Wednesday, September 19, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 20


Coffee has been proven healthy 

Kristin Buchanan

Needless to say, I didn't have much of a birthday celebration last week, with the carnage and destruction and everything else going on. It just
didn't seem appropriate. The only remaining evidence that I had a birthday, other than a birth certificate, is the lingering reminder that I have
aged yet another year.

I cringe every time I hear myself say my age out loud. Even though I have yet to see a gray hair, I feel a certain connection to a They Might Be
Giants song: "You're older than you've ever been and now you're getting older... and now you're older still."

(In case anyone's actually wondering how old I've become -- it's on a need-to-know basis. And nobody needs to know. Sometimes I wish I didn't

Rather than continue in this disheartening discussion, I'd like to share some of the wonderful wisdom that comes with old age: Despite what
some might say, coffee is actually good for you.

Recently, I was thrilled to discover a source for rebuttal against those who "helpfully" insist that coffee is bad.

The Coffee Science Information Centre at has an entire section devoted to coffee's health benefits. Everyone's heard about the
down side of coffee, but not many know coffee can improve health by reducing asthma problems, improving athletic performance and providing
a temporary increase in metabolism.

CoSIC has found coffee to improve cognition, "increasing the speed of rapid information processing by 10 percent."

This statistic should come as no surprise to those of us who have used coffee as a study aid.

Coffee also contains chlorogenic compounds that have been linked to the reduction of suicidal tendencies and depression.

As news of coffee benefits spreads, we may find health-conscious people taking up a coffee habit rather than trying to avoid it.

There are so many wonderful ways to enjoy coffee. Whether it's downing an iced rendition straight from the blender during the hot summer or
slowly sipping and savoring a warm cup in the winter, coffee is a year-round treat that changes with the times and seasons.

As I pop yet another chocolate-covered espresso bean in my mouth, I have come to realize that the popular Lay's slogan doesn't just apply to
potato chips. There's no way I can stop with one.

As much as I've tried to deny it, coffee is very much a part of my way of life. Coffee does so much for me. In the morning, it gets me going. In the
afternoon, it revitalizes me and helps me get "over the hump," and at night, it soothes me and calms me down.

One of my favorite aspects of Houston is the large variety of coffeehouses in the region. You've got your run-of-the-mill international chains,
trendy/ preppie hangouts, sanctuaries for the artistically inclined and venues full of people even weirder than you are.

It's no wonder coffeehouses are so popular -- they're special-tailored to fit the needs and preferences of the people. Don't be surprised to find
more popping up in the near future.

Who knows, maybe coffee will become the next health trend?

Along with the old cliché, "Eat your vegetables," we might find nutrition-concerned mothers filling up "sippy cups" and telling their children, "Drink
your coffee!"

Hey, it's possible.

Buchanan, a senior 
ournalism major, can be reached at

To contact the Opinon Section Editor, send e-mail to

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