Does Coffee Cause Inflammation?

Coffee is so intertwined in our morning routines, social lives, and traditions that it's hard for many of us to do anything but celebrate the beloved beverage. According to Perfect Brew, water is the only drink that is more consumed than coffee, and billions of dollars worth of beans are sold each year in the U.S.

The treasured coffee bean has helped us develop a slew of coffee-based drinks that we can't seem to get enough of. It is worth noting, however, that there are a few drawbacks associated with coffee. For example, most of us turn down that last top-off to avoid the jittery effects of caffeine. Eat This, Not That also reminds us that java dependency may lead to headaches, heightened anxiety, and disrupted sleep. Most of these side effects can be controlled by drinking coffee in small amounts and at the right time of the day. 

That being said, there is one side effect we've heard about that has us gripping our steaming cup of joe. The debate over coffee's connection to the level of inflammation in our bodies is ongoing. In large part, this is because there is no blanket answer for all of us.

Coffee can both increase and decrease inflammation

According to Well+Good, if the caffeine in coffee is known to increase your levels of anxiety, it could also lead to inflammation. This is due to the prolonged stress on the heart. "Caffeine can stimulate catecholamines, and if you are someone who suffers from anxiety and palpitations or irregular heart rhythms, stimulating catecholamines can exacerbate your symptoms," Dr. Eudene Harry, the medical director for the Oasis Wellness and Rejuvenation Center, told Well+Good.

On the other hand, Healthline shares that your Venti-sized Starbucks addiction may be keeping chronic inflammation at bay. This is because the drink contains both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that may help reduce inflammation and certain diseases in some individuals.

Healthline recommends looking out for signs of fatigue, digestive abnormalities, and frequent infections, which are all signs of inflammation. Coffee may be a ritual in our society, but it's up to you to find out how many cups might have a negative impact on your health.