Coffee For Wellness - Why You Should Drink Coffee Every Day
Coffee is more than just a pick-me-drink. Read more to find out why you should drink it every day and how to drink it healthily.
March 04, 2020
“Humanity runs on coffee.” Nobody knows who exactly came up with that. But, it couldn’t be any more accurate. You don’t need to be a coffee lover to know that.
Millions of people rely on coffee to wake them up in the morning to face reality. And millions more rely on coffee to keep their eyes open the rest of the day.
Even just the smell of freshly brewed coffee can already make someone’s day a little bit better. And the coffee industry continues to flourish all over the world.
More than being a pick-me-up, though, coffee has a lot of other positive benefits to your health. Remember, coffee is so much more than just caffeine.
And although it’s health benefits has long been a controversial topic, more studies are emerging to prove that coffee does indeed do you good.
Here is a list of reasons to enjoy that good old cup of joe.
10 Health Benefits That Prove Coffee Is Good For You
Aside from caffeine, coffee also contains high amounts of antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients. Research has found that these benefit the human body in various ways.
This includes improving your day to day function to lowering the risks of several serious diseases.
1. Improves Energy and Brain Function
Coffee is most known for this benefit. Its caffeine content makes you feel less tired and increases your energy levels.
In addition to that, caffeine also blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter in your brain.
This leads to improved brain function, including memory, concentration, mood, reaction time, and general mental function.
2. Increases Fat Burning and Increases Metabolic Rate
The faster your metabolism, the easier it is for you to lose weight and keep it off despite whatever you eat.
And several studies have shown that caffeine boosts your metabolic rate. It can increase it by 3 to 11% with more significant doses having a greater effect.
This seems to be in line with caffeine’s ability to increase fat burning in the body.
According to studies, caffeine can increase fat burning by 10% in obese individuals and 29% in lean individuals. However, the effect seems to decrease with age.
3. Pain Reducing Effect
People who have a cup of coffee before working out seem to have an easier time.
This is because caffeine increases epinephrine or adrenaline in your blood. This is the hormone that prepares your body for intense physical exertion.
In a study published in the journal Psychopharmacology, researchers found that the more caffeine people consumed, the lower their sensitivity to pain became.
Coffee also reduces the amount of energy you feel you’re expending. That’s why it makes sense to drink coffee before exercising.
This way, you get double the benefits of less muscle pain and increased fat burning.
4. Contains Essential Nutrients and Antioxidants
Coffee is very rich in antioxidants. In fact, people who eat a standard Western diet get their fill of antioxidants more from coffee than fruits and vegetables combined.
Other than that, one cup of coffee also contains small amounts of riboflavin, vitamin B5, magnesium, potassium, and niacin. The quantities of these build up the more cups of coffee you drink.
5. Lowers Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. It keeps your body from using insulin the way it should for the rest of your life. However, coffee can curb the risks of you developing it.
According to a review of studies involving 457 992 people, there is a 7% reduction of risk in every cup of coffee consumed per day.
One study showed that the heaviest coffee drinkers lowered their risk by as much as 67%.
6. Helps Protect Against Cognitive Decline
Coffee is well known for its short term effects on the mind. But it also has long term benefits.
For instance, it helps prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, two of the most common neurodegenerative conditions worldwide.
These usually affect people over 65 years old, and there is still no known cure. Luckily, coffee helps lower your risks of developing such conditions early on.
In a study, researchers found that drinking 3 to 5 cups of coffee per day at midlife reduces the risk of dementia by as much as 65% at late-life.
In this case, caffeine seems to be beneficial as you can’t get the same effect with the same amount of tea or decaf.
7. Safeguards the Liver
Coffee loves your liver. It has been shown to protect your liver against diseases such as hepatitis, fatty liver disease, and liver cancer.
Coffee can also protect your liver against cirrhosis, a severe condition where the organ is damaged by scar tissue. People who drink four or more cups of joe a day lower their risk by up to 80%.
8. Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
Caffeine indeed increases blood pressure. However, the effect is generally minimal and goes away if you drink coffee regularly.
That being said, no study says coffee increases your risk of heart disease. In fact, coffee does the contrary.
It is shown through evidence that every 8-ounce cup of coffee per day reduces the risk of heart failure (7%), stroke (8%), and coronary heart disease (5%).
9. Helps Prevent Gout
Gout causes swelling and intense pain in the joints and surrounding areas. It is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood.
But, coffee has been proven to combat gout, especially in men. Drinking 1 to 3 cups of coffee per day reduced gout risks by 8%. Adding a cup or two to that lowers that probability further to 40%.
The real coffee addicts who drink at least 6 cups a day reduce their risks by a whopping 60%.
And although the results aren’t as high, decaf coffee also provides a moderate amount of gout risk reduction.
10. Curbs Certain Cancer Risks
Coffee’s health benefits also extend to reducing your risks of developing certain types of cancers.
So far, coffee has been shown to a protective agent against liver and colorectal cancer. These two are the third and fourth leading causes of cancer death worldwide, respectively.
In addition to that, early research is studying the links of coffee consumption to other types of cancer like basal cell carcinoma and prostate cancer.
11. Helps Fight Depression
Coffee affects your brain’s production of the mood controllers serotonin and dopamine. And this is being linked to lowering the rate of depression in both men and women.
Those who drank four or more cups of coffee a day lower their risk of becoming depressed by 20%. A study found that those who drank four or more cups a day were less likely to die by suicide by 53%.
12. Helps Extend Life
Coffee can help prevent a lot of bad things that can lead to early deaths for you.
Plus, coffee has tons of antioxidants that help keep you look and feel younger. And although it’s not a full-proof death prevention pill, studies have found links between the two.
On one such study, coffee was associated with a 26% reduced risk of death in women and 20% reduced risk in men both over 18 to 24 years of age.
Cons of Too Much Coffee
Unfortunately, for all its benefits, there is such a thing as too much coffee.
Your genes have a significant influence on how much you can handle. And of course, people who aren’t usually coffee drinkers would have a different limit than those who breathe and bleed coffee.
Generally, coffee can produce dependence, and high doses of it can cause plenty of unpleasant and sometimes even dangerous side effects.
The first sign that you’ve had too much for your limit is the coffee jitters.
Other common side effects are irritability, headaches, and heart palpitations. Here are some of the more severe side effects of too much coffee.
People love coffee because it keeps them awake. But, this can quickly turn on you when you overdo your coffee consumption. And the more you drink, the longer it’ll take for you to fall asleep.
Caffeine also tends to remain in your system for an average of five hours. That’s why the general rule of thumb is to stop drinking coffee by early afternoon to avoid sleeping problems.
In addition to keeping you awake, coffee also gives you alertness. But, too much can lead to anxiety and nervousness.
In fact, coffee can cause caffeine-induced anxiety disorder, according to the American Psychiatric Association. Additional symptoms would be rapid breathing and increased stress.
To avoid this, monitor your responses to your regular caffeine intake to know how much you can tolerate.
3. Digestive Issues and Frequent Urination
Coffee helps many people get their bowel moving. Given this effect, coffee is also known to cause loose stools or diarrhea in some people.
Some studies also found that caffeinated beverages can worsen Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in some people.
In addition to that, coffee also increases urination. And high doses of it can promote incontinence or the lack of voluntary control over urination.
Once you start detecting some of the symptoms among those, better cut back on your coffee consumption.
4. High Blood Pressure
Generally, caffeine doesn’t increase the risks of heart disease or stroke.
But, it can temporarily raise your blood pressure. It hits people who aren’t used to drinking coffee the hardest.
That’s why it’s essential to pay attention to your intake, especially if you already have high blood pressure or any underlying conditions that too much caffeine can aggravate.
Everyone knows about the caffeine crash that follows a caffeine binge. High doses of caffeine can keep you awake and alert for an extended period.
But, the rebound effect that follows after it leaves your system is quite unpleasant. It leaves you more tired than ever.
To avoid this, aim for moderate coffee intake rather than a binge-fest to keep the rebound fatigue to a minimum.
How To Make Good Coffee Habits
The key, to reap the full benefits of coffee, is moderation. For the general population, experts agree that 400 milligrams of coffee is the healthy daily limit.
One cup equates typically to 70 to 140 milligrams. So, about four to five cups of coffee are safe for a day. Six is the tipping point when you get closer to putting yourself at risk.
Pregnant women and people with heart disease and peptic ulcers have a lower limit of about 200 milligrams per day.
Although that is the general recommendation, the most important thing is to listen to your body. Some people feel the buzz of caffeine less, and some feel it more.
So, learn to gauge when you can say yes to that extra cup or when it’s time to turn away. Also, remember that caffeine can also come from other sources.
These include tea, soft drinks, chocolate, and cold and headache medicines. So, keep an eye out to avoid over caffeinating yourself.
In addition to all that, to keep your coffee drinking habits healthy, avoid overloading your coffee with sugar. This can sabotage the health benefits of your drink.
If you can’t have your coffee without a bit of sweetness, use natural sweeteners like stevia. And if you can, avoid artificial creamers as well as they can have the same effect as sugar.
Some healthy and great flavors you can add to your coffee are cinnamon and cocoa. Not only do they add flavor, but they also add more nutrients to your brew.
These will help you enjoy that good old cup of joe happily and guilt-free.
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