Being a coffee addict myself, the recent discussions regarding the health advantages coffee produces has tickled my fancy. There has always been the debate that if drinking coffee a couple hours or so before a long run can actually give you a boost. It's never been proven, but some people believe it works due to the caffeine raising your heart rate, therefore, there is less of a demand on your heart at the start of your run to increase your heart rate. Then, on the flip side, people argue that the caffeine places too much unwanted work on your heart and can harm you in the long run. With developing research a new idea has bubbled to the surface:
Recently research has started to retract previous statements about how coffee isn't good for you. Now, experts are saying coffee actually benefits drinkers. According to Runner's World Magazine: November 2009 edition there was a study conducted by the American Journal of Epidemiology in June 2009 explaining that people who drank 4+ cups of coffee a day showed better pulmonary function than those who 0-3 cups of coffee daily. Pulmonary function is how much work your lungs can do such as inhaling, exhaling, force, filter, etc. A study on WebMD explains that drinking coffee can help lower risk for developing certain diseases such as Type 2 diabetes. The study shows that the more you drink the less risk you have to developing diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's, and even colon caner. Coffee appears to be more beneficial for health than ever thought before. (Go to http://men.webmd.com/features/coffee-new-health-food for the WebMD study).
However, there is still lots of research to be done on this topic. Drinking your coffee black is the best way simply because 0 calories. Going to your local coffee joint and getting a loaded latte is going to void any benefits you could get from coffee.