What is Coffee

Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans, the seeds of berries from certain Coffea species. All fruit must be further processed from a raw material—the fruit and seed—into a stable, raw product; un-roasted, green coffee

Victoria Middleton

Victoria Middleton

RD
Registered Dietitian
New York City, NY
Yumna Khan

Yumna Khan

RD
Registered Dietitian
Burlington, ON
Margarita deGraaf

Margarita deGraaf

RD
Registered Dietitian
Burlington, ON

Nanci Guest, MSc, RD, CSCS, Registered Dietitian, discusses The Facts About Drinking Coffee and Your Health

Quiz: Do You Understand Coffee and Your Health?

Test your knowledge by answering the following questions:

Questions
True
False
1

Coffee can have a positive effect on your workout.

Explanation:
Studies have shown that consuming caffeine before a workout may increase your metabolism and boost athletic performance. However, talk to your doctor about how much caffeine (if any) is right for you before you add it to your pre-workout routine.
2

The effect caffeine has on your body is not linked to your genes.

Explanation:
Your genetics do matter when it comes to coffee consumption. For example, there may be an increased risk of heart attack and high blood sugar among genetically slow metabolizers of caffeine. Fast metabolizers of caffeine don't face these risks.
3

Coffee may be beneficial to your mental health.

Explanation:
There have been some studies that show coffee can reduce the risk of depression, due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Groups who drank coffee reported fewer symptoms of depression than those who didn't consume caffeine.
4

Consuming up to 800 milligrams of caffeine per day is considered safe.

Explanation:
Most experts agree that consuming up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day is generally safe for healthy adults.
5

It's possible to become addicted to caffeine.

Explanation:
This is a bit of a trick question. Caffeine use is actually classified as a dependence, not an addiction. For something to be considered addictive, it has to activate the brain's reward circuit. Caffeine does enhance dopamine signaling in the brain. However, it's not enough to activate the brain's reward circuit like addictive substances (e.g., cocaine, nicotine) do.
(Answer all questions to activate)

The Facts About Drinking Coffee and Your Health

What’s interesting about coffee is there has been a lot of research around coffee over the past three or four decades.

And the results of studies were really inconsistent. Some showed that coffee was harmful to you. Others show there was health benefits. So it’s really confusing what is the final answer.

And it wasn’t until we started doing genetic testing that we found that there was actually a relationship to whether coffee was harmful or not, especially to the heart, depending on a certain genetic variation.

There are some people in the population that should avoid coffee and this includes women who are pregnant, those who are trying to become pregnant, those who are using in vitro fertilization procedures, as well as children and teens.

We’re particularly concerned with teens and young adults that mix energy drinks containing caffeine with alcohol. And this is because the stimulating effects of caffeine can make you feel like you’re not getting as drunk.

And therefore there’s an increase in alcohol consumption when combining with the caffeinated energy drinks. And this can result in increased levels of inebriation and subsequently partaking of more risky behaviors.

We also want to make sure that those with a genetic variation that increases the risk to heart health when consuming coffee should know their genotype in order to reduce that risk and therefore reduce their intake of coffee to one large cup a day.

For individuals that have more questions about their coffee or caffeine intake, they should speak with a registered dietitian or another health care professional.

Presenter: Ms. Nanci Guest, Registered Dietitian, Toronto, ON

Local Practitioners: Registered Dietitian

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