix coffee with other caffeinated drinks. If you’ve had an energy drink during the day, skip that cup of coffee, as they contain twice the amount of caffeine and will seriously spike your heart rate.
- Pay attention to withdrawal symptoms. If you experience withdrawal when skipping your morning cup of coffee, try tapering down slowly.
As long as you’re sensible with your coffee consumption, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy it.
You can’t drink coffee because you don’t like the taste
Maybe you like the idea of having a morning coffee, but you don’t want the bitter taste of the average coffee.
There has never been a better time for you to branch out into coffee than right now, with a vast range of hot, cold, sweet, bitter, and chocolatey coffees available.
There’s something available for everyone.
If you want the classic energy boost that coffee brings or enjoy that morning caffeine buzz, many sweetened coffee alternatives still contain caffeine but barely taste like coffee.
Next time you’re at your local coffee shop, take a closer look at their options.
You may love mochas, a hot chocolate and coffee combo, or even a pumpkin spice latte. Don’t knock it before you try it, as the Americano certainly isn’t for everyone.
And if you want to try making delicious coffee at home, this Biscoff latte recipe is easy to make and only has three ingredients.
It has such a delicious cookie taste that you won’t even realize you’re drinking a latte.
Coffee will mess up your sleep pattern
Several people have many opinions regarding coffee and sleep patterns. Some say don’t drink it after 3 pm, and others say not to drink it at all. But does it really matter?
The deciding factor is your own body.
Most people find that if they only consume a moderate amount of coffee throughout the day, they don’t suffer any sleep problems.
While drinking several cups of coffee right before bed is a bad idea, having a 4 PM coffee won’t hurt every once in a while.
If you’re reluctant to drink coffee because you want to protect your sleeping pattern, you shouldn’t worry.
In fact, drinking coffee in the morning increases cortisol, stimulating your body’s natural circadian rhythm. (Source)
While cortisol gets a bad rap, it’s an essential hormone that, when properly balanced, regulates your sleep-wake pattern.
Therefore, coffee is best consumed 1-2 hours after waking up to help support hormone levels for a healthy sleep pattern.
Coffee may even prevent you from sleeping too late and increase your chances of being tired at bedtime.
Everyone is different, and you shouldn’t expect your experiences with coffee to be the same as others. Only you can find out what works for your body.
You can test your limits by having a later coffee and seeing how your body reacts.
Who knows, you might even be one of the lucky ones that sleep soundly even with coffee. If not, there’s always decaf.
Coffee is definitely still worth drinking in 2023, as it’s a great way to boost your energy, load up on antioxidants, and enjoy a delicious drink.
But be aware that it can cause aggravated anxiety, stomach upset, or addiction for some.
However, there are plenty of ways to prevent negative issues associated with coffee, such as drinking it with food, using milk alternatives, and trying decaf.
And despite the common misconceptions about coffee’s dangers, drinking it in moderation isn’t an issue for most.