Up until a few years ago, the accepted stance on coffee and human health was that coffee was bad for you. Not bad in the way that bullets or cyanide are bad for you were not talking about a belief in the lethality of coffee. Merely that doctors and other health professionals widely held that consumption of coffee had a number of subtle but unpleasant side effects. These included slightly increased risk of certain cancers, shortened lifespans and increased strain on the liver and kidneys. It was also widely believed that coffee caused jittery, anxious behaviour, short temperedness and a lack of concentration. Given the sheer prevalence of coffee in our modern society the second most traded commodity on the planet next to oil and the most popular beverage in the world, propping up the economies of entire nations and drunk by almost all cultures across the entire planet would future generations come to look upon coffee as we did the lead in the water pipes that killed the Romans? Would humans of the future look at our household coffee machines and coffee shops with horror and disbelief? Would they marvel in amazement at the prevalence of huge commercial coffee machines and dizzying array of designer blends and grounds?
Much like the world being a sphere, the modern consensus suggests a complete turnaround in the conventional wisdom surrounding coffee. Contemporary studies suggest that people who regularly consume coffee lead longer lives than they would ordinarily. Coffee drinkers are at a reduced risk from cancer, diabetes and various mental and physical health disorders. Military brass have studied the effects of coffee on highly stressed soldiers undergoing 5 day endurance and stress trials, and found that those soldiers given a dose of caffeine towards the end of the tests enjoyed a spike in alertness, reflexes, cognitive abilities and alertness, suggesting that caffeine offers a genuine boost to the human physiological systems. Coffee does exhibit some side effects associated with addictive drugs, most notably by forming a chemical tolerance or dependence that results in withdrawal symptoms if deprived. However these are extremely mild, benign side effects with no real repercussions.