Coffee is the favourite beverage of many people. We start the day by pouring a cup of joe and we enjoy taking a well-deserved work break while sipping on another. Many of our social interactions are spent by a cup of coffee too – in fact, in some cultures, coffee is dubbed as a social lubricant and an important element of culture. It is no surprise then that somehow, we cannot imagine cutting out this delicious beverage from our daily routines. And the good news is that we shouldn’t! While many people believe coffee to be harmful, they could not be more wrong. It is actually a very healthy drink and you will be able to reap lifelong benefits from consistent coffee consumption as long as you don’t overstep the recommended dosage. If you are not convinced yet, read on to learn about 9 healthy reasons to drink coffee every day.
A boost to the brain…
Many of us drink coffee because it gives us that little “boost.” When we’re tired and can’t focus, a cup of coffee can do wonders. But coffee improving your brain functions is not just an illusion. When you drink coffee, the caffeine in it enters your bloodstream and is transported to the brain where it starts doing its job. The reason why caffeine makes you feel more awake and alert is that its structure is similar to the neurotransmitter adenosine, and therefore it can take its place and bind to the adenosine receptors. What this does is it prevents the real adenosine from making you drowsy, as it normally would. The result is thus that you feel more alert. But at the same time, caffeine also promotes the release of other neurotransmitters such as noradrenaline and dopamine, which affect your mood. Naturally, in these conditions, certain brain functions are going to be executed better. Research has shown that functions such as short term memory, reaction time, focus and other mental functions are boosted under the effects of coffee.
… in the long term, too
Since we just talked about how caffeine boosts brain functions and improves short term memory, it might not come as a surprise that regular consumption of coffee can benefit your brain in the long term, too. Studies have uncovered a possible link between coffee and a reduced risk of cognitive decline. While no definitive answers have been found in this regard, some studies have found that moderate coffee consumption was associated with a lower chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease by quite a large margin. In the study in question, a 65% lower chance of getting Alzheimer’s disease was observed, which gives anyone a good enough reason to stick to their three to five cups of this beverage every day. While in the case of short-term boosts to the brain, we mentioned caffeine as the main reason, when talking about these long-term benefits, researchers have ruled out caffeine as the reason for these possible positive effects. In this case, the compounds responsible for preventing the development of disease are phenylindanes. Since these compounds emerge as a result of roasting the coffee beans, coffee beans that are dark roasted contain more of them and are therefore possibly more effective. While this area is not yet fully researched, coffee seems to have great potential at warding off this serious disease.
As mentioned in the beginning, the consumption of coffee increases your energy levels by blocking adenosine and preventing you from feeling tired and sleepy. This effect of coffee and caffeine in general not only benefits you at school or work, but it can also function as a major boost when it comes to physical activity. We all know that physical activity is essential for our wellbeing and keeping our good health, but many of us struggle with finding the energy needed for that gym session. Having a cup of coffee will give you energy as well as mood boost that will make it easier to go out and just do it, and your body will thank you for it. At the same time, coffee is utilized by many people who regularly work out to really make the most of their time at the gym. Drinking a cup of joe just about 45 minutes before your exercise session will boost your performance, making your efforts produce a better result. Some athletes get their caffeine through different means, but why would you do that when with coffee, you can reap a slew of other health benefits besides the energy boost? In addition, drinking coffee might also be a great idea after your workout session. Just two cups of coffee can reduce muscle pain that arises post-workout.
Helps in weight loss
Obesity is a serious health threat that is unfortunately very widespread in the US nowadays. Many people struggle with weight loss and could do with a little push. If you too are trying to shave off a few pounds, you might want to start drinking coffee for this purpose. As just mentioned in the previous paragraph, coffee boosts your energy level and therefore, your performance at the gym too. However, that is not the only way in which this amazing beverage can aid you in your weight loss journey. Caffeine is a well-known ingredient in most products aimed at helping weight loss. This is thanks to caffeine’s effect on your metabolism. Caffeine boosts your metabolism, making it easier for your body to get rid of what’s unnecessary and get in shape (paired with exercise, of course.)
When talking about the numerous health benefits of coffee, we must also mention its great power to fight inflammation. As you probably already know, inflammation is one of the major enemies of good health. Prolonged inflammation in the body leads to the development of various ailments, such as arthritis, which is why we should adjust our diets to lower inflammation as much as possible. Coffee is a very potent way to do this, as it is full of antioxidants. In fact, coffee can be the major source of antioxidants or even the primary one for many of us, which makes it essential to consume it regularly. What the antioxidants in your morning cup of coffee do is they fight free radicals that are a product of your natural metabolism. These free radicals cause harm if there are too many of them in your body. So, to steer clear of prolonged inflammation and its negative consequences, have a cup of joe!
Promotes heart health
As if all the aforementioned positive effects weren’t enough, the list of benefits still continues. The next good reason why you should drink coffee concerns your heart health. We all know that for long life, we should strive to preserve the health of our heart, and coffee can help you in that. This might also be related to coffee’s great antioxidant content, as taking in lots of antioxidants might help fight arterial damage that is a result of inflammation and can lead to heart problems down the road. Research has found a connection between coffee consumption and a reduced risk of developing heart disease. For instance, one study identified this connection in female participants who drank a moderate amount of coffee. At the same time, other studies are showing a reduced risk of stroke among coffee drinkers. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that coffee might cause a slight increase in blood pressure for those who are not used to it – this is an effect that seems to diminish over time. However, for those who might have some high blood pressure issues are advised to keep this in mind.
Next in the line of the positive health effects of coffee has to do with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a common health issue that is very widespread today in the world. However, studies have uncovered a negative connection between coffee and the development of this disease. Results have shown that heavy coffee drinkers who consume 4 or more cups of coffee a day had as much as a 50% lower risk of developing this condition. There are several ways in which coffee protects you from type 2 diabetes. Besides the inflammation-fighting properties already mentioned, coffee also seems to help the body use insulin, thereby preventing its buildup and helping your blood sugar levels stay balanced. Considering that many studies point out this amazing effect of coffee, it’s worth having those couple of cups a day.
Prevents certain cancers
Another good reason to have your cup of joe every morning is the fact that coffee might even help prevent developing certain cancers. For instance, prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer attacking men, and coffee might lower their risk of developing it. At the same time, coffee is great for our livers, so it is not so much of a surprise that it helps prevent liver cancer – a coffee drinker can have as much as a 40% lower chance of getting down with this disease. Moreover, coffee also lowers your risk of colorectal cancer, melanoma, and even oral cancer. In this day and age, consuming coffee regularly becomes ever so beneficial for our health in the future.
Helps ward off depression
Finally, when talking about health, we must also dedicate a paragraph to mental health. Today, there is finally a growing awareness of the seriousness of different mental health issues and they are finally taken seriously both when it comes to diagnosis and treatment. However, the best medicine is always prevention, so it is worth noting the positive effects coffee consumption can have on your mental health. It has been found that drinking coffee (at least 4 cups a day) helps ward off depression, while the same was not true for other caffeinated drinks. The suicide rate of the participants of a 10-year long study was also lower among coffee drinkers. Earlier we mentioned that coffee aids the production of certain neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. So, for a little happiness boost, have a cup of joe.
As you can see, the health benefits of regular coffee consumption are many, and the list does not even end here. Nevertheless, the aforementioned benefits should be more than enough for anyone to consider having a hot cup of coffee every morning.