Is coffee good or bad for you? I get this question A LOT.
And there are a ton of conflicting opinions on the subject of coffee and personal health...
If you are like me, the first thing you do every morning is to reach for your favorite coffee mug and fill it to the brim with fresh, streaming hot, caffeinated nectar: coffee.
'Cause it does a body good.
And if you're like me, you want to know that you're doing something good for you by indulging in this habit.
In this article, I review what's good and bad for you about coffee, so you can put your worries to rest, (or ask a real doctor and get on with it).
Coffee one of the most popular drinks across the globe, but it has gotten a bad rep for years thanks to caffeine (evil caffeine monster! But also a reason why we love coffee oh-so-much, lol).
For decades, doctors advised folks to limit caffeine intake by steering clearing of coffee, allegedly to combat heart disease among other medical issues.
We know now, a lot of these originally held beliefs about coffee may be false.
Claims like, "coffee can give you a heart attack" and "coffee stunts your growth" are debunked by many scientific studies in recent years.
I'm no doctor, (please check with your medical professional if you have a heart condition or other medical issue that might be worsened by caffeine), but let's all agree to say "evil myths!" and not "evil coffee!".
In fact, the opposite may be true...
Could it be? Coffee is GOOD for you?
From increasing your IQ to giving you an antioxidant boost, coffee packs a ton of health benefits in those small but mighty little beans.
Watch this video for a quick summary of how coffee beans can be good for your health:
Here's a list of reasons to drink coffee for your health (and enjoy it). You're welcome:
Coffee Makes You More Efficient
We all know that caffeine is a stimulant that can help increase energy levels. After all, that’s why we drink it in the morning, right?
People who drink coffee are more productive than people who don't.
But more than this, consuming caffeine in natural sources, like coffee, may help boost your memory too.
Many scientists now say that the caffeine in coffee can improve memory, reaction times and much more.
Energy Boost from Coffee
Caffeine from coffee has several positive effects on your physical performance.
In fact, many studies show that having a nice cup of joe about half an hour before you hit the gym can be very beneficial in getting the most out of your workout.
But how does that work?
Not only does it give you extra energy, which is always helpful when you are running that mile, but it stimulates your nervous system as well.
By igniting and waking up your nervous system, the caffeine in your cup of coffee is hollering at those fat cells floating around in your body to begin to break down.
This means that the body has way more fuel to use in yout exercise routine.
Important to note: caffeine is a drug. And there's nothing cute about drugs.
Not unlike methaphetamin and other stimulates, the caffeine in coffee makes you feel good by releasing dopamine, and gets you going by inhibiting those chemicals your body releases to make you go to sleep.
You need sleep to stay alive, folks!
So while you are more productive, be aware that drinking too much coffee can be less helpful to you over time.
This is why some people think they're "addicted" to coffee. What that really means is that you feel "withdrawl" when your body is used to being stimulated by caffeine in coffee. Not good.
Coffee Can Help Prevent Cancer
Cancer has plagued the population for centuries and is one of the main causes of death the world over.
Though coffee is not a combatant for all types of cancer, coffee has been shown to protect against two of the top five cancer killers: liver and colorectal cancer.
With a larger potential impact on liver cancer, coffee has been shown to significantly decrease the risk of being diagnosed with either.
Mental Health Improves With Coffee
Mental health has been a popular topic of conversation over the last decade, including depression.
Depression can be a major trigger of other physical and mental health issues.
Drinking coffee may help fight depression and boost your overall mood.
Many studies now show a significant decline in cases of depression when individuals drink 4 plus cups of coffee per day.
Coffee Helps With Weight Loss
If you turn your weight loss or fat burning supplement around and look at the label you will typically see caffeine as a key ingredient.
As mentioned earlier, there are many studies that show a significant improvement in metabolic activity in coffee drinkers, especially in overweight individuals.
Other studies indicate that caffeine can specifically increase fat burning by as much as 10% in obese individuals and 29% in healthy individuals.
(That's right, you fit people are getting more out of your workout from your coffee).
But... These effects may diminish in long-term coffee drinkers. The more your body gets used to caffeine, the less likely for it to be as responsive to it.
Decreased Risk of Alzheimer's Among Coffee Drinkers
The neuro-degenerative disorder known as Alzheimer's is a horrible and tragic disease.
Although there is no known cure for it and its partner in crime, dementia, many studies show that people who drink coffee decrease their risk of succumbing to this life-changing disease.
Nutrients in Coffee
Those little coffee beans are chock full of vitamins!
A single cup of coffee contains:
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
- Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)
- Manganese and potassium
- Magnesium and niacin (vitamin B3)
Antioxidants in Coffee Too!
The Western diet is definitely not known as the healthiest one out there.
In fact, of all the items we shove into our faces, coffee is one of the healthiest.
Coffee beans and subsequent drinks are one of the largest sources of antioxidants in the Western diet. New research indicates that taking 3-5 cups of coffee on a daily basis can serve up to 60 percent of your daily antioxidant intake requirement.
Antioxidants are “cleaners” and oxidise free radicals in the body to form harmless substances that can then be flushed out of the bloodstream and body, naturally.
Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, premature ageing, and some forms of cognitive decline disorders are linked to low antioxidant levels or function in the human body.
But how you prepare your coffee matters. The processing method significantly affects antioxidant activity.
For example, roasted coffee contains more antioxidants than non-roasted coffee does.
Is A Lot of Coffee Bad For You?
While there are plenty of benefits in drinking that perfectly crafted aromatic brew, you should drink coffee in moderation (tough, I know).
So coffee will not stunt your growth.
While too much caffeine can stress your system, it's not likely you'll drink enough to cause a heart attack (unless you have a heart condition already, or you're really overdoing your caffeine intake by combining coffee with supplments that contain caffeine).
So what is a safe amount of java to drink?
Up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That's roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola or two "energy shot" drinks.
Too much coffee has been known to cause digestive tract issues among other problems.
While coffee can be good for you and your quality of life overall, here are a few things to watch out for that could mean you've had a cup too many:
Why Healthy Coffee Is Black Coffee...
One final note on coffee and your health.
I know they're delicious, but don't think that you're being healthy by getting flavored lattes or fraps. These are chock full of sugar and fats, and you're definitely not helping to improve your health by drinking your coffee this way every day, four times a day.
While yummy, these types of coffee drinks are more an indulgence and dessert than they are "good for you".
To get the most health benefits from your coffee, get quality beans and drink your coffee black or with a hint of cream on occasion.
Grab a mug and get healthy!