BY Alice Park
There are few things more more ritualistic—and to many, more sacred—than a morning cup of joe. 64% of Americans drink at least one cup a day—a statistic that’s barely budged since the ’90s. Despite warnings from doctors over the years that coffee may be hard on the body, people have remained devoted to the drink.
Luckily for them, the latest science is evolving in their favor. Research is showing that coffee may have net positive effects on the body after all.
Is coffee bad for you?
For years, doctors warned people to avoid coffee because it might increase the risk of heart disease and stunt growth. They worried that people could become addicted to the energy that high amounts of caffeine provided, leading them to crave more and more coffee as they became tolerant to higher amounts of caffeine. Experts also worried that coffee had damaging effects on the digestive tract, which could lead to stomach ulcers, heartburn and other ills.
All of this concern emerged from studies done decades ago that compared coffee drinkers to non-drinkers on a number of health measures, including heart problems and mortality. Coffee drinkers, it seemed, were always worse off.