I consider myself a moderate coffee drinker, with one or two cups in the morning and another cup in the afternoon. After researching coffee’s health benefits, I’m thinking of increasing my daily dosage. Read on to find out all the coffee health benefits that can make you happy, healthy, and possibly live longer.
1. Coffee Can Improve Your Energy Levels
We are all aware that coffee gives you an energy boost. This extra jolt in the morning is why countless people start their day with this incredible drink.
The extra energy is all thanks to our friend, caffeine, the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world. This fantastic booster is ingested, digested, and then absorbed into your bloodstream where it finally travels up to your brain.
Once caffeine reaches your brain, it binds to the adenosine receptors. That sounds smart, but how does that increase energy? Adenosine is created in the brain, and it binds to adenosine receptors, causing drowsiness. Caffeine binds to these receptors instead of adenosine so your brain is no longer being told it’s tired, so you get a much-needed pickup.
The caffeine in coffee travels up to your brain and blocks adenosine receptors to boost energy.
2. Coffee Can Make You Happier and Smarter
If you are wide awake and full of energy, it’s good to know that your disposition will be improved as well. Another benefit of caffeine is improvements in cognitive function, particularly alertness, vigilance, and mood.
Another benefit is slightly increased visual reaction time. You might not become the next Spider-Man, but it is a step in the right direction.
The caffeine in coffee helps boost your mood and your brain speed.
3. Coffee Can Improve Your Workout
Your body will also have increased adrenaline levels. We’ve all heard about the fight-or-flight response. Adrenaline is what prepares your body for intense physical exertion by causing air passages to dilate and trigger blood vessels to contract to re-direct blood toward major muscle groups, including the heart and lungs.
Coffee helps with muscle movement, thus improving your coordination and balance, which in turn improves your overall physical function (soccer players drink coffee before training for this reason).
Caffeine helps burn fat for fuel and increases adrenaline levels to prepare your body to exercise.
4. Coffee Can Help You Burn More Fat
Check the ingredient label on most weight loss supplements, and you will find caffeine. That’s because caffeine can boost your metabolic rate by 3-11%. Your metabolic rate is the amount of energy used over time to keep your body functioning. By drinking coffee, you will increase your metabolic rate and burn more fat, even while sitting at your desk working (that’s an easy win).
The effect seems to be more evident in individuals who are lean as opposed to obese. Unfortunately, the benefit doesn’t seem to last forever and diminishes with long-term coffee drinkers.
The caffeine in coffee can boost your metabolism, but not if you drink it all the time.
5. Coffee Contains Essential Nutrients You May be Lacking
– riboflavin (vitamin B-2): 11% Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
– niacin (vitamin B-3): 1% Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
– magnesium: 1% Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
– potassium: 2.5% Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
Each of these percentages isn’t amazing on its own, but most people drink more than one cup of coffee per day, so those percentages can add up.
Coffee can provide additional daily nutrition, but it’s not a lot unless you drink more than one cup.
6. Coffee May Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
The bad news? Type 2 diabetes is a growing problem around the world. The good news? Drinking coffee might help prevent it!
Studies show that people who drink two or more cups of coffee per day have an 11% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Coffee is a significant source of caffeine, which acutely lessens insulin sensitivity. It is also not completely known why increasing your coffee intake plays a role in preventing type 2 diabetes.
Drinking more than two cups of coffee per day appears to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.
7. Coffee May Protect You From Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
Alzheimer’s is the number one ranked neurodegenerative disease. It’s also the leading cause of dementia in the entire world. Like many other mental diseases, the exact cause is unknown.
However, there are some preventative actions you can take. Diet and exercise appear to play a significant role in staving off the onset of Alzheimer’s. Additionally, you can drink coffee as part of your healthy diet.
Studies show that the neuroprotective effects of caffeine in your cup of joe have up to a 65% chance of lowering your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Don’t forget to drink your cup of coffee every day to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
8. Coffee May Lower Your Risk of Parkinson’s Disease
Coming in second place in the neurodegenerative disease rankings is Parkinson’s disease. This disease occurs when dopamine-producing neurons in your brain die. When this happens, symptoms such as tremors, slowness, stiffness, and balance problems begin to emerge.
Just like with Alzheimer’s, caffeine’s neuroprotective qualities help prevent Parkinson’s disease. The body can maintain better neuron integrity, have less brain inflammation, and display fewer movement symptoms. Drinking decaffeinated coffee does not have the same effect because caffeine is the primary benefactor in prevention.
Drinking coffee can help reduce the risk of Parkinson’s Disease.
9. Coffee May Protect Your Liver
Your liver is the largest solid organ in your body. It works hard to remove toxins, maintain healthy blood sugar levels, regulate blood clotting, and many other vital functions that keep us alive.
Unfortunately, cirrhosis is a liver disease in which healthy tissue is replaced with scar tissue, and the liver is permanently damaged. Studies show that drinking two to four cups of coffee per day can help prevent liver disease. When your body digests caffeine, it makes a chemical called paraxanthine that slows the growth of the scar tissue involved in fibrosis. This may help fight liver cancer, alcohol-related cirrhosis, non-alcohol-related fatty liver disease, and hepatitis C.
Drinking coffee may help prevent cirrhosis of the liver.
10. Coffee Can Fight Depression
I know that a cup of coffee always puts me in a better mood, but it’s great to know science reinforces my theories. Studies show that drinking coffee can reduce the risk of depression by up to one-third.
Coffee is full of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and microbiome-promoting properties. These work alongside caffeine’s ability to block receptors in the brain that cause fatigue and depressed moods.
Compounds in coffee help prevent you from feeling depressed and increasing your mood.
11. Coffee May Lower Your Risk of Certain Types of Cancer
Up until 2016, coffee was still on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) list of possible carcinogens. Not only has it been removed from the list, but studies have also shown that coffee may help reduce the risk of certain cancers. Primarily liver and colorectal cancer.
Liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths, and colorectal is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths. Studies show that drinking a moderate amount of coffee (4-5 cups per day) can reduce the risk of liver cancer by up to 40% and reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by up to 15%.
Drinking a moderate amount of coffee each day can reduce your risk of liver and colorectal cancer.
12. Coffee May Lower Your Risk of Stroke
Drinking coffee can help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Not only that, but the more coffee you drink, the lower your risk of heart failure. Unfortunately, this benefit does not extend to those who drink decaffeinated coffee.
Coffee is not as effective as quitting smoking, losing weight, or exercising regularly. But every little bit helps, especially since studies indicate that coffee drinkers have a 20% reduced risk of stroke and heart attack.
One note worth mentioning, if you don’t drink coffee regularly, then your first cup can temporarily raise your blood pressure.
Drink coffee regularly to lower your risk of heart failure and stroke.
13. Coffee is the Biggest Source of Antioxidants in Western Diets
Most people don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables (guilty). The good news is that coffee can provide you with the antioxidants you may be missing from other parts of the food pyramid.
In fact, each cup of coffee has more antioxidants than a cup of tea. Chlorogenic acid and polyphenols are the main contributors to the antioxidant activity in coffee. Interestingly enough, the content of these compounds seems to be geographically related. Arabica coffee from Mexico and India has a higher content amount than the coffee fruit grown in China.
Coffee contains more antioxidants than tea to help boost your health.
14. Dark Roast Coffee Reduces DNA Damage
Spontaneous DNA strand breakage sounds like something from a horror movie. But it’s real and it’s happening inside your body constantly. DNA strands break naturally and can lead to cancer or tumors if not repaired by your cells.
Drink dark roast coffee to reduce the DNA strands in your body from breaking.
15. Coffee may help with seasonal allergies.
I love spring and fall. Both seasons come with cool mornings and, unfortunately, a lot of pollen. As a coffee fanatic, it’s good to know that my daily brew can keep me warm and help alleviate allergy symptoms.
The anti-inflammatory effects of chlorogenic acid can reduce swelling of blood vessels that cause congestion.
Taking allergy meds helps, but they often cause drowsiness. Studies recommend you drink coffee to combat feeling tired alongside your normal medication. Caffeine helps by blocking the receptors in your brain that cause you to feel bleary-eyed.
Drink coffee with your allergy meds to help with seasonal allergies.
16. Coffee May Help You Live Longer
Coffee has a lot of health benefits (plus, it tastes incredible). These perks combine to lower your likelihood of diseases and cancers. Drink happily, knowing that coffee could help you live longer.
Not only that, but women get the most significant benefit. Studies show that coffee drinking men have a 20% reduced risk of death while women boast a 26% reduction.
It’s not always known why this glorious bean creates such excellent benefits, but one compound, chlorogenic acid, functions as an antioxidant. Chlorogenic acid might help by reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. A 20-year study showed that people with diabetes who drank coffee had a 30% lower risk of death.
Drink coffee to live longer!
How Much Coffee is Good for You?
If one is good, then more is better! When it comes to coffee, that is mostly true. However, there is a limit. Most studies suggest that the health benefits of coffee stop after the fifth cup. After five cups, you start to enter a danger zone where the increased stimulation can lead to heart disease.
Caffeine has a half-life of about five hours. Individuals metabolize caffeine at different rates, and there is a caffeine metabolism test available if you are the curious sort. You can make an educated guess by paying attention to your body post-cup of coffee. If you feel effects immediately, you metabolize quickly. If it takes a while to feel anything, then you metabolize it more slowly.
There is one group that has an even lower allowance for coffee, pregnant women. Research shows that pregnant women metabolize caffeine at half the average rate.
The maximum recommended caffeine per day for the average adult is 400 milligrams (3-5 cups). The maximum recommended caffeine for pregnant women is 200 milligrams (2 cups). Due to a slower metabolic rate, it’s recommended that pregnant women stagger their coffee intake by drinking one cup of coffee in the morning and a second in the afternoon.
It’s worth mentioning that most of the studies involve drinking black coffee. Adding cream and sugar is great, but it also adds calories. “Everything in moderation” as they say.
Drink 3-5 cups a day to get the maximum benefits of coffee, or a maximum of 2 cups if you’re pregnant.
Drink Coffee to Reduce Mercury From Fish
Most people know the health benefits of eating fish. However, certain fish like tuna and salmon are high in mercury. Research shows that drinking coffee while consuming these fish can reduce mercury exposure by 50 to 60 percent. Yet another reason to drink a few extra cups of coffee each day.
Drink coffee while consuming fish to reduce mercury exposure.
It’s great to know that something you love is also beneficial for your health. Drinking coffee can help you stave off many diseases and even some cancers. So stay healthy and caffeinated!