Is coffee good or bad? People in many countries drink gallons of the stuff, particularly the United States, Italy and South American nations. It has always been said that a couple of cups a day is okay. However, people drink much more than this. Tea drinkers hide behind the myth that tea is harmless while coffee is not.
The main "drug" in both tea and coffee is caffeine. It should be noted that professional athletes can now consume as much caffeine as they wish with no fear of getting banned from athletics. This decision was made largely because policing of it was costly and a burden for administrators, not because it does not stimulate the body to improved performance.
Apparently drinking a maximum of five cups of coffee a day increases your lifespan - in Japan. Pity other countries failed to find any connection between the two factors. Japan has also claimed resistance against Alzheimer's, melanoma, diabetes and other ailments. Proof elsewhere is weak for this.
Scientists are saying the dangers of coffee is a myth. Like the beliefs that exercise causes accumulation of lactic acid and oxidants damage the body - both are untrue. Even in advertisements these falsehoods are pushed more and more. Culture, unfortunately, has inertia and it can take centuries for beliefs to change.
The greatest problem with coffee that is seldom mentioned is that the beverage is addictive, so is tea for that matter. Is coffee anything more than a comforting pleasant drink that makes for better conversation? Personally, I believe that it is not dangerous, but claims of benefits should be taken with, say, a cup of coffee.
◆ Chemistry by Ty Buchanan ◆