Coffee has gotten both a bad reputation and a good reputation when it comes to your health. There have been multiple studies on the effects of coffee on your health. The findings have actually seen positive benefits contrary to what many people believe.
There have been studies going on for years looking for evidence that coffee drinkers aren’t at a greater risk for common diseases or weight gain. Many people were warned not to drink too much coffee because it could harm or shorten their life. However, during these studies, researchers actually found the opposite to be true. In one study, the coffee drinkers were actually found to live longer than people that did not drink coffee. Though the death rate reported was only 10-15 percent lower in coffee drinkers there was still a difference. Also, this wasn’t just a “one cup a day” thing. The more cups of coffee consumed, the greater the benefit.
One thing to be careful about when talking about the benefits of coffee is to pay attention to the age of the audience. There have been findings that the death rate of coffee drinkers in an older age group was much higher.
Along with many other lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol use, red meat consumption, and exercise habits, people who regularly enjoy coffee live much longer!
Aside from living longer, coffee has been shown to have many other health benefits. During the study, people who drank coffee regularly and who were in good health were less likely to develop many diseases such as heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, and diabetes. Coffee drinkers also have a reduced risk of developing liver disease, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Another big benefit of coffee drinkers is a much lower risk of depression and a reduction in stress. Aside from some of the ingredients in coffee that could help you feel happier and less stressed, people that drink coffee tend to take a couple of minutes to themselves throughout the day. With all the things people do nowadays such as work, school, parenting, or doing whatever you have to do…many people forget to take a couple of minutes to themselves to just relax. Coffee drinkers reported that they take a couple of minutes in the morning or at lunch or even after dinner to sit down with their cup of coffee and enjoy the peace and quiet. This can do wonders for your physical and mental health.
The one cup of coffee you have before work in the morning may not be getting you the biggest benefits. Studies found that enjoying four to five cups of coffee a day was most beneficial. However, anything more than six cups a day could start to be harmful. Aside from the amount, how you prepare your coffee can also affect your health. If you are someone who likes to boil your coffee or use a French press, you should be careful! There are two chemicals in coffee beans, cafestol, and kahweol, that have been shown to raise cholesterol, especially your LDL cholesterol (your bad cholesterol!) The only way you won’t ingest these two chemicals is if you filter your coffee. Using a coffee pot or the single-serving coffee pods such as Keurig does filter your coffee beans. That shot of espresso may taste delicious but be careful when it comes to how many you are having! You could be increasing your cholesterol levels dramatically which will set you up for many serious health problems. One more thing to be careful about is what you are putting into that cup of Joe. A mocha frappuccino (or whatever else you drink!) from Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts does not qualify as coffee. When we are talking coffee, we’re talking brewed coffee beans. If you’re making it at home, all of that sugar and creamer could outweigh the health benefits of the actual coffee. If you can’t stand drinking your coffee black, put a splash of low-fat milk and 1-2 sugar packets to sweeten it up. Adding creamers, caramels, and all other kinds of sugars will make for a sugary, high-calorie drink rather than a beneficial beverage. If you’re gonna have it that way, you might as well wake up with a Coca Cola (yuck!)
So what makes coffee improve your health and life so much? Antioxidants and caffeine! Together, these ingredients make your cup of coffee worth having. Antioxidants are mostly known to be in fruits and vegetables and green tea but your morning cup of coffee also contains these healthy compounds. There was actually a study was done that found that Americans get the majority of their antioxidants from coffee. Many Americans are much more likely to enjoy a cup of coffee than chew on some carrots sticks. Polyphenols are the type of antioxidants found in coffee. They have been shown to significantly improve brain function which can help prevent strokes, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. The other powerful ingredient found in coffee is caffeine. Caffeine is the number one reason people drink coffee at all! Studies show that caffeine also has a powerful effect on brain function by improving memory. It also helps to detoxify the liver, increases alertness, stimulates hair growth, and reduces depression. Aside from the benefits caffeine has on the general public, it does wonders for athletes or people that participate in strenuous physical activity. If you’re looking for a safe, pre-workout drink, coffee is your go-to beverage. The caffeine will give you a jolt of energy to power through your workout. Many of the energy drinks that athletes consume also contain caffeine but in much higher, possibly dangerous, amounts. An 8-ounce cup of coffee will provide you with enough caffeine for a workout. It can also be great for post workout. The caffeine in coffee has been shown to replenish muscle glycogen stores that were used during exercise which can give you more energy after a workout and will help to reduce post-workout muscle soreness.