10 Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee

Most people who drink coffee probably couldn’t tell you the “10 health benefits of drinking coffee,” they just know they want it, that it keeps them sane, functioning, moving…and that without coffee, life “as we know it” virtually ceases to exist!

There is such a thing as coffee addiction. Regular consumption of moderate amounts of coffee is – surprisingly maybe – quite healthy. Overconsumption comes with a set of its own problems, mostly caffeine-related – like increased heart rate and anxiety, negative sleep patterns, and physical and psychological dependence.

What is overconsumption? My wife and I knew a man who drank a 24-cup coffee maker dry every day. That’s probably overconsumption! However 3-4 cups per day have been shown to have significant positive health benefits in many or most cases. So let’s look at 10 of these.

10 Health Benefits of Coffee

  1. Coffee Enhances Brain Function. Coffee helps the brain function better. This is one of the most well-known benefits of coffee – it enhances cognitive function. It’s the caffeine that does this, of course, by acting as a natural stimulant. It blocks the effects of adenosine, which is a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation and sleep. At the same time, it enhances the release of dopamine and norepinephrine – other neurotransmitters that improve overall cognitive function, alertness, and mood.
  2. Coffee seems to protect against neurodegenerative diseases. According to a study by the Krembil Brain Institute, coffee does seem to have some correlation to a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s were shown to occur less frequently in people who regularly consume coffee. It seems to protect the brain from the degenerative processes that can occur over time and are associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The reason for this may be more than just the effect of the caffeine, though that is one factor. Other bioactive compounds in coffee may also play a role.
  3. Coffee is a mood enhancer. This is one of the benefits of coffee that most coffee drinkers could tell you about! Or rather, they could tell you what happens to their mood when they do NOT have coffee. But the link between mood and coffee consumption is not just anecdotal, it’s backed up by science. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and helps increase the production of dopamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters that are associated with reduced feelings of depression and improved mood. If you drink coffee in moderate amounts, your overall mental well-being may very well be enhanced and your risk of developing depression lowered.
  4. Coffee is rich in antioxidants. After all, it’s a BEAN, right? Beans in general are great for you! Coffee is a potent source of antioxidants. They reduce inflammation, help keep your cells from being damaged, and just in general contribute to your overall health. There have been studies that suggest that coffee actually surpasses fruits and vegetables as a leading source of antioxidants in the Western diet. That doesn’t mean skip the fruits and vegetables and have an extra 10 cups of coffee, mind you – but it does point to the positive antioxidant effects of coffee, and that you should consider drinking coffee for more than just its stimulative properties.
  5. Coffee can lead to improved physical performance. Caffeine stimulates the release of adrenaline! Do we need to say more?! Adrenaline prepares the body for physical exertion. This is great for athletes and others who are physically active since it also breaks down body fat for use as energy. Coffee could be an important part of a pre-workout routine if you want to boost your endurance and improve your overall performance.
  6. Coffee can help you lose weight. For starters, coffee is calorie-free – or so close to calorie-free that you don’t have to think about it. That’s if you consume it black, of course, but if you use calorie-free sweeteners, it’s still calorie-free! The main stimulant in coffee is of course caffeine – and caffeine is commonly added to weight-loss supplements to increase metabolic rates and promote the burning of fat. All in all, you will probably not gain weight by drinking coffee, and likely it will help you lose weight.
  7. Coffee is good for your liver. Consuming coffee regularly has been linked to a reduced risk of diseases of the liver, like cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. The liver plays a critically important role in regulating the metabolism and filtering toxins from the blood. Coffee can lower the risk of liver inflammation and reduce the accumulation of liver fat.
  8. Coffee may lower the risk of diabetes. There are studies to back up the conclusion that consuming coffee regularly can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This is likely due to the antioxidants and other bioactive compounds in coffee that help regulate blood sugar levels and improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
  9. Coffee may help to increase your lifespan. Research suggests there is a possible link between the consumption of coffee and a longer lifespan! There – that’s the clincher!! It’s not fully understood why this is the case, but it seems to have something to do with the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties in coffee. People who drink coffee have a lower risk of premature death. Of course one cause of premature death that coffee would prevent is going to sleep while driving – not sure if that’s a factor they considered or not, but for our last “health benefit…”
  10. Coffee may prevent death from falling asleep at the wheel! No, that doesn’t mean you should depend on coffee to keep you awake at the wheel. Getting enough sleep is the best way to do that. But, let’s face it, it helps!

Budget-Friendly Considerations

It should go without saying that buying coffee at a coffee shop is far from a budget-friendly way to consume coffee.

Probably the most budget-friendly way to get your daily coffee is just to buy a simple old-fashioned coffee maker, some filters, and coffee by the can, not the bag – and probably not by the single-serve cup, either. Just as a note, coffee by the can – at least in our supermarkets – is far less expensive than by the bag.

In the End…

You probably can’t go wrong, health-wise, drinking coffee in moderation. As seen above, there are several significant health benefits associated with coffee, and if you aren’t already a coffee drinker, you may wish to consider starting the habit for all the reasons described above!

If you have any comments, questions, or experiences worthy of note regarding the use, abuse or consumption of coffee, please feel free to share in the comments section below.



    Please follow and like us!
    Follow by Email
    Visit Us
    Follow Me

    Leave a Comment