April 26, 2011 posted by

Coffee Drinkers: The Force Is With You

I wrote a very popular post last year called The Dark Side of Coffee. As I pointed out then, nearly all research surrounding coffee (more than 20,000 scientific studies) is positive but I wanted to show that even something beneficial can have a down side. But the Jedi inside me has been forcing those dark thoughts aside with new research showing that not only does coffee help sports performance, stave off cancer and diabetes, it’s now looking after my heart.

A 2008 study of more than 26,000 male smokers in Finland found that the men who drank eight or more cups of coffee a day had a 23% lower risk of stroke than the men who drank little or no coffee. And a few other reports suggest the effect applies to healthy nonsmokers too. Researchers at UCLA and USC examined data on coffee consumption and stroke prevalence among more than 9,000 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. At a 2009 conference, they reported that the likelihood of stroke was highest among people who didn’t drink coffee and lowest among those who drank the most coffee: 5% of people who drank one or two cups a day suffered strokes, whereas 2.9% of people who drank six or more cups suffered strokes.

“Not long ago, researchers thought quite the opposite about coffee and the heart”, says Dr. Thomas Hemmen, director of the UC San Diego Stroke Center: “Coffee is fun and it tastes good, so people assumed for many years that it would be bad for you.”

I’m about to head out climbing I think I’ll pour myself another cup of Good Morning America just to be on the safe side. As old Obi-Wan once said, the force is strong in this one.


  • Dammit, the more I see stuff like this the more I regret getting addicted to Pepsi-One … Steve … anyone … can you recommend a starting brew for someone who likes the smell of coffee but never (the two times I've tried it) could stand the taste? Just too bitter …

  • This comes but a few short days after I read this article about coffee: I guess the moral of the stories are (if I put the two messages together): If you eat unhealthy and drink coffee you'll kill yourself, but if you eat healthy and drink coffee you won't get cancer, or diabetes or strokes and your heart will keep on ticking.Another win for eating healthy! You can have your coffee and drink it too! (cheesy, but I couldn't resist)

  • Steve, I hate the taste of coffee!However, I need my caffeine in the morning to get me moving. For several months now I have been drinking a '5 Hour Energy' drink first thing in the morning and it does the trick. I'm curious of your thoughts on this drink. I can't find any real research on it, that is not biased against caffeine.Also, I am curious of your thoughts on using a pre-workout supplement such as N.O. Xplode, 1.M.R., Jack3d, etc.

  • @Anonymous – Just get a basic Maxwell House or Folgers and make it half strength to start…instead of using 1 tablespoon per 6 oz of water, use 1 for 12 oz. That should cut down the taste. You can then make it stronger the next time or weaker depending on how you like the taste.

  • Steve, in case you missed it, I just thought you should know that someone wrote on your blog "I hate the taste of coffee" and someone else recommended Maxwell House or Folgers as a coffee substitute instead of a use as a receptacle. Inexcusable. I suggest banning their IP addresses.

  • Didn't Tony list caffeine as one of the 5 foods you shouldn't consume in order to lose weight?Does this mean it's okay to consumer once you've attained your weight goal?

  • I totally disagree with this. You can't just say drinking coffee will help prevent a stroke. This study is bogus because it did not take into account the persons diet or physical activity. This study says that I will have a higher chance of a stroke than the idoit who smokes, doesn't exercise and eats like crap, BUT drinks coffee. What about the effects of that much caffeine on the bodies nervous system? BOGUS!

  • All the studies in the world don't mean shit. Drink coffee. Don't drink coffee. Drink bourbon. Don't drink bourbon.You're still gonna die. Maybe today. Maybe tomorrow.Hit by a bus. Stroke. Cancer. Don't matter.Therefore, I recommend enjoying your life. For me, that means a little bourbon in my coffee- you know, to get it up on it's feet.Josh

  • I have read an article of a fitness book , and they recommend that if you drink coffee ,to have no more than two cups in a day , and people who drink 5 or more were more at risk of having a stroke …. I respect peopleopinion , but this one gets my attention .I love coffee ,and I do have two cups a day ;also need to watch do not put sugar , and if use cream , use skim milk on moderation

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