Whistle blown on latte habit
The offence With a coffee house or doughnut shop on every third corner, who can resist? The drinks are hot in winter and cold in summer, they add few calories if you order them right, and they sure can perk you up on a sluggish morning. Of course they’re loaded with caffeine, a drug that isn’t famous for its healthy properties. So what’s a java junkie to do?
Background check Not everything about caffeine is bad. Since it’s a stimulant, it can enhance your performance at work. It can also help relieve tension headaches–in fact, it’s routinely added to over-the-counter painkillers. And as Pearson points out, lattes have the extra benefit of calcium. “If you’re going to have a coffee, have a latte,” she says. Although coffee is often believed to be a diuretic, the truth is that it actually hydrates the body and can be included in your daily fluid intake, even though it is not as effective as water. Moderation is the key, however, since too much caffeine can cause headaches, the shakes and sleeplessness as well as a temporary rise in blood pressure.
The verdict “As long as you have no more than about two cups a day, coffee presents no major health risks,” says Pearson. But if you’re still concerned, you could switch to tea. “Research on the benefits of tea is growing,” says Pearson. “It may reduce heart disease as well as the risk of some cancers.”
Your comeback “My bones love a latte, even if my wallet doesn’t.”