COFFEE: TO DRINK OR NOT TO DRINK
As with many of life’s pleasures, controversy abounds. It is certain that some
people, who may be allergic or have life threatening aggravations to coffee,
should abstain from any coffee. Others can seemingly tolerate unlimited
amounts. However, for most people moderate amounts can contribute to the
simple pleasures of the pallet without dire consequences. The key is quantity
There is much research concerning both the negative effects of coffee drinking
as well as the benefits. Much of the press focuses on caffeine; however there
are many other not so researched chemicals that contribute to both the negatives
and the positives. Many of the Pro’s and Con’s, from various studies that can
easily be found on the Internet, are listed below:
• Coffee is a central nervous system stimulator that gives the adrenals a
kick and causes production of the stress handling hormone adrenalin and
the production of more cortisol resulting in short term benefits of
heightened awareness / alertness and more energy, but long term may
result in a crash after each consumption to lower levels of energy than
previously thereby necessitating another cup and another cup, etc. Thus,
it may be addictive and ultimately may result in adrenal exhaustion.
• Even though coffee has never been conclusively linked to cancer, it does
contain acknowledged carcinogens such as caffeine and other chemicals
produced by the high heat of roasting such as creosote, pymdine, tars,
and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
• Caffeine interferes with adenosine, a brain chemical that normally has a
• Cortisol levels are raised which in turn results in constriction of the blood
vessels, harder pumping of the heart and higher blood pressure.
(Constriction of blood vessels is also a benefit, see the next section.)
• The liver in fetuses and newborns cannot metabolize caffeine, so it
remains in the body for up to four days stimulating the nervous system
resulting in irritability and sleeplessness.
• Coffee has been associated with low birth weight, birth defects,
miscarriages, premature birth, inability to conceive, and sluggish sperm.
• Many of the chemicals in coffee and decaf irritate the stomach lining
causing an increase of stomach acid leading to digestive disorders. Coffee, including decaf, has high amounts of vitamin K, which affects
coagulability of the blood – bad for people at risk of heart attack, stroke
and blood clots.
• Decreases quality of sleep.
• Caffeine may cause problems with blood sugar control after meals for type
• Coffee excites more rapid peristaltic movements of the intestines resulting
in shorted transit times and less absorption of nutrients.
• Coffee hampers the absorption of essential minerals and vitamins such as
magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, and B’s.
• Coffee contributes to caries in the teeth.
• Coffee stimulates more frequent urination and subsequent loss of various
vitamins and minerals such as B, C, calcium, iron and zinc.
• Caffeine may aggravate osteoporosis by leaching calcium from the bones.
• Caffeine may increase intraocular pressure in persons with glaucoma.
• Coffee may interfere with proper levels of homocysteine and cholesterol
by inhibiting vitamins folate, B12 or B6.
• Coffee is one of most heavily pesticide sprayed crops.
• Caffeine aggravates stress in people who drink it every day.
• There are scientific studies that refute most if not all of the above listed
• Many of the old studies showing the bad effects of coffee may be
attributed to not taking into account whether the person also smoked. In
addition, coffee drinkers before 1975 used unfiltered and percolated
coffee. After 1975, the filters for preparing coffee removed most of the
chemicals, like terpenes, that cause elevations in homocysteine and
cholesterol resulting in better results. Also, early Finnish studies when
people still drank boiled coffee had higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
Later studies using coffee preparations other than boiled did not show an
associated rheumatoid arthritis risk. Caffeine increases intellectual activity when fatigued or bored.
• Caffeine speeds up fat metabolism during exercise while conserving
glycogen and glucose thereby maintaining brain activity and reducing
• Caffeine prevents crystallization of cholesterol and reduces risk of
development of gallstones.
• Coffee has a protective effect against cirrhosis of the liver.
• Coffee has shown a protective effect against colon cancer likely due to
enhanced colonic activity of the colon and antimutagenic components in
• Coffee may lower the incidence of Parkinson’s disease due to high antioxidant activity.
• The theophylline in coffee may be protective against asthma.
• Coffee has four times the anti-oxidants of Green Tea, makes an excellent
anti-depressant, and enhances performance and memory.
• Caffeine dilates the arteries of the brain and may counter migraines.
(Caffeine is also a cause of migraines.)
• The FDA considers caffeine to be “Generally Recognized as Safe.”
• Coffee may reduce the incidence of kidney stones by increasing the flow
of urine and decreasing its concentration.
• Coffee lessens the incidence of bladder cancer in smokers due to its
• Minerals like magnesium and antioxidants may contribute to coffee being
shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
• Coffee has the ability to reduce the release of histamine from mast cells
thereby having anti-allergic properties.
With all of these conflicting studies, it is apparent that common sense must
prevail. To determine if you should even consider drinking coffee, evaluate the
items below. If the answer is you are going to consider drinking it, then use
kinesiology to see if it is appropriate. (See the last section.) And finally, if you do rink coffee, follow the suggestions in the “Guidelines for Drinking Coffee”
Do Not Drink Coffee Rules
• Do not drink coffee if you are pregnant or nursing.
• Avoid coffee if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, high
cholesterol, gall stones, or a tendency for blood clots or stroke.
• Do not drink coffee if you have mental illness, insomnia or anxiety.
• Avoid coffee if you have a coffee allergy or sensitivity or drug interaction
• Avoid coffee if you get agitated or feel hyper or quivery inside after
• Do not drink coffee if you feel you must have a cup to wake up and get
going and then need another cup later in the day to keep going. If this is
your situation then begin to wean yourself off slowly and switch to tea.
Guidelines for Drinking Coffee
• Use organic coffee to avoid pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers.
• If you drink decaffeinated coffee, use the Swiss Water Process or some
other decaffeinating process that does not employ chemicals.
• If you use filters, utilize unbleached filters to avoid leaching of chlorine
from the bleached filters.
• Use lower caffeine coffees: Arabica beans have lower caffeine than
Robusta beans. Darker roasted beans also have less caffeine.
• Use brewing methods that expose coffee grounds to water for shorter
periods of time. Percolated and French Press preparations use longer
times and have more caffeine than standard drip methods or espresso
machines (depending of course on the type of bean and method of
roasting as well).
• Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
• Take a good vitamin/mineral supplement to replace lost electrolytes,
minerals, and vitamins due to the diuretic effects. Do not drink coffee after meals because of the possible adverse blood
• Use coffees that have mitigating properties for many of the possible
negative effects of coffee. For example, there is a coffee made from
Arabica beans. It is roasted outside the US for lower acidity and with an
extract of organic Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi red mushroom) included
that neutralizes some of the already lower caffeine levels and acts as an
immune system enhancer with anti-viral, bacterial and fungal properties.
This particular coffee in one of its forms usually tests well for most people
except for those in the section above who should not drink coffee. For
more information please contact Bob Shane at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since coffee creates a dependency and an emotional attachment, it is very
important to do your kinesiology testing double blind to avoid any unconscious
bias in the data. Use the following guidelines to clarify your testing:
• Use the flow chart provided in an earlier lesson.
• Write your question clearly with the positive statement on one piece of
paper and the negative on another. Fold the papers so neither the testee
or testor know which question is being answered.
o For example: “Drinking coffee is in my highest good.” “Drinking
coffee is not in my highest good.”
• Regardless of the result, the question can be refined such as: “I can drink
some type of coffee on a limited basis.” “I can not ……”
• Using this type of questioning, you can identify the type of coffee, how it is
to be prepared, how many cups per day or week, etc.
• When it gets to the point of identifying a brand of coffee, it is actually
better to use real samples of the different coffees in unidentified envelopes
COFFEE: TO DRINK OR NOT TO DRINK
COFFEE: TO DRINK OR NOT TO DRINK