Coffee: The Good and The Bad

The classic pick-me-up drink for any college student or working man or women. Coffee has also been debated in the world of nutrition. Is the caffeine good for you? Isn’t coffee a bean and aren’t beans not allowed on the paleo diet? How much coffee is too much and how much is too little? Can you get addicted? Can coffee actually be good for me? Is relying on coffee a bad thing?

These are all legitimate questions and trust me, I hear you. However, to truly come up with a definitive position on coffee, lets look at the good side and the bad.

The Good:


  • Coffee offers really nice nutritional benefits. The most prevelant of those benefits is in the antioxidants that coffee provides. Coffee is actually America’s number one source of antioxidants (not a good thing) The only problem with the antioxidants is in the roasting of the beans. When the beans are roasted, they lose some, but not all of the antioxidant properties. Medium roast seems to have the least lost from the roasting process.
  • Coffee also offers a little something called caffeine. Coffee contains caffeine and can be a great way to get a little kick in the butt in morning if you really need it. Your focus, memory and performance will improve when you have some caffeine in your system. It’s just a fact. *dont discount caffeine for “the bad” section.
  • Coffee can also be a great pre-workout stimulant. A lot of people these days want to get super energetic before their workouts, so they take all sorts of enhancers. These enhancers can really mess you up. Instead, try having a cup o’ joe before you workout. This will give you extra energy in a more natural way than any supplement can.
The Bad:
  • There is no reason to believe that cavemen would have been sipping on coffee every morning as most of us do before we head off to class or work. So, if you are on the “I want to be just like a caveman!” route, then you probably are going to avoid coffee.
  • Caffeine can actually reduce your blood flow during exercise. As this study shows, “a caffeine dose corresponding to two cups of coffee (200 mg) significantly decreased exercise-induced MFR [Myocardial flow reserve.]” This could hamper your overall output during exercise.
  • This study showed that coffee consumption has had a correlation with non-fatal heart disease. However, that is only in people who metabolize caffeine very slowly. While the study shows a “correlation” study was also a “correlation” study, and does not show actual causation between coffee and heart disease.
The Conclusion:
  • For most college students, coffee is a must have. If you are that kind of person, I would say go for it. When it comes down to it there are definitely some essential benefits that coffee offers. In the life of a college student, running around from class to class, to clubs, to sports, to wherever, coffee is going to assist you.
  • In no way is coffee essential. There are plenty of ways to get the same energy boost and essential antioxidants that coffee gives. Fruits and vegetables can provide the nutrients, and doing things such as Ty-chi or Yoga can do wonders on your energy.
  • I would also warn those of you who plan to partake in consumption that you should not rely on the stuff. While it can be a great pick-me-up when you need a quick boost, relying on it will come back to haunt you . . .
Questions? Comments? Concerns? What experiences have you had with coffee? Want a Caveman College t-shirt? Leave a comment below!



About The Author


Max is a passionate pursuer of integrative health. He has been drafted by a professional baseball team, worked in publishing scientific laboratories and spoken to groups of students on health and well-being. He is currently a biology major and philosophy minor at Denison University. Max spends his time reading, weightlifting, traveling and learning. Email Max at

2 Responses

  1. 10 Foods You Should be Eating More Often December 13, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  2. Jack
    Jack October 24, 2013 at 4:34 pm | | Reply

    Who said caveman don’t drink coffee? How do you think humans got so civilized?

    This video proves my point! xD

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