The Health Side

Liz Lagasse, MHS, RD, LD/N, a nutritionist with the GatorWellHealth Promotion Services and the Student Health Care Center, talks about the possible health effects of coffee.

Coffee has several positive health effects, according to several research studies, including possible decreases in:

It's important to know your personal tolerance for the caffeine in coffee drinks and stay under it, Liz said.

"The old adage of 'in moderation' definitely applies to this," Liz said. "You're not going to necessarily have these really extreme negative effects if you keep it within a nice low amount, which would be one to three cups of coffee daily."

Also, the amount of caffeine in each coffee drink can vary tremendously. Even within Starbucks, a small drip coffee can be anywhere from 300-500 mg of caffeine. But espresso only has 70-100 mg, Liz said.

Negative health effects of coffee include: If you have any of these negative symptoms or are taking certain medications, you should avoid drinking coffee, Liz said.

Switching to decaf might not solve these medical issues. The irritation of the bladder, prostate and digestive system are unique to coffee. "The caffeine is immaterial," Liz said.

A high-sugar or high-caffeine beverage may not be the best method for increasing energy. A healthier option would be to get plenty of sleep, Liz said.

Drink lots of water, because fatigue can cause dehydration. Go for milk and fruit juices to help your energy in a healthy way, Liz said.

Not willing to give up your routine coffee? Drinks like cappuccinos and lattes are lower in caffeine and are half-filled with milk. So you get the protein and calcium effects of dairy while still enjoying your coffee, Liz said.

Watch Liz's interview about the health effects of coffee



Watch Liz's interview about
the health effects of coffee

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Copyright © 2008 Kelsi Krieger

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