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More to coffee than its morning punch

Colin Lux

Issue date: 8/27/10 Section: News
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Media Credit: José Luis Gutiérrez
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There is nothing better than a freshly brewed pot of coffee in the morning. But there is much more to coffee than the delightful jolt of energy from the caffeine For years coffee has had the reputation of stunting growth and causing heart problems and cancer. Although it can stain your teeth over time (I drink my coffee through a straw, even hot!) researchers say the benefits of coffee may outweigh the risks.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have reported that about 200-to-300 milligrams of caffeine (roughly 2 to 4 cups of coffee) a day is moderate and safe. Emerging research shows that caffeine helps prevent osteoporosis by increasing the excretion of calcium, a very important mineral for growing young adults. Caffeine also stimulates the cardiovascular system making you more alert, and even elevating your mood.

Coffee has other benefits beside caffeine. At Harvard University, scientists discovered that coffee drinkers have a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Studies suggest that coffee may reduce the risk of developing various types of cancer, such as liver cancer. Coffee is also known to have a high content of antioxidants - which are key components to cancer prevention.

If you enjoy drinking coffee then keep drinking coffee, but do it in moderation. Excess caffeine can cause anxiety, an uncomfortable heart rate and insomnia. Additionally, caffeine stays in your body for a surprisingly long time, so researchers suggest that you quit consuming coffee (or anything with a high caffeine content) eight hours before you go to bed. Coffee has wonderful benefits but that does not mean you need to drink more or start drinking it. If you are, however, looking for a caffeine fix, you may as well stay clear of soda and energy drinks, which provide almost no health benefits at all. coffee and tea provide the caffeine with a some extra health benefits.
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