Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
The Science Behind Coffee and Why it's Actually Good for Your Health (lifehacker.com)
33 points by urlwolf on Feb 26, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 30 comments

All rings true to me both from my intuition and personal experience, HOWEVER... They only briefly mention not to put sugar in your coffee. I think this is a gross understatement, when all I see everywhere is people walking around with bucket-sized cups of cream and syrup (plus a little espresso).

If anything, our consumption of coffee may have spurred the diabetes epidemic by encouraging people to indulge their cream and sugar cravings all day long, in a socially-encouraged and -reinforced way...

Once, a wiser man than I told me that if you don't like black coffee, just go one week where you drink your coffee black, gag it down at first if you have to, but then you'll be hooked. (once you go black, you never go back...) I tried it, and have been drinking nothing but black coffee for 6 years. I've managed to convert my gf and my dad and several friends as well. It's amazing, and now I can't stand to water down my coffee with cream or sugar.

Edit: I've also been told that coffee has the most "flavors" of any beverage out there, orders of magnitude more than wine, or tea. Take it for what you will, I'm not claiming to be capable of distinguishing them, but once you add cream/sugar/etc, you start to neuter the flavors. Savor them my friends, savor them.

Many many years ago I worked at this large corporate place where they had a coffee machine on each floor. I only had access to my floor and one day the coffee machine on my floor ran out of milk. So, for a week or so I took my coffee without milk. For some reason the machine was filled up again and the next week it also ran out of sugar forcing me to take my coffee black.

Ever since I have been drinking my coffee black and today I can't imagine having milk or sugar in my coffee since it will ruin the glorious taste of it.

That said, I go nuts for the flavour of soy milk in coffee, with a touch of brown sugar (must be heated before being added, mind you). Guilty pleasure :o) but I gave up alcohol so I think net–gain.

This is true. A lot of the concoctions they serve in coffee shops clock in at around 200 calories.

If only it was that low. A venti latte with 2% milk from Starbucks has 240 calories but a venti white chocolate mocha with 2% milk has 580 calories.

In all fairness, twenty ounces of anything but water is probably going to have nutso calorie numbers. That said, even a tall white chocolate mocha is 310 calories.

20oz of brewed coffee with no sugar or milk, ~5 calories :)

Use honey instead of sugar or syrup it is very good.

@drakim Yes IT is waaaayy better... (of course keep sane proportions) you can check several papers at pubmed. one here [1] [1] = http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21310307

Quoting the conclusion of the linked abstract: "These results suggest that in comparison with sucrose, honey may reduce weight gain and adiposity, presumably due to lower food intake,"

It seems like the rats on honey diet just ate less. I don't think this transfers to the honey as sweetener use case, where you'd use about the same amount of sugar compounds to reach desired sweetness level of the beverage.

from the linked abstract: "honey may reduce weight gain and adiposity, presumably due to lower food intake".

Sounds like it only works because you end up consuming less, not because honey is fundamentally healthier than sucrose.

Honey has several vitamins and mineral together. If not by the weigh gain it is healthier by the vitamins

Is it really?

I understand that honey and syrup isn't as bad as pure white sugar, but is it really something that is "good"?

You may find this interesting a company in my town makes dried honey.


I do agree with the sugar issue.

But what's wrong with cream?

Horrbily one-sided. Wikipedia's article has both ways coffee is good and is bad for you.


The important thing is that the dosage makes the the medicine of poison, and that while drinking two or three cups a day may be better for your health than not drinking coffee, drinking ten cups a day is bad for you.

Ignoring the specific number of cups for a moment, I like your discussion of dosage making something medicine or poison.

In medicine we say that drugs have a "therapeutic index". That is, there is some window in which the medication is more helpful than harmful. On the low side, there is just no effect. On the high side, toxicities dominate.

Makes me wonder if there's anything with the opposite progression:

No effect -> harmful -> helpful

I'd guess not, but I'm curious as to why.

Overload /limitations to adaptation.

Cool, let's just ignore the science of "coffee is bad for you" folks. Everything has to be so fucking simple now - it's either good for you or it's bad for you. Screw the other interacting variables.

We each have 20k different genes and infinite combinations of genetics, environment, behavior etc.

But the good news is everything is binary - it is all either good or bad - for all of us.

Interesting article and I do enjoy my one cup of coffee (with Splenda™, brown sugar and milk) per weekday but . . .according to the article: “Drinking coffee is associated with a drastically reduced risk of type II diabetes” and “Coffee is associated with a much lower risk of dementia and the neurodegenerative disorders Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.” and “Coffee consumption has been associated with a lower risk of death in prospective epidemiological studies, especially in type II diabetics.”

Being “associated with” is pretty meaningless; it’s not the same as being statistically correlated with. The article also states “In fact, coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the western diet, outranking both fruits and vegetables combined”. I view that more as an indictment against the western diet, not an endorsement of coffee as a source of antioxidants.

Yes, but how does it compare with tea?

Every time I drink coffee, I get mini-seizures. It's like my brain becomes TOO over-active, and causes it to work faster/harder than it is capable of. I stay away from coffee all the time as a result.

Perhaps you're drinking too much coffee. People have different natural sensitivities to caffeine. For me, one 12-oz (tall) black coffee from Starbucks is usually too much and makes me feel anxious.

What does the term "mini-seizure" mean?

I'm guessing they mean muscle spasms and/or irregular heartbeat. I once drank an entire pot of coffee when I was younger and had irregular heartbeat for about half a day from it, I was wide awake though.

A lot of bold claims here. It's unfortunate that the article focuses solely on the potential benefits of caffeine/coffe but glosses over the possibility of there being any risks associated with them. That being said, I applaud the author for providing references for all the claims he makes!

Enough said! Now I am doing my MONSTER ITALIAN Espresso!

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact