Coffee: To Die or Not To Die

English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto...

Image via Wikipedia

There’s no drink as delicious as a nice, hot cup coffee. On a cold morning, it warms you up. When you’re starting another in a line of boring work days, coffee will keep you raring to go, or at the very least will keep you from falling asleep and drooling on your keyboard.

In fact, coffee is just about the perfect beverage. It smells good, it tastes good. It can even help prevent type 2 diabetes and cancer.

Unfortunately, it can also kill you.

As a frequent coffee drinker, I was thrilled to see an article today talking about the health benefits of coffee.  Studies have apparently shown that by downing four cups of coffee a day, also known as the amount that keeps me from wanting to punch people who try to talk to me, you can keep diabetes at bay. Diabetes has never sounded super fun to me, so I was all for that.

Down at the bottom of the article, though, was a link to another article about coffee. This story talked about a 2004 study that proved that coffee could cause coronary artery disease. I’m not exactly sure what this entails, but a disease of your coronary artery sounds unpleasant. I immediately swore off coffee, coffee flavored candy, coffee cake, and any thing that even reminded me of coffee. After all, my coronary artery is one of my favorite arteries. I would prefer that it did not get any sort of disease.

A quick Wikipedia search, though, showed that Harvard had said coffee does NOT cause coronary artery disease. It, in fact, has no effect on your heart in any way. I knew this study must be the real deal because Harvard people tend to be fairly smart. Apparently, coffee is actual an antioxidant and can prevent Gout. Since Gout is one of the least pleasant words I’ve ever heard, I knew that I had no interest in getting Gout. Coffee and I were, once again, an item.

Our love affair lasted mere minutes, though, as I skimmed the Wikipedia page. Coffee can cause high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gastrointestinal problems, and might cause cancer. It can also, though, help your liver, your dental health, prevent Parkinson’s, and stop cancer.

So there I sat, cup of coffee rapidly cooling in front of me. I didn’t know what to do. On the one hand, this cup could be the only thing stopping me from dying. On the other hand, it could be a cold-hearted, vicious murderer bent on destroying me from the inside out.

I know that I don’t want to die of cardiovascular disease. Coffee can keep this disease at bay. In the meantime, though, I could lose my ability to absorb iron.  There’s only one option that can solve my dilemma.

I must do my own study.

I took a survey of everyone around me that drink coffee. Since I was the only one around, it was a sample of one person.

Amongst all of the coffee drinkers surveyed (once again, just me), there has been no outbreaks of gout, any sort of coronary disease, cancer or iron deficiencies. I immediately put that in the “coffee does not cause” category.

I have, though, suffered from a few colds, the flu, an ingrown toenail and, at times, headaches. Clearly, coffee caused all of these things. I don’t want ingrown toenails, so this is in the “coffee is trying to kill” category.

One by one, I went through the list. I had never hurt a fetus by drinking coffee. My liver had, as far as I know, been okay the whole time I drank coffee. I won’t delve into the results of my coffee as a laxative test, but…

Then we got to the nitty-gritty. Does coffee make you a more pleasant person? Absolutely. I’m far less likely to shout at another human being if I have a nice, relaxing cup of joe in front of me. In fact, I might accidentally be nice to everyone if I’m drinking coffee.

That’s when I decided to drink the coffee. For the sake of mankind, I am willing to risk my liver and coronary arteries. That’s just the kind of guy I am. Coffee may kill me, but I am far less likely to kill another person if I have it.

For the sake of my health, I might try switching to tea. It might be just as relaxing. Of course, it can cause esophageal cancer, which is, in layman’s terms, cancer of the esophageal.

I can’t really make that decision now. I’m far too tired. Maybe after this next cup of coffee…


24 thoughts on “Coffee: To Die or Not To Die

  1. Remember to boil the water for an extra minute or two. I read somewhere that the water we drink is really old – like millions of years old – and you can’t be too careful.

    Sorry about the ingrowing toenail – they can be real drag.


  2. I love coffee. I love coffee so much that I’ll even drink coffee that sucks. If it has caffeine in it and tastes like coffee, I’m down wit it.
    Coffee flavored stuff… (especially coffee flavored coffee – yum!) Cant get enough.

    Great post. 🙂


  3. Do you drink coffee when you bowl? Do you wear skinny jeans and a cardigan while at the cafe? Do drink coffee from a paper cup as you listen to the primary results on the car radio as you drive to Walmart late at night? You are so right. There is much more to coffee than just taste and health. Will drip coffee leave you less perky? You will have 346 more opportunities to touch on this subject again by year’s end. Drink enough coffee and you will not need to touch on it as a discussion topic again.


    • I do not drink coffee when I bowl. I will wear a cardigan at a cafe, but skinny jeans are too restrictive. My car radio does not work, but I did just drink coffee out of some sort of paper-styrofoam hybrid they had at Quik-Trip. We’ll see if I bring it up again. Hopefully not. I believe that I’ve already trekked that path, so it’s probably time to explore a new trail.


  4. Are you kidding me? I love coffee. In fact, the coffee of kings and popes was/is grown over here. Although I don’t abuse it, I can’t function without my morning dosis… 🙂


  5. The debate continues but I put coffee directly beneath loved ones..besides I figure there are worse habits, meth being one. Actually I guess meth and murder are my gauge for all my deeds…hmmm. I like an Americano more than anything, what a treat.


  6. I realise I might be pretty alone with that opinion but how can anybody claim that coffee tastes good? It’s like saying cigarettes taste good.
    Granted, I like the smell (fresh coffee only, please!!!) but the taste is just… bitter. I used to struggle with low blood pressure and coffee would be like medicine for me. Just as yucky but at least it helped.
    As to the benefits or threats to your health – I’m not a doctor. So just keep drinking that stuff, at least then I don’t have to 😉


  7. Maybe your next scientific study should consider the amount of coffee – for instance, one day you could have one cup of coffee, another day 20 cups, and so on, then compare how your health was each day with the different amounts of coffee that you drank. then, let us know what happened.


  8. It snowed here, and I’m sitting at my table looking out at a white tableau and wishing I could have a cup of warm, rich coffee. Alas, it (and its friends) did try to kill me recently with vicious, vicious acid reflux, which causes esophageal cancer, and I’m just now seeming to heal. Study proven. However, I am nowhere near as pleasant a person when I haven’t had my one and only cup of coffee of a given day. Study proven. Ultimate choice, then: kill myself, or kill others? Results of that study pending.


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