Are You Gaga For The Java?
If you’re anything like me you NEED a coffee in the morning before you can function. Is it just me? No? Good. But is it a bad thing? Even if it is, I can deal with it, coffee is awesome!
But here’s the really good news, coffee isn’t just tasty and energizing it may also be extremely good for you.
Over the last years and decades, scientists have been studying the effects of coffee on various aspects of health. The results have been nothing short of amazing.
So, for all you Java fans, here are 4 reasons why coffee may actually be one of the healthiest beverages on the planet.
- Coffee Can Make You Smarter
Coffee doesn’t just keep you awake, it may also make you smarter.
The active ingredient in coffee is caffeine, which is a stimulant and the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world.
When caffeine gets to work on your brain it blocks the effects of an inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine. By blocking these effects, caffeine actually increases neuronal firing in the brain and the release of other neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine.
Many controlled studies have examined the effects of caffeine on the brain, demonstrating that caffeine can temporarily improve mood, reaction time, memory, vigilance and general brain function. Pretty smart, eh?
- Coffee Can Help You Burn Fat and Improve Physical Performance
There’s a good reason why you’ll find caffeine in most commercial fat-burning supplements. Partly due to its stimulant effect on the central nervous system, it both raises metabolism and increases the oxidation of fatty acids. s
Caffeine has also been shown to improve athletic performance in several ways, including by mobilizing fatty acids from the fat tissues.
In two separate meta-analyses, caffeine was found to increase exercise performance by 11–12%, on average.
If you’re having a coffee before you work out try and have it 30-45 minutes before you train so it has time to be fully absorbed.
- Coffee May Drastically Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
We’ve all heard how the spread of lifestyle-related disease Type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic proportions. It has increased 10-fold in just a few decades and now afflicts about 300 million people.
This disease is characterized by high blood glucose levels due to insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin.
In observational studies, coffee has been repeatedly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. This reduction in risk ranges from 23% all the way up to 67%.
Another massive review article looked at 18 studies with a total of 457,922 participants. This observed that each additional cup of coffee per day lowered the risk of type 2 diabetes by 7%. The more coffee people drank, the lower their risk.
- Coffee Is Loaded With Nutrients and Antioxidants
Coffee isn’t just black water. It is just delicious black water either, it actually contains many nutrients as some of the nutrients from the original coffee beans make it into the final drink. This can add up to a decent amount of vitamins and minerals.
One cup of coffee contains;
6% of the RDA for pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)
11% of the RDA for riboflavin (vitamin B2)
2% of the RDA for niacin (B3) and thiamine (B1)
3% of the RDA for potassium and manganese
It may not seem like much, but if you drink several cups of coffee per day it can quickly add up.
That’s not all. Coffee also contains a massive amount of antioxidants.
In fact, coffee is one of the biggest sources of antioxidants in the Western diet, even outranking many fruits and vegetables.
Great, So Is Nothing But Perks?
Look, for most people, coffee can definitely be part of a healthy diet. It is fine to enjoy a couple of cups a day unless you can’t control your consumption.
However, coffee may not be beneficial for everyone. Those with certain heart conditions, caffeine sensitivity, and women who are pregnant are advised to stick to decaf coffee or tea, which contains much less caffeine per cup.
Another thing to bear in mind is that, if you drink coffee in excess, you may be building up a tolerance to caffeine and so are negating some of the benefits. If you’re one of these people then you may benefit from a caffeine detox to reset your caffeine tolerance to more moderate levels.
Not Every Drop Will Help You Drop
So if you’re looking to drop body fat, think about this, when we drink coffee most of us are not just drinking coffee. We’re drinking milk and maybe sugar too. If you want to ensure the potential health benefits of coffee, avoid adding sugar and too much milk. Drink 3-4 cups of coffee, and maybe the odd cup of tea too, and you could be consuming in excess of 200 extra calories through milk alone. Not ideal if you’re looking to drop body fat or keep weight off.
And Then There’s Your Sleep
Of course, it’s not always desirable to have more energy and alertness, namely when you’re trying to get to sleep. If drinking coffee tends to affect your sleep, try to have your last cup before 2pm. Caffeine will stay in your system for 6-8 hours so drinking it later on in the day will definitely affect your sleep.
The Bottom Line or How It’s Always Bean
The key is moderation, which is typically 2-3 cups a day, to get the coffee health benefits but avoid the negative issues associated with too much caffeine. Like most things, too much can be a bad things.
Keep in mind too that some of the evidence is necessarily that strong. Many of the above studies were observational in nature. These studies can only show association, they can’t prove that the benefits were definitely caused by coffee.
So if you like your coffee, and you can keep it to 3 or 4 cups a day, drink up.