The pros and cons of the daily cup of coffee

You're used to drinking coffee to wake up every morning. How about a caffeine inhaler? (Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON – Many can’t start the day without that steaming cup of coffee. It’s both emotional and chemical.

We know caffeine is a stimulant and a drug, which leads to a lot of back and forth when it comes to health benefits. So, is it good for you or not?

On the one hand, regular coffee drinkers know how easy it is to become addicted.

On the other hand, studies have shown the health benefits of consuming moderate amounts of caffeine-rich foods, such as coffee, tea and dark chocolate. says caffeine has far-reaching health benefits, as long as it is consumed in moderation.

Nutritionist Rania Batayneh tells “Caffeine stimulates the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that activates an area of gray matter in the brain responsible for alertness and productivity.”

A cup of coffee can improve your mood, at least temporarily.

Of course, like other drugs, can be harmful if taken in high amounts. Drinking at least four cups of coffee a day can cause insomnia, upset stomach and irregular heartbeat.

Caffeine can also reduce the bones’ ability to absorb calcium.

However, a recent study has found that coffee consumption may result in a slight decrease in overall stroke risk. Caffeine may also be a potential treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.

For more information on the health impacts of coffee, read the article here.

WTOP’s Veronica Robinson contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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