It's for a good reason that coffee is one of the most consumed hot beverages in the world. For most people, caffeine is a great energy booster that enhances productivity and focus. It's no wonder millions of people crave a morning cup of coffee before reporting to work or school.
But that's not all, the benefits of coffee are many, and we can't possibly exhaust them in this article however, we'll try our best to cover the most important ones!
I'm also sure that you've heard about the critics of taking coffee. For centuries, there have been debates on the safety and risks of taking caffeine.
After numerous scientific studies, there has been conclusive evidence that indeed coffee has proven pros and cons. So, if you have a coffee hater who always cautions you about your use of coffee, you should listen to them and find out if they are right.
For this article, we’ll only focus on the scientific benefits of taking coffee. If you're looking for motivation to continue or start drinking coffee, keep on reading!
9 Scientific Benefits Of Taking Coffee
Wondering why filter coffee machines have become so popular nowadays? Well, people have realized the secret of drinking coffee, and here are 9 scientifically-backed reasons why you too should include it in your diet;
1. Coffee Can Reduce The Risk Of Type II Diabetes
According to research, long-term consumption of coffee can significantly lessen the risk of type II diabetes. Another study claim that individuals who consume coffee regularly have a 23 to 50% lower risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Another study was conducted by Harvard researchers and reviewed over 100,000 individuals for about 20 years (concentrated on a 4-year period). The research, published in 2014, found that individuals who increased their daily coffee consumption by one or more cups had an 11% less risk of Type 2 diabetes.
On the contrary, individuals who reduced their coffee consumption by one cup per day increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 17%.
2. Coffee Can Help You Lose Weight
Coffee is one of the few natural ingredients that has been linked to weight loss. According to research, caffeine can boost your metabolism by 3 to 11%. Other studies suggest that coffee aids in fat burning by up to 29% in lean people and 10% in obese people.
Similarly, coffee contains essential minerals such as potassium and magnesium, which help the body to use insulin properly, regulate blood sugar, and reduce cravings for sugar and snacks, allowing you to lose or maintain weight.
3. Coffee Can Help You Fight Depression And Mental Fatigue
According to the WHO, depression is a serious worldwide mental disorder, currently affecting over 264 million individuals of all ages. Fortunately, coffee can help to curb this effect and save lives.
Coffee is a healthy drink that can significantly brighten your mood, reduce depression, and make you happier. A recent research study by the Harvard School of Public Health showed that drinking several cups of coffee per day lessens the risk of suicide in both men and women by approximately 50%.
In 2011, a study by Harvard found that women who drank about 4 cups of coffee had a 20% lower risk of developing depression. Another study conducted on 208,424 individuals concluded that people who drank about 4 cups of coffee daily were 53% less likely to commit suicide.
Coffee is also an excellent remedy for mental fatigue. A 2010 research study in the Journal Nutrition found that caffeine can reduce exhaustion and mental fog, getting your mental health back on track.
4. Coffee Can Boost Your Memory And Make You Smarter
If you need a memory boost, make or grab a cup of coffee on your way to work or school. Coffee can boost your memory and make you smarter. According to a 2005 study conducted by the Radiological Society of North America, drinking two cups of coffee can increase a person's short-term memory skills. Whether you want to solve a challenging puzzle or you’re revising for an exam, taking a cup of coffee can make a difference.
5. Coffee Can Boost Your Physical Performance
Caffeine increases the adrenaline or epinephrine (the flight or fight hormone) levels in your blood, preparing you for an intense physical performance. Similarly, coffee stimulates the nervous system, which encourages the fat cells to release free fatty acids that can be used to fuel new physical activity.
Having just one cup of coffee a few minutes (30-60) before your workout can significantly improve your physical stamina by 11 to12%. According to the Journal of Pain, taking two cups of coffee can reduce post-workout muscle pain by 48%, thus helping you to get ready for your next workout within no time.
6. Coffee Can Lower The Risk Of Cancers
In 2018, about 9.6 million cancer-related deaths were reported, with prostate, cervical, breast, lung, stomach, liver, and colorectal cancers being the most common cases. Even now, the cancer burden continues to affect millions of individuals globally, exerting tremendous emotional, physical, and financial struggles in society.
One of the best benefits of coffee is that it can lessen the chances of developing various types of cancers. According to research, drinking 4 cups of coffee can reduce the risk of developing endometrial cancer by 25% in women and prostate cancer in men by 20%.
Another study found that caffeine can prevent the development of basal cell cancer, a common skin cancer. Other studies suggest that individuals who drink coffee daily had up to a 40% lower risk of developing liver cancer and other liver diseases like cirrhosis.
7. Coffee Can Reduce The Risk Of Dementia And Alzheimer’s Disease
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Alzheimer's disease or (Diabetes 3) is among the leading causes of Dementia in the world. Dementia is a syndrome that is evidenced by deterioration in thinking, behavior, thinking, memory, and the ability to perform normal day-to-day activities. Currently, approximately 50 million people have Dementia, and nearly 10 new million cases are reported every year.
According to researchers, women (aged 65 years or older) who drink 2 to 3 cups of coffee per day have a lesser risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia in general. Other studies show that people who drink coffee regularly have up to a 65% less chance of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
8. Coffee Can Help You Live Longer
Coffee is rich in antioxidants, which protect your body from aging. This can keep you young and help you live longer. Several studies also indicated that people who drink coffee regularly have less risk of death (26% in women and 20% in men – over 18 years)
Other studies show that coffee reduces inflammation, which can help prevent aging-related health conditions such as Dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Some evidence suggests that coffee slows down some metabolic processes that are linked to aging.
9. Coffee Is Rich In Antioxidants And Other Essential Nutrients
Coffee is among the healthiest beverages and leading sources of antioxidants on the planet. In fact, some studies suggest that you can derive more antioxidants in coffee compared to fruits and vegetables combined. Similarly, coffee contains numerous essential nutrients such as riboflavin, manganese, magnesium, niacin, pantothenic, and potassium.
How Much Coffee Is Safe?
Now that you know a few benefits of drinking coffee, how much coffee is safe to drink? Like any drink out there, too much coffee is dangerous – even too much water can kill you!
According to Dr. Eric Rimm, a nutrition and associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, a daily caffeine intake of about 200 to 300 mg is considered safe. On the contrary, daily intake of more than 500 to 600 mg may increase the risk of complications.
However, Dr. Eric noted that each person's tolerance to caffeine is different. So, as in all things, moderation is key. Drink reasonable amounts, about 3 to 5 eight-ounce cups is fine. If you'd like to start drinking coffee but have a medical health problem, please consult with your doctor first.
Who Should Avoid Coffee?
You should pay close attention to your coffee consumption if you;
- Have high cholesterol
- Are pregnant
- Experience any side effects after drinking coffee
- Have sleeping problems
- Have epilepsy
- Have glaucoma
Undoubtedly, coffee is one of the healthiest ways to start your day. It will make you feel more energetic throughout the day and still protect you from numerous chronic health problems such as cancer, diabetes, liver disease, Dementia, and much more.
Also, if you would like to stay younger and sharper, don't hesitate to gift yourself a cup of coffee. And don't forget! Drink in moderation and always listen to your body. If for any reason you suspect that coffee is triggering any negative effects, limit the intake or avoid it.