You might be surprised to learn that one of the most popular beverages in the world is coffee. Coffee is an exciting topic for some people as you either love it or hate it. My wife, for example, won’t drink it but always comments on how great the house smells when it’s brewing. Many people focus on the caffeine aspect of coffee and waste their time and energy telling you how bad it is for your health. After all, caffeine is a drug, and from what I’ve always read and heard it is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug. It is a stimulant.
These same people who tell you all the health risks of caffeine aren’t aware that caffeine’s found in tea, chocolate, some soft drinks, pain relievers, and certain over-the-counter medications. If they were aware, their argument would be a moot point. Don’t chastise me about my cappuccino drinking while you have a Hershey Bar and Pepsi in your hand.
Coffee isn’t for everyone, but you’d be surprised at the health benefits found in your daily cup of Joe, mud, java, brew, jitter juice, or rocket fuel.
Health Benefits of Coffee
Increased Energy Levels
I’ve already explained the drug part of caffeine that it is a stimulant. So it goes without saying that you would experience increased levels of energy from a good cup. The caffeine is absorbed into your bloodstream, and from there, it makes its way up to your brain. Once at your brain, you start firing on all cylinders. Norepinephrine and dopamine increase and you’re off to the races. As I say with most things in life, everything in moderation. The pick me up from caffeine won’t last all day, but it will undoubtedly get you going.
Caffeine burns fat
Studies have shown that caffeine boosts your metabolic rate and is one of the only natural substances found in just about every fat-burning supplement on the market. With all the newfound energy from caffeine you may even find yourself being more active, also leading to more burned calories.
Increases physical performance
As stated previously, coffee and caffeine is a stimulant and increase epinephrine or adrenaline levels in your blood. This boost of adrenaline gives you that extra added energy you need before physical activities. Therefore, if you are a coffee drinker, you may want to have that first cup about 30 minutes before you head to the gym for your morning workout.
Even though coffee is brewed with hot water, many of the nutrients in the original bean find their way into the finished cup of coffee. According to Healthline:
A single cup of coffee contains:
Riboflavin (vitamin B2): 11% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI).
Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5): 6% of the RDI.
Manganese and potassium: 3% of the RDI.
Magnesium and niacin (vitamin B3): 2% of the RDI.
These numbers might not seem like a tremendous amount, but if you are someone who drinks a few cups of coffee a day, the figures can add up quickly.
Protects the liver
The main job of your liver is to act as a filter for your blood coming from the digestive tract before passing it to the rest of the body. But the liver also detoxifies chemicals. Disease like hepatitis and fatty liver disease can lead to cirrhosis. When you think of cirrhosis, think of your liver being replaced by scar tissue. It’s not a good thing.
Luckily we have coffee! Studies have shown that people who drink four or more cups of coffee a day have up to an 80% lower risk of developing cirrhosis. These same people are also can mow their lawn and clean their closets in under an hour.
Drinking caffeine makes us alert, awake, and dare I say motivated. A theory suggests that coffee helps the brain produce dopamine, a motivational chemical. When people are depressed, they tend to lack motivation, and with this sudden boost of energy and motivation, their mood is naturally elevated. I’m not suggesting you stop taking depression medication in favor of a macchiato, but I am suggesting that research shows some positive steps in the right direction.
High in antioxidants
The human body is under constant attack from free radicals that damage protein and DNA. I like to picture these free radicals dressed up like Antifa with little black masks, but that’s just me. Antioxidants help to disarm the free radicals and protect you from diseases and aging. That’s not to say that if you drink 3 cups of coffee a day, you won’t age, but the antioxidant properties will help you. Your morning cup of “rise and shine mocha chocca latte” may contain more antioxidants than the vegetables and fruits you consume. That’s due in part to most of us not eating enough fruits and vegetables, but that’s an article for another time.
Can protect against diabetes
Millions of people are affected by Type 2 diabetes. A study done in the Archives of Internal Medicine describes how people who drank six or more cups of coffee a day had a 22% lower risk of diabetes. I can only assume this study was based on black coffee and not “light and five sugars.” Many believe this is due to the antioxidant properties of the beverage.
Fights neurological diseases like Parkinsons and Alzheimers
Parkinsons and Alzheimer’s are both terrible debilitating neurological diseases. Parkinson’s Disease is caused by a depletion of dopamine generating neurons in your brain. Coffee drinkers, however, have a 30%-60% lower risk of developing Parkinson’s. This may be due in part to the dopamine-producing effect described earlier.
As for Alzheimer’s, there are several things you can do to help prevent the disease, including proper diet and exercise. Coffee drinkers, on the other hand, have a 65% lower chance of developing the disease.
May help you live longer
If we coffee drinkers are avoiding diseases and depression, it would stand to reason that we will live longer. Extra antioxidants and a motivated mind keep us moving forward.
How Safe is Coffee?
For the majority of users, drinking coffee can be a healthy part of your daily life. Like everything else in life, it only becomes a problem in large amounts. I would caution you to consult with a doctor, though, because it is not for everyone. If you have a heart condition, stomach issues, or are sensitive to caffeine, stick to decaf.
I said it before and I’ll repeat it. The keyword here is moderation. If you drink 2-3 cups a day, you will reap the health benefits while avoiding any negative issues of too much caffeine.
How much do you enjoy coffee? Let me know in the comments below.