When you think of coffee, what comes to mind? Do you imagine the strong smell wafting through the kitchen on early mornings, or maybe you can anticipate the bitterness of the taste on your tongue?
Coffee is a classic drink known for its ability to make you feel more awakened and alert thanks to the caffeine that is in the plant. Coffee gives many people the ability to perform better at work by giving them the extra energy they need in the morning. With so many people relying on coffee as part of their morning routine, it is an important part of cultures worldwide.
Coffee was discovered by a goat herder named Kaldi from Ethiopia. He discovered it after finding his goats were unable to sleep at night after eating the berries from the coffee tree. Since its beginnings, coffee has been praised for its ability to make you feel awake and refreshed.
The active drug found in coffee is called caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that is absorbed by your bloodstream, which from there, it makes its way to the brain. Once in the brain, caffeine works to block your brain from feeling tired and activates feel-good chemicals. Therefore, after drinking a cup of coffee, you feel your energy levels increase.
In today’s busy world, coffee is popular and continues to boost energy levels for those who need it. Aside from its energy-boosting attributes, coffee is good for your overall health. So, what are the health benefits of drinking coffee?
Benefits of Drinking Coffee
1. Lowers Risk of Diabetes
Coffee is said to increase your body’s insulin production, reduce glucose levels, and improve your body’s ability to absorb insulin. To benefit from this, you should drink 1 cup of black coffee every day to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes by 11%.
2. Lower Risk of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Studies show that drinking caffeine protects against neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The chemicals found in caffeine may be a prevention against the build up of brain plaque, which is thought to cause neurodegenerative diseases.
3. Lower Risk of Liver Cancer and Diseases
Evidence suggests that drinking coffee reduced liver cancer risk by 40%, lower the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cirrhosis of the liver, and gallstone disease. When caffeine is absorbed into the body, a chemical called paraxanthine is created, which slows scar tissue growth from fibrosis. Fibrosis is the liver trying to repair itself once it has been damaged by alcohol, hepatitis, or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Fibrosis is the early stages of cirrhosis of the liver. Coffee promotes a healthy liver, which is important for your overall health.
4. Protect Your Heart
Caffeine is known to be good for your heart and reduced the risk of heart failure, stroke, and heart disease. Coffee contains anti-inflammatory benefits, which has been proven to lower the risk of heart disease. It also contains many antioxidants, much more than what you would get from blueberries or raspberries. Antioxidants are good for your heart because studies show that they prevent the chemical reactions that turn cholesterol into plaque that can stick on artery walls. The health benefits of drinking coffee help to keep your heart healthy.
5. Use It for Fat Burning
Caffeine stimulates your nervous system, which signals fat cells to break down. This boosts your metabolism by up to 11%, which can help you burn belly fat quicker and more efficiently.
Besides, fat burning coffee also works as an appetite suppressant, but decaffeinated coffee works better for this particular benefit because it has more PPY protein. The PPY protein is released by your large intestine to turn off the hunger reaction by your body.
Bulletproof coffee is a type of coffee that is used to aid in the burning of fat. It contains coffee, unsalted butter, and coconut oil. Bulletproof coffee is used as a meal replacement and should not be consumed with other foods as it contains a high amount of fat. The health benefits of bulletproof coffee are good as it helps to optimize fat burning by boosting metabolism rates. Drinking this is good for your health as it is high in fat and will trigger the burning of pure fat and not just water weight.
6. Reduced Risk of Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon. The direct cause of colorectal cancer is unknown, but risk factors that can lead to its development are drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, heavy use of tobacco products, and a diet filled with high-fat foods.
Coffee showed a reduced risk of developing colon cancer by 26%. This is possible because caffeine and polyphenol act together as antioxidants to fight off cancer cells and prevent them from forming.
Coffee contains antioxidants, which have numerous health benefits. Antioxidants are proven to lower the risk of developing cancer by protecting cells that become harmed by free radicals. Free radicals are linked to the development of cancer.
7. Protect Against Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that makes your immune system attack the nerves protecting your brain and spine. The brain and spine are known as the central nervous system in which caffeine stimulates your nervous system and can reduce inflammation in that area. High consumption of coffee in this sense is good for your health as the more coffee you consume, the lower your risk is of developing the disease.
8. Energy Levels and Physical Performance
Coffee is known to give you a boost of energy. This is possible because coffee contains caffeine, which is a stimulant. It is the most used psychoactive drug in the world due to its ease of access. The caffeine takes effect after 45 minutes and can last 4 to 6 hours providing you with a mental and physical energy boost.
Physical performance is increased with the consumption of coffee. This happens because caffeine triggers your body to go into fight or flight mode. Fight or flight mode is your body’s natural reaction to a potential threat. The caffeine that coffee contains creates a chemical reaction that causes adrenaline levels to rise. The adrenaline enhances your physical performance, which is healthy for your heart.
Side Effects and Detriments
1. Risk of Increased Anxiety
While the caffeine in coffee can help you feel more alert, too much caffeine can have a bad effect. Studies show the side effects of drinking too much coffee can cause increased anxiety and paranoia. This is due to the high levels of caffeine in the drink, which block you from becoming tired and activating your flight response fight. While this can be a benefit of drinking coffee ingested in high doses, it has a poor effect on your mental health. To lower the risk of this happening, you should limit your coffee intake to 3 cups per day.
2. Sleepless Nights
Studies show that ingesting too much caffeine can impact your ability to fall asleep at night. Since coffee is intended to wake you up, it makes sense why this can be a bad side effect of the popular beverage. Lack of sleep can be dangerous to your health and increase your risk of developing a disease such as chronic pain, diabetes, cancer, and overactive thyroid, just to name a few. To lower the risk of developing insomnia due to caffeine, avoid drinking coffee 5 hours before bed as caffeine can stay in your system for this amount of time.
3. Digestive Problems
Coffee has fiber, which is healthy to help make you go to the bathroom regularly. Ingested in excess, this can have a bad effect on your physical health. Side effects of too much coffee can include diarrhea and loose stools. This happens because coffee is a natural laxative hormone called gastrin that your stomach releases and speeds up the activity of waste removal in your colon.
Another risk of drinking too much coffee is developing gastroesophageal reflux disease, also knows as GERD. GERD affects the muscle between your stomach and your esophagus, causing heartburn and other unhealthy side effects. To lower the risk of developing digestive problems from drinking coffee, be sure to drink in moderation.
4. Can Worsen Heart Disease
One of the benefits of drinking coffee can also be the side effect of too much coffee. Studies show that caffeine can raise your heart rate when ingested in high amounts and cause atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat. Afib, as it is otherwise known, can lead to a higher risk of stroke, heart attack, and other heart-related diseases that can result in death.
Coffee has also been shown to raise blood pressure dramatically for a short period. Even those who do not run the risk of high blood pressure see spikes in their blood pressure readings after drinking a coffee cup. High blood pressure can cause a thickening in the artery walls, which is not very healthy as it can lead to stroke and heart attack, which may result in death.
Thus, coffee is not healthy for heart patients and must be avoided as it can trigger a heart attack and cause death.
5. Physical Dependence
While it is a healthy beverage, coffee can become an addiction for some people. Studies show that when ingesting too much coffee can cause a physical dependence because of coffee’s ability to block the hormones that make you tired. Suffering from depression can increase your risk of becoming addicted to coffee because coffee boosts your energy and gives you more interest in doing things. While this can be a good thing, for coffee addicts, it is bad.
It is not healthy to drink large amounts of coffee, and if you have a dependence, you may find yourself trying to drink more coffee. This increases your risk of disease and even death related to a caffeine overdose. To lower the risk of developing an addiction to coffee, be sure to limit your consumption.
Rating and Recommendation
The health benefits of drinking coffee far outweigh the side effects of the drink. While there is a risk of developing diseases and other problems related to coffee, it is overall healthy when consumed in moderation.
To recap the health benefits of coffee:
- Helps Prevent Diabetes
- Lowers Risk of Neurodegenerative Diseases
- Prevents Liver Cancer and Disease
- Protects Your Heart
- Helps Burn Fat
- Prevents Colorectal Cancer
- Protects Against Multiple Sclerosis
- Increases Energy Levels
And to recap the potential side effects of drinking too much coffee:
- Increased Levels of Anxiety
- Trouble Falling Asleep
- Digestive Problems
- Increased Risk of Death in Hearty Patients
- Addiction and Dependence
Like most things that are healthy for you, coffee is best when consumed in moderation. Having too much of a good thing can negatively impact your health and cause serious problems.
To receive the full benefit of coffee, be sure to drink it black. If you can not stomach the taste of black coffee, you can add small amounts of cream and sugar. Of course, if you hope to benefit from drinking coffee to prevent diabetes, adding sugar and cream can be detrimental to the health benefits.
The temperature of your coffee can also determine how many benefits you are getting from it. Hot coffee was found to contain more antioxidants, making it the healthier choice over cold brew coffee. Although drinking iced coffee still gives you benefits, it is best to drink coffee hot as it provides more antioxidants and caffeine.