Drinking large amounts of coffee might reduce your risk of prostate cancer, but it also might make you start hearing things. A research study conducted at La Trobe University in Melbourne found that volunteers who consumed very “high levels” of caffeine (say, more than five cups of coffee) were quite likely to imagine that they heard a song being played while they were listening to nothing but white noise. This would likely prove equally try if extended to other caffeinated beverages, such as sodas and energy drinks.
The study isn’t enough to say unequivocally that drinking coffee can make you hear voices where there aren’t any. There are also studies that suggest that coffee/caffeine consumption “improves alertness and concentration while delaying mental fatigue,” which makes it sound like you’re more likely to pay attention and realize that there is not, in fact, a song being played to you. But going overboard on caffeine can make you jittery and actually make it more difficult to concentrate after a while, and this seems to be where the study is heading with the conclusions.
I’m guessing that if you simply pace yourself when you’re sipping that cup o’ joe, you won’t have many problems with imagined songs.
I opened up my Uncommon Goods catalog a few days ago to find myself staring right at the Face Mug. It’s a neat mug that has a compartment at the bottom to hold cookies or other things that you might like to much with your coffee, much like the Dunk Mug that I’ve seen before. The difference is that the Face Mug has a much more interesting, if slightly creepy, look about it. The gaping mouth of the mug seems to ask you to “FEED ME!” with cookies and other goodies. Fortunately, you don’t have to stare into the “face” of the mug while you’re drinking your coffee and can simply enjoy the convenience of having a handy cookie holder. Also, if you take one to work, you can be pretty sure that it won’t disappear from the break room because it is so distinctive!
How often do you drink french press coffee? I know some people who drink it every day, stating that it is the only way to drink coffee. I know others who, like me, enjoy a good french press but don’t have the time or desire to make one every day. I know that there are plenty of days when I just brew a full pot of drip coffee because I know I’m going to have multiple cups, or share it with others. This seems to be a good decision on my part because french press coffee is essentially regarded as being the most unhealthy type of coffee for you because french presses don’t use a paper filter. This lack of a filter does two things. First, it allows a tiny amount of oil from the coffee to get into your cup of joe. The amount is very small, but I have actually heard people cite french presses as being “fattening” because of it. The second is that it allows a substance called cafestol to get into the coffee from the beans. Cafestol actually affects the liver and raises your LDL cholesterol, which is the “bad” cholesterol. Again, this is a trace amount, but the paper filters in drip coffee virtually eliminate all traces of cafestol, making drip coffee that much healthier than pressed.
Is this going to change the way you drink coffee? As an occasional French press drinker, nope. I’m still going to enjoy a press with a lazy Sunday brunch once in a while and as a way to enjoy some of my very favorite coffee beans. The small amounts of cafestol and of fat, for that matter, don’t bother me when I’m only having them on occasion. Now if I were a 3 press-a-day person, I might want to reconsider that stand.
I love hearing good news about coffee – and not necessarily that Starbucks Tribute Blend is back in stock or that my local coffee shop is going to be lowering their prices on my favorite drinks. This time, the good news is that a new study has linked coffee addiction to a lower risk of prostate cancer in men. Average coffee consumption for a regular coffee drinker is about 2 cups a day. The Harvard-based study showed that men who drank at least 6 cups of coffee a day – three times the average “normal” amount, but only around a half of a pot – showed a noticeably reduced risk for prostate cancer than other men in the study.
The results were not attributed to caffeine, but instead to the “biologically active compounds [in coffee], including caffeine and phenolic acids that have potent antioxidant activity.” In short, getting a big boost of the antioxidents that can be found in coffee can be very good for your health. This isn’t going to take the place of other antioxident-rich foods, of course, and it doesn’t mean that a venti Frappuccino is going to make you healthier. It does, however, mean that you don’t need to feel one bit of guilt going back for an extra cup (or two) of black or lightly sweetened coffee from the break room at work.