Coffee is the second most popular beverage in the United States. People spend around $2,000 on this caffeinated brew every year. Since so many people are drinking it, there must not be anything wrong with it, correct? This isn’t exactly true. While coffee definitely has its benefits, there are some things to be aware of. In this article, we are going to go over the pros and cons of drinking coffee for arthritis. When you have an inflammatory condition, you will become more sensitive to certain foods and beverages. Understanding how what you put into your body affects you will help you minimize the unwanted pain, soreness, and stiffness you may be feeling in your joints.
Pros and Cons of Drinking Coffee
Coffee is the second-most popular beverage in the US for a reason. It provides quick energy by stimulating your central nervous system. You get to be more alert, improve your memory and concentration, and even see your physical performance increase.
When you drink coffee straight, you consume hardly any calories at all. A regular cup of coffee has less than 5 calories! This makes it a slimming beverage when taken in this way.
In addition to these coffee perks, you also get a number of nutrients, which include:
- Vitamins B2, B3, and B5
Since coffee has a stimulating effect, it brings with it a number of benefits that include the following:
- Greater alertness
- Less fatigue
- Improved physical performance
- Lower risk of cardiovascular disease
- Improved memory
Besides all of this, you are receiving a significant quantity of antioxidants in the form of polyphenols. These provide your cells with protection from dangerous free radicals. This is important if you want to significantly lower your chance of developing cancer.
Besides being an antioxidant, coffee also has anti-inflammatory properties. This is due to the presence of anti-oxidants and additional active compounds. If you have flareups in your joints that cause you pain, then coffee may be able to reduce the inflammation and soreness you experience.
These pros probably sound quite impressive. However, before you continue getting your daily fix of this brown beverage, you should know about the cons of coffee for arthritis sufferers.
The problems will generally occur when you drink too much of it. A cup of coffee in the morning should be fine and provide you with the benefits mentioned earlier. However, if you are drinking more than this, you will want to pay attention to how you are feeling. This is because when you drink larger quantities of coffee, you may suffer from the following:
- Increased heartbeat
- Irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Elevated anxiety
- Digestion problems
Besides these, there are a few more issues you should be aware of. Since coffee is a slight diuretic, you will be eliminating more salt and water when you go to the bathroom than normal. This could lead to becoming more dehydrated than usual.
As of right now, we do not know as much as we should about the effects of coffee on arthritis. There are many variables at play. For example, how does regular coffee affect arthritis versus decaf? How much coffee starts to flare up joints?
Different types of arthritis have been found to be affected by coffee in different ways, or not at all. Psoriatic arthritis seems to not be affected by coffee drinking. In fact, due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, coffee may be helpful in reducing soreness and stiffness associated with this form of arthritis.
When it comes to rheumatoid arthritis, it doesn’t look like either regular or decaf coffee increases the risk of getting it. However, there have been a few studies that have indicated you may be at a higher risk of getting rheumatoid arthritis if you drink decaf. It is also possible that drinking excessive quantities of coffee may lead to developing this form of arthritis due to having a high level of what’s called rheumatoid factor. However, as mentioned before, there are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that could fight off soreness and stiffness caused by inflammation.
If you have gout, you may be delighted to learn that drinking coffee can reduce your uric acid levels. The higher those levels are, the more flareups you will have, which is why coffee can be a good choice for a daily beverage. Whether you prefer regular or decaf, both of these will reduce uric acid levels.
If you have osteoarthritis, you may want to stop brewing coffee right away. That’s because studies have found it negatively affects your cartilage and bones, which could make osteoarthritis worse. If you don’t have this form of arthritis and want to continue avoiding it, then don’t drink coffee.
There are multiple other risk factors when it comes to coffee for arthritis sufferers. The big one is the addition of sugar. The main problem with sugar is that it increases inflammation when people suffering from arthritis ingest it. Some cups of coffee, especially the ones you can buy at coffee shops, are packed with sugar. Not only will your joints have a lot of pain, but you also risk developing diabetes.
How to Drink Coffee the Healthy Way
For most people with arthritis, it is alright to drink a cup of coffee a day. Each serving has 400 mg of caffeine, which is plenty. You may also be ingesting more caffeine than this if you drink green or black tea or soft drinks and energy shots. You will also get additional caffeine from dark chocolate, so keep this in mind before you drink your morning coffee.
If you want to protect your joints and prevent flareups, you can also take a joint supplement. JointFuel360 is a widely-used natural supplement that contains a potent combination of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds like black pepper extract, turmeric, and resveratrol. There is also Boswellia serrata, type II collagen, and hyaluronic acid, which all promote healthy joints.
As with everything, there are pros and cons to drinking coffee for arthritis. Now that you know a bit more, you can make an educated decision and either prevent arthritis or reduce the unwanted symptoms you may be suffering from.