Metabolism and the effects of coffee on your body

Published: Aug. 26, 2016 at 8:46 AM CDT
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Many of us can't imagine starting a Monday morning without our cup of coffee, but for some folks, drinking it can result in headaches or abnormal heartbeats.

So why is coffee a must-have for so many of us, but for others it's more trouble than it's worth?

According to wellness expert Dr. Michael Roizen at Cleveland Clinic, it has to do with what kind of metabolizer you are.

"If you have a normal cup of coffee that's filtered, eight ounces, and you have it in an hour, so you drink it within an hour, and you don't get a headache, you don't get abnormal heart beats, you don't get anxiety, you don't get gastric upset, you're most likely a fast metabolizer and will get a benefit," he said.

Dr. Roizen says the vast majority of Americans, 88 percent, are fast metabolizers. However, for those who are slow metabolizers, drinking coffee can sometimes result in abnormal heart beats, headaches, gastric upset and anxiety.

Dr. Roizen said for those folks, the side effects may outweigh the benefits of drinking coffee.

Some of the known benefits of coffee include a decrease in the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Type-2 diabetes. Studies have also shown that drinking coffee can decrease the likelihood of developing certain cancers by between 20 and 40 percent.

How you make the coffee also matters. Dr. Roizen said that coffee can be bad for cholesterol levels if it's not made through a paper filter.

"Filter it through paper that takes away the substance that raises your blood cholesterol levels," he said. "So, your cholesterol levels will go up if you have a lot of coffee, if you don't have filtered coffee."

Dr. Roizen adds that whether you are a slow or a fast metabolizer, it's a good idea to avoid drinking coffee within three hours of bedtime, because it can interfere with your sleep.