Coffee has been one of the most popular drinks across the globe for centuries. It’s not just coffee’s rich flavor and bold aroma that makes it so beloved across cultures and generations. Coffee actually offers a number of incredible health and lifestyle benefits that take our world to the next level. Coffee helps us enhance our health, make social connections, and overall improve our lives.
What are the benefits of drinking coffee?
1. Coffee improves energy and brain function.
This seems like an obvious one, but it’s actually more important than you may even realize. Lots of people drink coffee for that jolt of energy and awareness. That alert response comes from caffeine, a stimulant found in coffee. Caffeine is absorbed into the bloodstream quickly, which is what allows for that nearly instantaneous energy boost. It travels to the brain, where it blocks adenosine—the hormone that tells your body to get tired. Caffeine blocks adenosine from making its way to brain receptors, so you’ll be more awake and ready to take on the day.
Caffeine also has other psychoactive effects on the brain that may improve cognitive function. Caffeine interrupts neurotransmitters like dopamine (the happy hormone) and norepinephrine, which boosts neuron firing. Neuron firing essentially wakes up your brain and tells it to get going. This can improve memory, vigilance, reaction times, mood, performance, and overall general mental function.
One study found that caffeine led to increased alertness and vigilance, improved performance on reactive tasks, and improved decision-making skills. Another study proved it enhanced vigilance and visual reaction time without any negative side effects. Coffee is a healthy alternative to unnatural energy drinks or OTC meds that can have a lot of side effects.
2. Coffee has antioxidants (lots of them).
Coffee is a key source of antioxidants, which are compounds that fight free radicals and oxidation. Free radicals damage cells, which can lead to cancer, disease, and other illness.
Some research has shown that Americans actually get more antioxidants from coffee than from fruits and vegetables combined. This means your coffee may be assisting you in the fight against major diseases!
Coffee contains some of the following powerful antioxidants: vitamin B2, vitamin B5, vitamin B3, manganese, potassium, and magnesium.
3. Coffee brings people together.
Coffee is one of our socially shared customs. Whether you’re sharing a morning cup with a coworker or an afternoon java on a first date, people love to bond over the casual aspect of the cup of Joe.
Plus, coffee is a conversation starter. “How do you drink your coffee?” is a great opening line when you’re sharing a cup together. It can also lead you to insights about the other person’s tastes, and there may even be a story or two behind their favorite brew.
Coffee also breaks down cultural barriers. Different countries and cities have unique ways of preparing their coffee. Trying out diverse coffee is like taking a trip around the world. You can experience the difference between Italian espresso, Irish creamy coffee, Yuan-Yang Coffee from Hong Kong, Columbian Popayan, Café Cubano, and so many others.
People come together over their love of coffee.
4. Coffee can keep you hydrated.
It’s a common misconception that coffee makes you dehydrated. In large amounts, it can make you dehydrated because caffeine has a diuretic effect, causing your body to pull out water and produce more urine. But studies show that in moderate amounts, coffee doesn’t lead to any symptoms of dehydration, even when exercising after consumption.
In fact, coffee may actually help keep you hydrated. You make coffee with water; you’re essentially using water to create coffee bean “extract.” So it may actually give you some H2O molecules first thing in the morning that can help power up your body. You shouldn’t replace water with coffee, but a cup or two definitely won’t hurt.
5. Coffee may help you burn fat.
You’ll find caffeine in just about every fat-burning supplement on the market. That’s because it’s one of the few natural substances that actually has a proven effect on fat cells.
Studies show that caffeine may actually boost the metabolic rate by 3-11%. It does this by influencing your thermogenesis and daily energy expenditure. Essentially, caffeine makes your body work harder, which burns more calories.
Drinking coffee isn’t a diet plan in itself. However, a cup a day may actually assist your body in weight loss efforts alongside other healthy food choices.
6. Coffee enhances physical performance.
You can get an effortless workout boost… with the help of coffee! Caffeine has been shown to actually improve the results of your workouts, so you can bulk up and slim down faster.
Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, which signals fat cells to break down. (This is how you may start losing body fat, too.) This breakdown of fat cells makes fatty acids available for the body to use as fuel. More fuel means you can workout harder and longer without tiring.
Caffeine also increases the epinephrine levels in the blood. This adrenaline boost prepares your body for physical exertion and endurance.
Together, caffeine can improve your physical performance by up to 12%. Some physical trainers recommend drinking a cup of black coffee a half hour before going to the gym to see the best results. (Adding too much coffee and milk may have the opposite effect since your body would burn off the sugars as fuel rather than burning stored body fat.)
7. Coffee helps your overall wellness.
More and more research is coming out that coffee may actually help improve your health and wellness long-term:
- Daily coffee drinkers seem to have a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Coffee may protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. In fact, some studies show up to a 65% lower risk of Alzheimer’s with frequent coffee consumption.
- Coffee may defend against liver damage and cirrhosis (scarring of the liver).
- There’s no proof that coffee causes heart disease. It may raise your blood pressure a small amount, but this usually dissipates if you drink coffee regularly. In fact, on the contrary, caffeine may help clear out your heart and blood vessels to reduce your risk of stroke and heart disease.
8. Coffee may help you live longer.
All of these benefits together may usher you to a longer, healthier life. Two large studies found that drinking coffee was associated with a 20% reduced risk of death in men and a 26% decreased risk of death in women over 18.
Outside of life longevity, it also improves mood, so you’re less likely to deal with the health impacts of anxiety, stress, or depression. Additionally, coffee’s antioxidants help protect your cells from oxidative damage, which can fight against aging and diseases.
Coffee creates a social world, and social living has been linked to life longevity and reduced risks of mortality. Whether it is keeping you hydrated and alert, or helping you power through your workout routine, you are reaping the benefits coffee has to offer.
While the short-run impacts are notable, the long-term effects coffee can have on your body can seriously improve your quality of life.
You should feel good about being a coffee drinker! Coffee has a lot of benefits that can help improve your health and lifestyle. So let’s get brewing!
Note: We have referenced studies here, but we are not making any health claims. Don’t over-consume coffee, and always consult a doctor before changing your lifestyle and health regimen.