Now I’m going to tell you two things, first of all, “Early Birds” do exist. Secondly, I’m very sure I’m not one of them. This means mornings for me usually consists of a painful breakup with my fluffy pillows and major grogginess as I try to come to terms with waking reality, hence my torrid love affair with the dark brown liquid.
To assuage my guilty-coffee-drinking conscience and of course share some useful gist with you, I decided to find out more about this amazing drink, I mean why so awesome, a girl’s got to know right?.
Turns out a cup of joe when taken in moderation has a wonderful number of health benefits that’s actually good for the human body. I’m not saying Coffee is the new health drink but here are some great benefits derived from indulging.
- Coffee can help you improve physical performance and lose weight too!
Asides from contributing to greater concentration, caffeine increases the level of adrenaline released in your blood. (This is the fight or flight hormone that prepares you for physical exertion). Having a cup of black coffee about an hour before your workout can improve your performance by 11-12%, although this benefit is more evident during endurance exercise than with shorter, high intensity exercises.
Also, caffeine contains magnesium and potassium that helps in reducing your craving for sugary foods and regulating blood sugar levels. It helps in weight loss because it assists the body in breaking down body fat and converting it to fuel for physical activities. Just as a suggestion, you might want to steal a few sips before heading to the gym, or better still add this to your diet/ banging summer body action plan.
- Coffee may protect you from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease
Asides from jolting you from a slumber that’s way too sweet for your own good, several studies show that coffee drinkers have up to a 65% lower risk of getting Parkinson’s disease and also Alzheimer’s disease which is a leading cause of dementia worldwide.
All this while, I’ve been wondering why I haven’t gone bonkers at the madhouse my workplace sometimes transforms into, and I’m not even joking about this.
- Coffee helps you stay focused, alert and smarter
Ok this definitely clears up my confusion about why I feel like such a freaking smart ass when I take coffee, asides from being a hyper squirrel and annoying everybody that is.
Ahem! *puts on professor glasses and sips coffee*, this is because its active stimulant caffeine when ingested, travels to your brain and blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter known as Adenosine. By blocking the effect of this neurotransmitter, caffeine can increase the release of other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine and neuronal firing in the brain. The result of this is high energy levels, improved moods, increase in focus, alertness, memory, and general cognitive function. aka smartass!
- Coffee can fight depression and make you happier
In a Harvard study published in 2011, women who drank 4 or more cups per day had a 20% lower risk of becoming depressed.
Another study with 208,424 individuals found that those who drank 4 or more cups per day were 53% less likely to commit suicide. This is because caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and aids in production of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin that helps to improve your mood.
Hmmmn, I’ll definitely bear this in mind for next time when ringing my neighbors’ doorbell and running away doesn’t work at inciting happiness.
- Coffee drinkers have a lower risk of some type of cancers
The liver aids greatly in breaking down caffeine but this is definitely not a one sided relationship as coffee has being known to protect the liver in some cases. Studies show that coffee drinkers have up to a 40% lower risk of liver cancer. It has also been reported to slow progression of alcoholic cirrhosis and hepatitis c.
One study of 489,706 individuals found that those who drank 4-5 cups of coffee per day had a 15% lower risk of colorectal cancer.
Another study has shown that coffee may decrease the risk of developing prostate cancer in men by 20 %, and endometrial cancer in women by 25 %. Caffeine may also prevent developing of basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer
- Coffee contains a lot of important nutrients and antioxidants
A single cup of coffee contains:
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 11% of the RDA.
- Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5): 6% of the RDA.
- Manganese and Potassium: 3% of the RDA.
- Magnesium and Niacin (B3): 2% of the RDA.
Turns out, coffee also contains a lot of antioxidants that work to protect your body against free radicals. Now if this ain’t a power drink people!. Tell me why I have to take my vitamins again? I kid, I kid!
Now, before you go splurging on the finest beans that money can buy, there are few things that should definitely be put into consideration when it comes to frequent consumption of coffee.
- All the benefits elucidated above has been attributed to black caffeinated coffee, and not just any kind but one of good quality…. in your face decaf!
- Caffeine is a highly psychoactive substance that is addictive, therefore coffee should be consumed in moderation. The maximum amount recommended for adults is 400 milligrams, which is roughly 4 cups daily, and if you do consume more than that on a daily basis then I’m sorry but you don’t need more reasons to drink coffee, what you need is a caffeine detox as way too high levels of caffeine can result in insomnia, muscle twitching an restlessness.
- It is advisable for pregnant women, children, people with heart conditions and anxiety disorder to stay away from caffeine. If you must take coffee, then take decaf or better still, drink tea.
- According to Harvard medical school, drinking high levels of unfiltered coffee may increase your risk of having slightly higher cholesterol levels and so it is advisable that people with already high cholesterol levels choose filtered coffee instead.
- Try to skip the sugar and the milk as these contains preservatives and other substances that may negate the benefits of drinking coffee.
- Finally, coffee is very dehydrating so try to have a glass of water per cup of coffee you take. There you have it, six wonderful benefits of taking coffee. Remember to take in moderation, and think of me whenever you take a sip 😉