There have been studies demonizing and praising coffee since research on this go-to energy elixir began. The majority of current research out there, however, shows that (when consumed in moderation) coffee has many benefits.
Your morning cup of joe is packed with antioxidants and nutrients that can help your body prevent and fight diseases.
It makes you smarter and gives you more energy.
Due to the amount of caffeine it contains, coffee can give you more energy and combat fatigue. The caffeine you get from coffee hits the bloodstream and then makes its way to your brain.
The “wake up” feeling you get from coffee is from its ability to block a neurotransmitter, Adenosine. Because of this blockage, levels of dopamine and norepinephrine increase and neurons begin firing faster.
This increase in neuron firing enhances brain functioning, impacting your mood, energy, and cognitive functions.
It can help you burn fat.
Another benefit for reaching for that caffeinated beverage: caffeine has been proven to assist in fat burning and can increase your metabolic rate by anywhere from 3 to 11%.
When it comes to long-term drinkers, however, it’s not clear whether or not these fat burning benefits last.
It improves your physical performance.
In addition to its fat burning properties, caffeine also increases some essential hormones that are great for getting your body ready for physical performance.
Caffeine increase the release of a “fight or flight” hormone, Adrenaline. In response, your body’s fat cells begin to break down fat to turn into energy to fuel your workout. Studies have shown an increase in physical performance by an average of 11 to 12%.
Research has been so convincing, that people will often recommend drinking your morning cup before make your way to the gym.
It’s loaded with nutrients.
Coffee boasts an impressive profile of key nutrients and vitamins. Just a single cup has:
- 11% of your riboflavin (vitamin B2) RDA (recommended daily allowance)
- 6% of your pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) RDA
- 3% of your potassium and manganese RDA
- 2% of your niacin (vitamin B3) and magnesium RDA
Another key nutrient found in coffee is its extremely high level of antioxidants. Most people actually get more of their daily dose of antioxidants from their coffee rather than their consumption of fruits and veggies (combined!).
It can lower your risk for diseases.
Specifically, coffee has shown an ability to decrease risk for type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and heart disease.
Although the reason why is not clear, studies have shown a significant association between people who drink coffee and a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Likely due to the effects it has on neurons firing more rapidly, coffee consumption has also been linked to up to a 65% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s and somewhere between a 32% and 60% lower risk of getting Parkinson’s (although people who drank decaf coffee showed no significant decrease).
Lastly, when it comes to heart disease and stroke, studies have shown that women who drink coffee have a lower risk of developing heart disease and that drinking coffee overall can lower your risk for stroke 20%.
It lowers your risk for cancer.
Those high antioxidant levels come in handy again with cancer prevention and specifically liver cancer and colorectal cancer in this case.
In research on coffee drinkers and associated risk for liver cancer, studies found that there is a 40% lower risk of developing liver cancer for coffee drinkers. Another study found that people who drank 4 to 5 cups of coffee a day showed a 15% decreased risk of developing colorectal cancer.
It protects your liver.
Cirrhosis (liver malfunction due to long term damage) is commonly caused by behaviors that cause liver issues as well as liver diseases such as alcohol consumption, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and other liver diseases.
However, in a study focusing on coffee drinkers and developing cirrhosis, researchers found that drinking coffee (4 or more cups a day) can result in up to an 80% lesser risk of developing cirrhosis.
It can make you happier.
While depression is a complex mental health condition that can be very difficult to manage and treat, it seems that coffee could play a role. It could have up to a 20% lower risk for women who drink 4 or more cups of coffee a day, one study found.
And in another study, participants were 53% less likely to commit suicide when they drank 4 or more cups per day.
It can increase your longevity.
Because your risk of developing diseases or cancer is lowered, coffee can actually lower your risk of death overall as well.
As it’s been studied, research has shown that men have a 20% decreased risk of death and women have a 26% decreased risk of death if they are coffee drinkers. And for those who are diabetic? About a 30% lower risk of death.
Trying to up your consumption of coffee now? There are multiple options to choose from!
- Try a regular cup of hot coffee.
- Don’t like the taste of it black? There are plenty of flavored coffee beans you can choose from without having to add sweetener to your morning joe.
- Too hot for hot coffee? Try it iced or a cold brew!
- If you find that coffee upsets your stomach you can try a cold brew and add water to ease the acidity.
- If you can’t get by without adding sugar, you might try adding in some whole milk first. The sweetness from the milk might just add the kick you need.