If you are a coffee lover, you will be happy to read this article, as it reveals all the pros and cons of the habit of drinking this delicious beverage. According to Statistic Brain, this good-morning brew is enjoyed by 54% of Americans daily.
“Just like other plant-based foods, coffee has its own unique set of phytonutrients and beneficial compounds that can positively impact your health, such as those already known to fight inflammation, one of the most common and insidious contributors to age-related health challenges.
Coffee is said to improve energy levels and block an inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine. This, in turn, boosts other neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and dopamine, leading to enhanced firing of neurons.
Coffee can help you burn fat because it boosts your metabolism and drastically improves physical performance, not just in increased adrenaline for sharper “fight or flight” skills — or agility and stamina during exercise — but because it breaks down body fat and turns it into fuel.
Additionally, coffee contains phytonutrients that enhance your health in several different ways, including providing healthy amounts of riboflavin, pantothenic acid, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and niacin in every cup. It may also supply more antioxidants than anything else in the standard Western diet.”
A typical 8oz (240 ml) cup of coffee provides:
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 11% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 6% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 2% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 2% of the RDA.
- Folate: 1% of the RDA.
- Manganese: 3% of the RDA.
- Potassium: 3% of the RDA.
- Magnesium: 2% of the RDA.
- Phosphorus: 1% of the RDA.
If you drink more cups daily, even though these amounts are small, coffee will add up to a significant portion of your daily nutrient intake, and provide high amounts of antioxidants.
Coffee Drinkers Have a Lower Risk of Liver Diseases
Our liver is sensitive to numerous toxins and foods present in modern society, as well as excess alcohol and fructose intake.
Yet, studies have shown that coffee drinkers have up to an 84% lower risk of developing cirrhosis, with the strongest effect for individuals who drink 4 or more cups daily. Moreover, coffee lovers have a decreased risk of liver cancer by 40% too.
Caffeine Improves Brain Function and Boosts Metabolism
Coffee contains caffeine, which is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world. It inhibits the function of an inhibitory neurotransmitter (brain hormone) called Adenosine, and thus enhances the brain activity and stimulates the release of other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine, that keep us alert and energetic. Caffeine has also been found to improve mood and boost reaction time, vigilance and general cognitive function. Yet, note that these effects are short-term.
Moreover, caffeine boosts the metabolism by 3-11% and exercise performance by 11-12%.
Coffee Lowers the Risk of Depression and Suicide
Nowadays, depression and anxiety are unfortunately very common. Yet, a Harvard study showed that individuals who drank the most coffee had a 20% lower risk of becoming depressed.
Additionally, researchers have also found that people who drank 4 or more cups of coffee daily had a 53% lower suicide risk.
Coffee Lowers the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Studies have shown that coffee drinkers have a significantly lower risk of developing this disease, by up to 23-67%.
Coffee Lowers the Risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
Researchers have found that coffee drinkers have up to a 65% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, and a 32-60% lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Coffee May Boost Athletic Performance
Coffee can be of great importance to athletes, as it has powerful performance-enhancing properties. According to Medical News Today:
“Athletes consuming 3 to 7 mg of caffeine through coffee saw an average improvement in endurance performance of 24 percent … [Lead author Simon Higgins] says: ‘This is helpful for athletes because coffee is a naturally occurring compound. There’s the potential that getting your caffeine by drinking coffee has similar endurance benefits as taking caffeine pills.”
Coffee Drinkers Live Longer
Since coffee lowers the risk of numerous chronic and deadly diseases, it makes sense that it could help you live longer. The New England Journal of Medicine published a study in 2012 that found that coffee drinkers had a much lower risk of dying over the 12-13 year study period.
However, we must reveal the drawbacks of our favorite drink as well.
Caffeine is Addictive
Caffeine can lead to addiction in some people. In case one consumes it regularly, coffee stops working, so a larger dose is needed. Despite developing tolerance, people can also experience withdrawal symptoms if abstaining from it, like a headache, tiredness, brain fog and irritability that can last for a few days.
Caffeine Can Cause Anxiety and Disrupt Sleep
The excessive consumption of caffeine can disrupt sleep and lower your sleep quality. Therefore, make sure you do not drink coffee late at night.
How to get the best out of your coffee
Decaffeinated coffee still contains caffeine, but much less than regular coffee, as the coffee beans are being rinsed with solvent chemicals for a few times in order to lower the percentage of caffeine. Yet, it does not offer the same benefits as regular coffee.
To maximize the beneficial effects of your cup of coffee, do not add anything to it, like sugar or creamers. Make sure you brew it with a paper filter, as unfiltered coffee contains cafestol that raises cholesterol levels.
Note that pregnant women, anxious people, and individuals who suffer from insomnia or high blood pressure should avoid or severely limit coffee consumption.
Otherwise, if you love your cup of coffee, feel free to enjoy it, as its benefits far outweigh the negatives!