Much of my day revolves around drinking coffee. My relationship with the beverage is not one of dependence (like it is for many), but of reverence. Coffee emits the only aroma I can detect five rooms away, as I am quite sense-of-smell-challenged. Whether I am at my desk, a deposition or meeting with a client, it focuses me, and in times of stress, it relaxes me. While it propels me forward in the morning, I can drop off to sleep like a well-fed infant regardless of how much caffeine I have theretofore consumed. After 40 years of imbibing, the stimulating substance seems to understand me and will do whatever I need it to do.
Many avoid caffeinated coffee because of bygone reports of adverse health effects. Recent research reported in Harvard Women’s Health Watch reveals that a “few cups a day” is safe and may even be beneficial. Studies show that the risk for Type 2 diabetes is lower among regular coffee drinkers than among those who don’t drink it. Coffee may also reduce the risks that one will develop gallstones, colon cancer, liver damage (in people at high risk for liver disease), and Parkinson’s Disease, and it seems to improve cognitive function. The popular drink has also been shown to enhance endurance during tough physical activity. For those who drink coffee to stay alert (particular if one is fighting sleep deprivation), the new research suggests it is better to spread consumption over the course of the day. For instance, if you usually drink 16 ounces in the morning, you should try consuming a 2-3 ounce serving every hour or so. Apparently, moderation is the key. I suppose that leaves me out.