Updated 01 October 2019

Coffee: This is what science is telling us

Here's what science is telling us about coffee – there's a lot of good – but also some bad.

Many of us don't get through a morning unscathed without a good cup of coffee.

For others, it's what sustains them through the day.

But the beloved cup of coffee continues to be the source of research to determine it's effects on the body – here's what we know from recent studies.

The good:

Drinking more than 6 cups a day? Well there's an unexpected health benefit

To the many ways in which coffee seems to confer unexpected health benefits, add a lowered risk of painful gallstones.

After tracking nearly 105 000 Danes for an average of eight years, researchers found that those who downed more than six cups per day of the world's most popular beverage saw their gallstone risk drop by 23%.

But not everybody is convinced...

Worried about coffee keeping you awake? You can relax – but alcohol and nicotine are the enemies of a good night's rest

If your love for coffee runs deep, but you're worried about you favourite beverage keeping you awake at night, life is about to get better.

A new study has found that nicotine and alcohol use within four hours of bedtime was negatively associated with the quality and quantity of subjects' sleep, while coffee and other caffeinated beverages didn't significantly affect their chances of catching a good night’s sleep – in most cases anyway.

The researchers do warn, however, that some individuals are more sensitive to caffeine than others, and that caffeine can still make a difference to some people's sleeping patterns.

Why coffee could be great for your workout

Coffee has long been the go-to beverage of the bleary-eyed early morning crowd – but could the jolt of energy that comes with all that caffeine be put to even better use in the gym?

For some people, the answer to that question is a resounding yes.

While your local supplement store is likely to have shelves upon shelves of fancy pre-workout powders that get your heart rate buzzing, you could get the same type of benefit with a simple cup of coffee.

But there's also some bad:

You might want to think twice before that second cup of coffee – it may be fuelling your anxiety

If you struggle with anxiety, you might want to skip that second cup of coffee, new research suggests.

"Caffeine is not the enemy" – for some people, caffeine may help with concentration and provide an energy boost, but it can cause problems for those with general anxiety disorder, said Dr Julie Radico, a clinical psychologist with Penn State Health.

Suffering from migraines? You might want to curb the coffee

Love your coffee but prone to migraines? New research published in The American Journal of Medicine has some bad news if two cups of coffee are not nearly enough for you.

The recent study shows that drinking three or more servings of caffeinated beverages a day is associated with the onset of a migraine headache the same day or the following day.And for good measure, here's some extra reading:

Is coffee good for you?

Here’s what happens to your body when you drink coffee

SEE: The dangers lurking in your cup of coffee

If you just drank way too much coffee, here’s what you should do

Image credit: iStock


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