What’s Up With Coffee? | Psychology Today United Kingdom

What’s Up With Coffee? | Psychology Today United Kingdom

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I start every morning with a steaming cup of coffee. And you? 62% of us drink coffee every day. I physically and mentally rely on coffee for that morning start.

How many cups do you drink every day? The average American coffee drinker drinks a little over 3 cups a day. I drink heavily, probably 4-5 cups a day, and ignore the warning that caffeine will disrupt your sleep if you drink coffee after 12pm. Some nights I see clients at 7 and 8 p.m., and if my day started at 7 a.m., I fucking need that cup—or two—so I can do my documentation.

I feel like one day I hear coffee is bad for me and the next day I read it’s good for me. And the next day I read that it’s all about what I put in it. I confess, and I’m sure many of you will flinch, that I like my coffee light and sweet.

An article in Discover Magazine states: “According to recent research, coffee may even be good for you. “The overall evidence was pretty compelling that coffee was healthier than harmful in terms of health effects,” says Frank Hu, chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health. “For most people, moderate coffee consumption can be incorporated into a healthy diet.”

Everything in moderation. That’s what I hear all the time and that’s what I tell my customers too. What does this mean in terms of coffee? According to Hu, “a moderate amount of coffee a day, with two to five cups a day, is still pretty generous.”

I was surprised to read in the article that coffee benefits a number of medical conditions. Hu confirmed what recent studies have found: Moderate coffee consumption is linked to a lower likelihood of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and liver disease and endometrial cancer, Parkinson’s disease and depression. People who drink coffee may even lower their risk of dying. The only one I have experience with is depression, although I don’t know if my diagnosis of Prinzmetal’s angina counts as heart disease.

As I alluded to above, what goes into your coffee cup matters. Apparently, when the purists talk about coffee, they’re referring to this drink in its simplest form – filter coffee with a little cream and sugar. They’re not talking about a Starbucks Venti Caramel Macchiato or a Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino as these are loaded with lots of added sugar and calories.

Remember when I said I drink coffee to help me stay up late, see clients, and help me finish my notes? When it comes to coffee, what keeps one up all night can hardly affect another’s sleep. Marilyn Cornelis, a caffeine and coffee researcher who studied coffee extensively at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, says there’s a complex relationship between genes and caffeine metabolism, or how quickly the body processes caffeine.

am i addicted to caffeine I do not think so. I admittedly have an addictive personality. There are days when I have less. When I’m very busy, I drink less just because I forget. When I’m not feeling well, I sometimes don’t like coffee. I don’t have any caffeine withdrawal symptoms like headaches, extreme tiredness or trouble concentrating. When I find I’m drinking too much caffeine – which I rarely do because I don’t get nervous – I can moderate my intake by easily reducing a cup or two.

So drink up. Go ahead and enjoy that first, second or third cup of coffee.

Thank you for reading.


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