This piece from The New York Times, saying a cup of coffee an hour before exercise will let you go harder and faster, is just the latest in a long line.
There are many others:
- Coffee may cut the risk of stroke, and the heaviest drinkers get the biggest benefits.
- Coffee may cut the risk of dementia, and again 3-5 cups was the optimal dose.
- Coffee drinkers generally have lower death rates than non-drinkers.
- Women who drink coffee have a lower risk of heart disease.
- Just holding a hot cup of coffee in your hands can make you sexier.
- Coffee may even help the bacteria in your gut, who can then help you.
It's important to note here what scientists mean when they say a cup of coffee. They mean six ounces, the size of a coffee cup your parents used.
Most of us drink coffee in mugs that hold 8-10 ounces. A single grande from Starbucks contains about 16 ounces, or almost three cups as scientists measure them.
Most of the positive impacts of coffee, then, are available with just a single morning coffee run. Some of these impacts diminish as you drink more coffee. Drink seven cups and you may even start hallucinating, and not in a good way. A Swedish study shows women who drink a lot of coffee having smaller breasts, and men who drink a lot larger ones.
I should say I have no stake in this. I seldom drink more than two cups per day. I prefer green tea.
What do you think this coffee research obsession means?