Coffee is a surprisingly good source of antioxidants and may reduce the risk of some diseases according to recent research. Does putting milk in coffee offset these benefits?
Some like it black, while others like it with lots of milk and sugar. Everyone has their own personal preference; but have you ever wondered if putting milk in coffee destroys some of its health benefits? Some studies have shown that when milk is added to tea it deactivates some of the healthy polyphenols that make tea such a healthy beverage. Coffee, too, is a source of antioxidants. In fact, most of the antioxidants Americans get in their daily diet comes from coffee. Does putting milk in coffee reduce these health benefits?
If you like your coffee with a little cream or milk, you can stop worrying. A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition shows that putting milk in coffee doesn’t affect its antioxidant levels. Milk may be fine, but it’s best to avoid non-dairy creamers and sugar since this study showed that they reduced the time it took for caffeic, ferulic acid, and isoferulic acid – three antioxidants in coffee – to make their way into the blood stream.
Although this was a small study that only involved nine participants, it does suggest that you still absorb the antioxidants in coffee when you drink it with milk. Coffee has been shown to have some impressive health benefits recently – possibly because of the antioxidants it contains. Some studies have shown coffee drinkers have a lower risk of chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, liver disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and gall bladder disease.
Unfortunately, coffee still contains a large amount of caffeine which can be a problem for people with heart disease, high blood pressure, insomnia, or anxiety; and it’s not clear whether drinking decaffeinated coffee has the same health benefits. Some people experience unpleasant reactions to drinking coffee due to the caffeine; and because it’s acidic it can cause heartburn and indigestion. It also reduces the absorption of iron by the intestines – so it isn’t a good choice of beverage for anyone with iron deficiency anemia.
Another problem with drinking coffee is that tolerance develops so that a person needs to drink more coffee to achieve the same level of alertness. Once tolerance develops, cutting back on coffee can lead to headache, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. These symptoms can last for up to nine days. This can also occur with other caffeine containing drinks such as tea and soft drinks.
Now, when you drink your morning cup of coffee you can rest assured you’re getting the antioxidant benefits that coffee offers – even if you add milk. On the other hand, stay away from non-dairy creamers – particularly ones that contain hydrogenated oil – and go light on the sugar.