Pros and Cons of Drinking Coffee: Effects of Caffeine


Although there are many benefits to drinking coffee, there can also be some negative effects that can take place as a result of drinking coffee. If you’re someone who has health problems or are especially sensitive to heart burn or the effects of caffeine, the cons of coffee could compound the problem.

Roasted coffee beans with aromatic smoke on a dark background.
Roasted coffee beans with aromatic smoke on a dark background.

This article is not intended to be a Debbie Downer regarding drinking coffee, but rather the goal is to create an awareness for those who are seeking such information about the potential downsides of drinking coffee. And if you’re unsure whether drinking coffee is safe for you, we always recommend checking with your doctor first.

Let’s take a look first at the positives and then the potential negatives of drinking coffee.

Benefits of Coffee

There can be many benefits to drinking coffee. In fact, coffee is considered to be very rich in antioxidants. It shows more antioxidant activity than green tea and cocoa.

Antioxidants in Coffee

Some of the present antioxidants include polyphenols and hydrocinnamic acids, along with flavonoids and chlorogenic acid.

Since coffee is rich in antioxidants, consuming it is thought to help keep free radicals that cause illness and diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease away.

The good thing is if you’re interested in reading more about the antioxidants in coffee as well as how that compares to the benefits obtained in consuming blueberries, you’ll want to check out our post here.

As a result of the increased antioxidants, coffee can also support heart health, protect against liver conditions, support brain health, promote weight management, and ultimately can increase longevity.

coffee press kit
coffee press kit

Boosts Energy Levels

When drinking coffee that includes caffeine, you as the consumer can experience a potential boost in energy levels. This is why many people enjoy drinking coffee, besides the added potential health benefits.

Drinking your cup of joe in the morning can be a great way to help you wake up, provide energy, and help you get your day going.

Disadvantages of Coffee

Along with benefits of drinking coffee, there are potential disadvantages that you’ll want to be aware of. Most of these negative side effects stem from the consumption of too much caffeine for one’s body to handle.

These might or might not appear for you, depending on how long you’ve been drinking coffee, your overall health or sensitivities.

If you’ve tried drinking coffee and find some of these disadvantages to be a problem for you because of caffeine intake, decaffeinated coffee might be a good alternative solution.

High Blood Pressure

If you’re a generally healthy individual, chances are that drinking a cup of coffee a day isn’t going to cause you to have high blood pressure. But if you have questions or concerns, be sure to consult your physician.

White coffee cup and coffee beans on wooden background
White coffee cup and coffee beans on wooden background

A review of 34 studies showed that 200–300 mg of caffeine from coffee — approximately the amount you’d consume in 1.5–2 cups of coffee — resulted in an average increase of 8 mm Hg and 6 mm Hg in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respectively (source).

Heart Palpitations

If you’re someone who’s sensitive to caffeine, or you’re a heart patient, you’ll want to be sure to check with your doctor first before consuming caffeine.

Patients frequently report palpitations after caffeine ingestion, and physicians often advise patients with arrhythmias to avoid caffeinated coffee because caffeine content has the potential of throwing your heart out of rhythm or altering your heart rate (source).

Central Nervous System

Drinking coffee with caffeine can also affect your central nervous system and cognitive function.

Caffeine acts as a central nervous system stimulant. When it reaches your brain, the most noticeable effect is alertness. You’ll feel more awake.

This is why many people appreciate the effects of coffee and drink it first thing in the morning to get their day going, help them wake up, and to help them focus on the tasks at hand (source).

Heart Attack

Can drinking coffee cause you to have a heart attack?

According to the American College of Cardiology, drinking coffee—particularly two to three cups a day—is not only associated with a lower risk of heart disease and dangerous heart rhythms, there is some evidence that indicates it can actually benefit the heart.

coffee preparation
coffee preparation

Blood Sugar Levels

For normal, healthy adults, moderate amounts of coffee is not going to be a problem. However, those with diabetes or a family history of diabetes will want to use caution when consuming coffee.

There are mixed research findings about how coffee consumption affects blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.

Some scientists conclude that drinking coffee doesn’t affect insulin sensitivity while others find that it does.

It’s always best to talk to your doctor before knowing what’s best for you and your personal health situation.

Adrenaline Levels

There are approximately 95 mg of caffeine in an 8 fl oz cup of coffee. Given that some coffee lovers tend to drink more than 1 cup a day, there is a potential for increased adrenaline levels  when too much coffee with caffeine is consumed.

Heavy coffee drinkers have the potential for caffeine overdose which is compounded with panic attacks by some.  

Be careful about consuming more caffeine than your body can handle.

Withdrawal Symptoms

If you’re someone who has had caffeine on a daily basis for any length of time, you might find that you have withdrawal symptoms when you miss drinking coffee or if you try to stop drinking coffee.

Black coffee with coffee beans on the table
Black coffee with coffee beans on the table

Withdrawal symptoms can include effects such as headache, insomnia, irritability, and more. Consult your physician if you need help managing caffeine withdrawal symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are frequently asked questions that relate to the cons of coffee. If you have questions that aren’t answered here, feel free to drop a message to us in the comments box below and we’ll be happy to respond.

What does coffee do to your body?

Coffee can provide benefits to your body as well as disadvantages, depending on your body’s tolerance and health condition.

Antioxidants tend to be the main benefit, while the effects of caffeine and acidity tend to create the main disadvantages.

What are the cons of caffeine coffee?

If your body is sensitive to caffeine, drinking regular coffee might bother you. Caffeine is known for stimulating your brain, providing increased energy, creating a restlessness, insomnia, and increased heart rate.

If the caffeine in coffee bothers you, but you enjoy coffee, you might appreciate trying decaf coffee. 

aromatic morning coffee
aromatic morning coffee

What are the pros and cons of coffee beans?

Coffee beans are high in antioxidants which can help to lower the risk of some diseases, but the caffeine content can boost energy levels and cause unpleasant side effects.

Eating chocolate covered coffee beans can add calories, sugar, and potential weight gain to your diet.

Is coffee bad for gut health?

Generally speaking, if your gut health is good, coffee should be perfectly fine for you to drink.

The caffeine in coffee has the potential to worsen your condition if you suffer from diarrhea caused by Irritable Bowel Syndrome because it makes your metabolism work faster.

Coffee is acidic and can potentially cause heart burn for those who are sensitive in drinking coffee.

Coffee also has phytochemicals that are helpful to promote good bacteria inside the gut.

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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