How Do You Like Your Caffeine?

I intentionally did not bring a coffee maker with me to college.  When I was doing one of my many runs through Target over the summer, I decided that I did not want to come away from college with a diploma and a caffeine addiction, so I went for the hot pot (or hot water heater) just down the isle.

When people have mentioned drinking coffee black, I’ve always shuddered at the thought…until very recently.  About a week ago, someone mentioned to me that they always start their day off with a cup of coffee.  My initial thought was that he was probably a caffeine addict, perhaps from the start of his college career.  However he proceeded to explain that he drank his coffee black.  Now the idea of this was turning me further away, until he mentioned some of the health benefits of drinking one cup of black coffee at the beginning of each day.  I couldn’t leave this conversation unfinished, so I later looked up whether this might in fact be true or if it was all another health scam.

To my amazement, I discovered that coffee may, in fact, have more to offer than the average college student realizes.  That is, if the coffee is served black.  According to an article I found by the American Chemical Society, coffee has proven to be the number one source of antioxidants for most Americans.  And by number one, I actually don’t mean number one.  Dates are packed with the most antioxidants per serving, but because most Americans don’t chose dates as their go-to snack, coffee beats dates in the ranking.  This itself is surprising, because items like tea, milk, chocolate, and cranberries are also commonly known for containing very high levels of antioxidants.

cup of black coffee with beans, spoon, and sugar

Photo 1


The good news about antioxidants in coffee is that they have been associated with a huge number of likely health benefits.  The American Institute for Cancer Research has found that coffee can, in fact, help protect against cancer–specifically colon cancer and liver cancer.  The American Chemical Society has found that coffee can also protect against type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.  If we know this much, imagine what other health benefits we could continue to find from a simple drink like coffee in the future.

The important piece about coffee consumption is the same for any food or drink: a good thing can soon become bad if not used in moderation.  For coffee–this means that a cup or two can come along with many potential health benefits.  Studies have not yet shown, however, that going for a fourth or fifth cup by the afternoon is still beneficial.  Additionally, these benefits aren’t necessarily going to count if you’re packing your java with creme and sugar.

Image result for black coffee benefits

Photo 2

I’m not sure if it was the power of suggestion, or a bright new idea of mine to start drinking my coffee black, but to me it made the most sense.  It was strange how I woke up one morning and decided to drink my Trader Joe’s Instant Colombian blend without any add-ins, but I certainly feel as though it’s a better option than with loads of sugar.  I look forward to seeing in the long-run if drinking a moderate amount of coffee served black impacts my health for the better.

4 thoughts on “How Do You Like Your Caffeine?

  1. Molly Mccarthy Tompson

    I absolutely love coffee. And I mean, real coffee, not sweet syrupy and artificial coffee. I like my coffee without any sugar at all. However, I do NOT react well to caffeine at all. It makes me shake and anxious and uncomfortable. So, I personally drink coffee just because I like the taste, and I usually drink it decaf. This article on Berkeley Wellness shows that it is pretty much unknown whether decaffeinated coffee is any more or less healthy than caffeinated coffee.

  2. Mairead Donnard

    This blog was especially interesting to read as I love coffee and cannot start my day without it. I have always known that coffee had some good health benefits but your blog really reiterated that to me. With that being said, coffee has also been linked to help weight loss as well as providing antioxidants. You might find this article interesting: . It discusses how coffee actually speeds up the metabolism.

  3. William Joseph Robbins-cole

    I am someone who went through a tremendous coffee addiction, which I quit because I thought it was going to negatively affect my health and because I frankly prefer tea better, but this blog has got me thinking about which is actually better or worse for you coffee or tea. This is an article that compares the two. This article actually lists tea as having more antioxidants than coffee, but read it and make your own deductions.

  4. Lauren Elizabeth Jardine

    Like you drinking coffee, especially without milk and sugar has always left me disturbed and wondering what on earth would compel someone to ever try that in the first place. But this article has had me thinking maybe its time to give the beans a try. Besides I know I could certainly use the caffeine boost. Check out statistics on college kids coffee habits here

Leave a Reply