Some people will tell you that coffee is really healthy. Others will tell you that it’s anything but. I was discussing this topic with my dad the other day over a morning coffee. Since he’s a doctor, I find myself more inclined to believe his words regarding health, particularly when he mentioned that coffee is, overall, good for you. He left me intrigued to find the detailed answer to the question: is drinking coffee every day good for you?

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Amy Cho

Upon starting my search for answers, I found that there was already a ton of studies conducted on this topic. In other words, finding juicy facts and details wasn’t too difficult.

A single 8 oz cup of coffee contains a handful of vitamins and nutrients (e.g. Vitamins B2, B5, B1, B3, and even a bit of phosphorus), fulfilling around 1-11% of your required daily intake per cup. Multiply that by two, three, or however many cups you have a day, and it’s not too bad. Mainly, however, coffee contains a ton of natural antioxidants.

What Are Antioxidants?

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To start off, oxidation is a chemical reaction that happens in all living things where, over time, cells get damaged due to reactions between certain molecules. Antioxidants are molecules that stop these reactions, and they can be found artificially via supplements, or naturally via food and your own body tissue. For example, vitamins A, C, and E are antioxidants found in common foods such as carrots, fruits, and spinach.

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Anna Hirschorn

Simply put, antioxidants load your cells and protect them from disease, with essentially no side effects. However, if you load yourself with too many artificial antioxidants via supplements, your body’s natural antioxidant defence system may weaken.

Now, linking it back to coffee — caffeine is one of the many antioxidants found in coffee, and one cup will have around 90-100 mg of caffeine. As we know, caffeine gives us a short-term energy boost and an overall boost in brain function (i.e. improved mood, reaction time, and general cognitive function). It also improves metabolism and exercise performance by about 11-12%.

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Tiare Brown

The positive effects of caffeine in the long term have also been shown in several studies. People that drink coffee or tea daily have a significantly reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Type 2 Diabetes, liver disease, and even mental illness, such as depression.

With those factors taken into consideration, it doesn’t seem surprising that individuals who drink coffee also have a longer mean lifespan.

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That being said, coffee is not without some drawbacks: caffeine is an addictive substance, so missing your daily fix can lead to withdrawal symptoms. Your tolerance may build up, gradually requiring more caffeine to keep it together. If consumed late, it can disrupt your ability to sleep, and too much caffeine can lead to restlessness, anxiety, and possibly even panic attacks.

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From what I ended up reading, it seems like the positive points significantly outweigh the negatives. However, it doesn’t seem like there’s any absolute need to start drinking coffee for the sole purpose of the health benefits. All-in-all, I was pretty relieved to find that coffee is, more or less, good for you as long as you watch your caffeine intake.