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If You Can Ace This Quiz, You're A Legit Coffee Snob

So, IS coffee healthy?

Posted on

Sorry, we can’t REALLY tell you once and for all if coffee is healthy, because that’s not how science works.

@scorpiondagger / Via giphy.com

There are a ton of studies about the health benefits of coffee (and risks too). But it’s tricky to tease out what's real because sometimes healthier people continue to do something (like drink coffee), while those in poor health, stop. That can lead to bias in some types of studies. So if you love coffee, drink it. If you don’t, don’t. (And don’t start drinking it for its not-100%-proven health benefits). BUT, that said, here are some really cool things you should know about your cup of Joe.

  1. 1.

    Coffee drinkers may have a lower risk of:
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    Epilepsy
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Foot fungus
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Parkinson’s
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Halitosis
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Parkinson’s disease

    Coffee has been linked to a lower risk of Parkinson’s, which is a neurological disease that can cause tremors, balance problems, and mobility issues. In one 2000 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers looked at 30 years of data from over 8,000 Japanese-American men in Hawaii. They found that the more daily coffee they drank (up to 28 ounces, or three to four cups), the lower their risk of Parkinson’s compared with those who drank little or none. (The same seemed to be true of caffeine-containing beverages in general, so the theory is that the caffeine may be responsible.) There is so much research on this that the amount of evidence for the link is "substantial," according to a 2017 review, but still "not conclusive," so do with that what you will.

    Parkinson’s disease Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    Via giphy.com
  2. 2.

    When it comes to exercise, coffee has been shown to:
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    Have zero impact on athletic ability
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    Hurt an athlete’s performance
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    Build muscle, but only in women
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Help speed AND endurance
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Improve performance in terms of speed AND endurance

    Long-studied as a mild (legal) performance enhancer, coffee — or more specifically, the caffeine in coffee — has been shown in multiple studies to actually increase speed and endurance a bit in sports like running, cycling, rowing, and others. You're not gonna win the Olympics after a trip to Starbucks. But the consensus seems to be it’s safe for athletes to consume in moderate amounts, e.g., the amount found in one to two cups of coffee about an hour before exercise. (More isn’t necessarily better, and might be detrimental.)

    Improve performance in terms of speed AND endurance Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    Via giphy.com
  3. 3.

    Drinking coffee is linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease
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    Yes, but it’s still a bit iffy
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    No, that makes no sense
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Yes, but it’s still a bit iffy

    Coffee drinkers might have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease than non–coffee drinkers. But some of the research is in animals, which is generally considered not the best indicator of what will happen in humans. And a 2010 analysis published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease suggested that people who drink three to five cups daily in middle-age have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s in old age. But the jury still out — there isn’t a definitive randomized clinical trial to look at the issue. (And because such studies are pricey and few people want to spend a lifetime skipping/drinking coffee in the name of science, don’t expect such a study any time soon.)

    Yes, but it’s still a bit iffy Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    Via Giphy giphy.com
  4. 4.

    Coffee contains antioxidants, right?
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    Hell no, it ain’t kale
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    Yup, pour me another cup
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    Wrong!

    Yup, pour me another cup

    Coffee contains antioxidants such as polyphenols. (Chlorogenic acid is the main one in coffee.) The amount is on par with tea, cocoa, and red wine. While some people say antioxidants are the reason for potential health benefits of coffee, it’s not clear if those particular compounds will snatch you back from the yawning abyss of death. So yeah, drink it if you like it, antioxidants be damned.

    Yup, pour me another cup Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    Via @studiosoriginals giphy.com
  5. 5.

    Gallstones are bad. Coffee may…
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    Increase the chance you’ll get them
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    Reduce the risk you’ll get them
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    Wrong!

    Reduce the risk you’ll get them

    The evidence suggests that coffee can help prevent gallstones, rock-hard bile deposits that can be hideously painful and even lead to gallbladder removal surgery. For example, one 1999 study of more than 46,000 men found that those who drank coffee had a lower risk of going on to develop gallstones or need surgery during the 10-year study than those who didn’t drink it. (They didn’t find a risk reduction with decaf.) Coffee is thought to stimulate contraction of the gallbladder and reduce cholesterol crystallization in bile, among other things, so there’s a mechanism here that might explain the link.

    Reduce the risk you’ll get them Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    Via giphy.com
  6. 6.

    When it comes to your liver, coffee has been linked to…
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    A lower risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer
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    A higher risk of fatty liver disease
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    Lower levels of enzymes that digest fats
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    All of the above
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    Wrong!

    A lower risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer

    In a 2016 meta-analysis (a study that combines a bunch of other research on a subject) researchers found that one to five daily cups of caffeinated coffee, and to a lesser extent decaf, was linked to a 14–27% lower risk of liver cancer. And multiple studies have linked coffee intake with a lower risk of cirrhosis, a scarring of the liver.

    A lower risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    Via Giphy giphy.com
  7. 7.

    When it comes to pain, coffee may…
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    Help, but only if you have a crushing hangover
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    Make it worse, amplifying pain signals
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    Increase the effectiveness of certain pain relievers
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    Offer nothing beyond sweet psychological comfort
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Increase the effectiveness of certain pain relievers

    This seems to be all about the caffeine. A review of 20 studies suggests that the amount of caffeine found in a cup of coffee — about 100 milligrams — can increase the effectiveness of pain relievers like acetaminophen (found in Tylenol and other products) and ibuprofen (found in Advil and others). An additional 5–10% of people found pain relief with caffeine + pain reliever vs. pain reliever alone. Caveat: Most of the research looked at caffeine, not coffee itself. But there’s research on this going back for decades, so there’s good evidence here.

    Increase the effectiveness of certain pain relievers Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    Via Linda Van Bruggen giphy.com
  8. 8.

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    True
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    False
    Correct!
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    False

    Research suggests that coffee drinkers — decaf or caffeinated — are LESS likely to get Type 2 diabetes. (That’s the most common form of the disease, the one that can sometimes be delayed with dietary, exercise, and lifestyle changes.) A 2014 review in the journal Diabetes Care that included 28 studies and more than 1 million people suggested that coffee drinking was linked to a small reduction in Type 2 diabetes risk.

    False Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    Via Giphy giphy.com
  9. 9.

    Coffee may improve…
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    Blood pressure
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    Anxiety
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    Cognitive function
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    All of the above
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Cognitive function

    A number of studies have found an association between coffee and better cognitive function. For example, a 2002 study of 890 older women found that coffee consumption was linked with better performance on cognitive tests. (But the link wasn’t found in men or decaf drinkers.) Caffeine actually increases blood pressure, although that effect tends to wear off as your body becomes accustomed to it. And a 2009 review found that caffeine can make symptoms worse in people with anxiety and panic disorder, according to the American Psychological Association.

    Cognitive function Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    Via Giphy giphy.com
  10. 10.

    Coffee drinkers tend to ____ than ____
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    Live longer, non–coffee drinkers
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    Die sooner, tea drinkers
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    Incorrect
    Be happier, soda drinkers
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Have better skin, non–coffee drinkers
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Live longer, non–coffee drinkers

    There’s some really large studies that suggest this is true, including one published in 2017 of more than 500,000 people that found that coffee drinkers (two to four cups a day) had an 18% lower risk of dying during the study than nondrinkers. But again this one might be complicated by the fact that people who have health conditions may cut back on coffee — which would mean that coffee isn’t really the magic longevity elixir of your dreams. But if coffee is giving you the strength to make it through your daily grind, we give you permission to pretend it is.

    Live longer, non–coffee drinkers Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
  11. 11.

    When it comes to sleep, coffee can…
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    Help you nap, if you time the intake right
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    Introduce you to a new friend, insomnia
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    Be no problem if you don’t drink it late in the day
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    All of the above
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    All of the above

    Let’s be honest — caffeinated coffee will mess up your sleep if you drink it before bed. And by “mess up” we mean harder to get to sleep, more episodes of wakefulness, and less total sleep time. However, other research suggests that if you consume 200–250 milligrams of coffee (that’s about the amount in one to two cups), take a nap, and wake 30 minutes later, you’ll be more alert than you would with a snooze alone. But these studies are small so feel free to take a caffeine-free nap and just enjoy your coffee free of any urges to “game” the system. And if you leave enough hours between your last caffeinated drink and your bedtime — at least six hours — you should be OK.

    All of the above Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    Via Nickelodeon giphy.com
  12. 12.

    When it comes to headaches, coffee…
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    Brings life-slaying pain
 if you skip a daily cup
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    Helps reduce the chance of migraine
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    Both are true. Fun!
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    Incorrect
    Neither. Stop blaming everything on coffee!
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Both are true. Fun!

    Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor — it constricts your blood vessels. If you drink caffeinated coffee daily, and suddenly stop, you can get rebound headaches, which happen from caffeine withdrawal. Conversely, blood vessels tend to expand just before a migraine, according to the National Headache Foundation. So caffeine can help mitigate the pain, and indeed, caffeine is an ingredient in some over-the-counter headache remedies.

    Both are true. Fun! Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    Via giphy.com
  13. 13.

    You’re pregnant. You should…
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    Stop drinking coffee, stat!
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    Switch to decaf or cut back to a cup a day
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    Drink multiple cups daily, it’s no biggie
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    Any of the above — no one knows for sure
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Switch to decaf or cut back to a cup a day

    OK, we’ll be honest — there’s a lot of conflicting information on this. It’s always best to talk to your doctor for the final word. But some research suggests that caffeine can affect fetal growth so it’s not a bad idea to limit caffeine. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that less than 200 milligrams a day of caffeine, about the amount in one 12-ounce cup of coffee, is generally recognized as just fine. (But again, your doctor.)

    Switch to decaf or cut back to a cup a day Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    Via Giphy giphy.com
 
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