101 excuses to indulge yourself with more coffee

Image by Myriam Zilles from Pixabay

I consider myself to be moderately addicted to coffee: I slurp a mug of coffee to start my day, and when in certain days, I take another boosting dose in the afternoon and see my hands trembling. I might not be able to dissect flies on those days, but I do feel better doing other stuffs after that cup.

I always feel the urge to defend myself on coffee. It sounds a bit unhealthy to say “I don’t feel awake without coffee” after all. I tried to make my own coffee and to enjoy the differences of specialty beans for a while, but gave up later after realizing that no one savors something that you gulp down with a few mouthfuls. If you are like me, it’s your lucky week: New England Journal of Medicine, the medical journal that everyone loves, published a review article summarizing the physiological effects of caffein intake. Before the quick digest, please keep in mind that just like most studies focusing life style and health, the majority of evidences are observational, so keep in mind the pros and cons are correlative and prone to confounding factors.

Pros

✅ The least surprising part: Imporved alertness and respond time
✅ Pain relief
✅ Mildly reduced risk of heart disease
✅ Reduced appetite and increased metabolic rate
✅ Reduced risk of endometrial cancer
✅ Reduced risk of fatty liver and liver cirrhosis
✅ Reduced risk of gallbladder and kidney stone
✅ Reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease
✅ Reduced risk of depression and suicide (only when drinking 8 cups or more per day)

Cons

❌ Insomnia and anxiety
❌ Withdrawl sympotoms: Headache, depressed mood, excessive sleepiness for one to two weeks.
❌ Increased risk of heart diseases when combined with alcohol (I am looking at you now, jager bomb!)
❌ Transient increase of blood pressure (wane off for habitual drinkers in a week)
❌ Transient decrease of insulin sensitivity (back to baseline after no later than six months)
❌ Increased cholesterol level (only applies to drinkers of non-filtered coffee brewed by a French press, a moka pot, or an espresso machine.
❌ Increased sugar intake if you add sugar to your coffee
❌ Diuresis, but no evidence of impacting water homeostasis for habitual drinkers.
❌ Low birth weight and increased risk of pregnancy loss if consumed during preganancy

I don’t know how it sounds to you, but it sounds pretty positive to me. So, cheers – with a cup of black coffee.

PhD Student

A graduate student interested in developmental biology, neurobiology and bioinformatics.

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