Don’t be ashamed. If you, like 90 percent of North American men, are a regular coffee drinker, there’s no need to consider your daily ritual to be a vice. Coffee, an addictive stimulant, often gets a bad rap, but new studies are showing that your Starbucks habit may actually be among the healthiest choices you make.
According to Dr. Joe Schwarcz, Director of McGill’s Office for Science and Society, the negative effects of coffee consumption, like perpetual peeing, are mostly benign. The upsides, including a reduced risk of cancer thanks to polyphenols and a slew of other beneficial compounds, may prevent far more serious problems. What’s more, a recent Harvard study found that the upside only grows when you guzzle the stuff by the pot: While one cup of coffee per day reduces diabetes risk slightly, six cups can reduce it by more than 50 percent.
But coffee attains its real miracle drug status thanks to its performance-enhancing properties. When the Canadian military tested the effects of caffeine on soldiers working at night they found that it didn’t just make them more alert, it actually helped them shoot straighter. And according to The Caffeine Advantage, your morning Joe can improve your short-term memory and problem-solving skills. Then there’s athletic performance: caffeine was for many years on the IOC’s list of banned substances.
Clean living is great and all, but if you’re looking for a shortcut to a better you, don’t talk to your pharmacist – talk to your barista.