Many start their day with a hot cup of coffee – keep that up! Studies have shown that coffee does more than just freshening you up in the morning. More importantly, coffee also lowers your risk to several diseases considerably.
Here are the top 9 evidence-based benefits of drinking coffee, so remember to drink that cup of coffee!
Nothing invigorates a tired mind and lethargic body more than a cup of coffee. This is because coffee contains an effective psychoactive substance (which also happens to be the most commonly consumed one), caffeine.
So how exactly does caffeine keep us feeling fresh? When you drink a cup of coffee, caffeine is quickly absorbed into your bloodstream. It then travels to your brain where it blocks Adenosine, which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. This increases the production of dopamine and norepinephrine, causing greater neuronal activity in the brain and in turn improving mood, energy levels, and alertness.
Many studies have shown that drinking coffee leads to enhanced alertness, better energy levels and reaction times, and improved memory. So the next time you find yourself struggling to concentrate at work, head to the coffee vending machine!
2. Helps You Burn Fat
On your next trip to the supermarket, do a little exercise: pick any three commercial fat-burning supplements and read the product labels. Chances are you’ll find caffeine in at least two of the three product labels. Do you know why?
Caffeine is actually one of the few natural substances that aid burning of fat. This is why almost every fat-burning supplement contains it.
Studies show that caffeine results in 3% to 10% spike in the metabolic rate. The equation is simple, the higher your metabolism, the more calories you burn.
Some other studies also show that caffeine intake can increase fat burning by 29% for those with normal BMI (body mass index), and by 10% for people with BMI falling in the obese category.
While there is irrefutable proof of caffeine’s ability to aid fat loss, this effect may not be immediately apparent as the above-mentioned studies are done on long-term coffee drinkers
3. Improves Physical Performance
Caffeine has a stimulating effect on the nervous system, which then instructs the breaking down of body fat to the fat cells. By stimulating fat cells to break down stored fat, the broken-down body fat then enters the bloodstream as free fatty acids which the body uses as fuel.
Caffeine also triggers production of adrenaline, which prepares the body for high-intensity exertion.
Because of these reasons, it is hardly surprising that studies show an increment in physical performance by a little over 10% after caffeine intake. Drink a cup of coffee 30 minutes before hitting the gym and watch your performance improve naturally.
4. Provides Essential Nutrients
Coffee, apart from providing the benefits listed above, contains many essential nutrients:
• Vitamin B5 (one cup of coffee provides you with 6% of RDA, which stands for recommended dietary allowance)
• Vitamin B3 (one cup of coffee gives you 3% of RDA)
• Vitamin B2 (a single cup of coffee gives you 11% of RDA)
• Vitamin B5 (you get 6% of RDA when you drink one cup of coffee)
While it may seem that a single cup does not provide these nutrients in large quantity, do remember that the number quickly add up when you drink a few cups in a day, which is exactly what most coffee-drinkers do.
5. May Reduce The Risk Of Diabetes
Approximately 300 million people in the world have Diabetes Type 2, making it a huge health problem in most parts of the world.
Although at present the reasons are not clear, but there is evidence of significantly lower risk to Diabetes Type 2 in coffee drinkers.
Most studies done on this subject show that people who drink coffee regularly have a lower risk of Diabetes Type 2 in the range of 20% to 50%. One study listed as high as 67% lower risk in coffee drinkers.
6. May Lower The Risk Of Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease most commonly affect people over 65 years of age and is the most prevalent neuro-degenerative disease. No cure for Alzheimer’s has been found yet.
However, a healthy diet and regular exercise can help reduce your risk to Alzheimer’s, and so could drinking coffee daily. Why this is so has not been explained adequately but the relation between coffee consumption and lower risk of Alzheimer’s exist.
In studies done, it was found that those who drink coffee regularly have as much as 65% lower risk of getting Alzheirmer’s.
7. May Reduce The Risk of Parkinson’s
Alzheimer’s as previously mentioned, is the number one neuro-degenerative disease; Parkinson’s, which develops because of sharp reduction in the number of dopamine-producing neurons, is second.
Like Alzheimer’s disease, Scientists have yet to find a cure for Parkinson’s. Therefore, the focus is on prevention.
Studies have linked drinking coffee with a 30% to 60% lower risk of Parkinson’s than non-coffee drinkers. The substance causing this difference is believed to be caffeine. This is because a separate study done on those who drink decaffeinated coffee were found to have not much lower risk than those who do not drink coffee at all.
8. Protects The Liver
Liver cirrhosis is a serious disease, in some cases fatal. There is strong evidence that coffee reduces the risk of liver cirrhosis. Studies show that people who drink four cups of coffee or more everyday are 80% less likely to suffer from liver cirrhosis than those who don’t drink coffee.
9. May Lower The Risk Of Certain Cancers
No disease causes more deaths worldwide than cancer. Coffee it seems provides protection against liver cancer, the third most deadly cancer, and colorectal cancer, which is fourth on the list.
Studies show that regular coffee drinkers have almost 40% less chance of developing liver cancer and about 15% less chance of suffering from colorectal cancer. One or two cups of coffee per day may not reduce your risk to these two types of cancers by much, but four to five cups do.
Given so many health benefits of coffee, it makes all the more sense to drink it daily. However, do bear these in mind especially if you are one to drink three to four cups daily. Firstly, use less or no cream to ensure your calorie intake doesn’t increase significantly. Next, avoid having coffee up to 8 hours before bedtime. You would not want to compromise on sleep quality which may lead to a host of other health conditions.