As with all addictions, there are varying levels of commitment to the vice.

But unlike most addictions, coffee has its benefits, too.

The avid drinker not only appreciates how coffee induces alertness, but also how emotionally uplifting it can be – just a 6 ounce cup can do the trick.

At the same time, coffee can make us restless and anxious when it’s time to hit the hay.

And have you ever noticed how the elixir makes you jittery if you drink it without eating? Body weight and food consumption play a large role in sensitivity to caffeine.

Frequent drinkers suffer pounding headaches that could last from a day to a week.

But, research results suggest that coffee can reduce your risk of developing diabetes, insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome by roughly 50 percent.

Caffeine in coffee is beneficial for exercise as well by improving muscular capacity.

Drinking coffee regularly helps to fulfill daily fluid requirements, too.

One concern among the coffee community is the speculation about French press coffee because it doesn’t use a filter, which means that higher levels of cafestol enter the coffee.

Cafestol is a substance that resides in the oily fraction of coffee that stimulates LDL cholesterol levels. So, if you’re struggling with your cholesterol levels, you should consider choosing filtered or instant coffee.

Aside from its ability to produce energy, coffee is also beneficial in that it is loaded with antioxidants, which are usually associated with fruits and vegetables.

One 2005 study showed Americans received more antioxidants from coffee than fruits or vegetables.

Any way you mix it, there are pros and cons. So, my final words of advice: drink at your own risk.

Photo courtesy of Claire Oliver

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