There’s nothing like a cup of the best French press coffee to get you ready for your day. And 65% of the United States population that drinks coffee every day can confirm this.
But does consuming all that caffeinated coffee do your body any good? Is coffee good for your health?
The answer is a firm yes. Coffee contains high levels of antioxidants and nutrients, and it is one of the healthiest beverages you can put on your breakfast table.
Do you want to know what you’re getting in return for every cup of your favorite beverage? If you’ve been searching for an answer to the question, “Is coffee good for my health?” This article is for you.
We’ll be discussing 20 of the most important health benefits of coffee for your body. Let’s jump right in!
20 Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee
1. Boosts Energy Levels and Brain Function
Coffee contains caffeine, which is a psychoactive stimulant. Caffeine is known to make people feel less tired by increasing their energy levels.
How does caffeine do this?
When caffeine enters the brain, it binds with adenosine receptors and reduces their effect. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter known for affecting sleep, cognition, learning, memory, and other brain functions.
By blocking adenosine, all other neurotransmitters flood your brain, such as dopamine and norepinephrine. Both are known to boost memory, energy, alertness, and overall mental function. Therefore, by reducing adenosine impact, caffeine enhances energy levels.
That’s not all. Caffeine has another positive benefit on the brain, one that can help you perform better at work and in class.
Do you often struggle to process what you hear in meetings or classrooms? A slow or sleepy brain might be to blame. Coffee can also improve your reaction time!
2. Coffee Helps You Burn Fat and Lose Weight
Here’s another reason to add coffee to your daily beverage list: it can help you lose weight by burning fat without any work on your end!
How does coffee help you lose weight?
Caffeine boosts the body’s metabolic rate 3 to 4 hours after consumption. An increase in metabolic rate means more calories burnt even when the body is at rest.
This is why caffeine is a common ingredient in weight loss supplements.
However, adding cream or sugar to your coffee will work against the purpose if you’re trying to lose weight.
Especially sugar will do this, as the sugar you add to your coffee has more calories than the cream.
3. Enhances Your Exercise Performance
Caffeine consumption can reduce pain perception and help your body sustain high-intensity exercise. This is why it is used in sports supplements and drinks meant to enhance performance.
Caffeine also improves circulation, muscular strength, endurance, and power while reducing pain. Note that these benefits can only be maximized with moderate coffee consumption.
4. Prevents Cognitive Decline, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Dementia
Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease that is a leading cause of dementia. It affects over 24 million people worldwide and at present has no cure. Therefore, prevention plays a significant role in tackling the disease.
Studies have shown that high coffee consumption in midlife reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and, therefore, dementia. This is because caffeine plays a part in protecting the brain and improving its cognitive functioning.
In another study, researchers found that women aged 65 and older with coffee intake above 261 mg were less likely to develop incident dementia.
5. Lower Risk of Parkinson’s
Similar to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease with no cure. It currently affects about 10 million people around the world, and the number is expected to rise to 1.2 million by 2030.
But there’s hope! The positive effects of caffeine on the brain can reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Research has also shown that caffeine may help those with Parkinson’s control their movements better by increasing activity in the part of the brain affected by the disease.
6. Lowers Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by the body’s inability to metabolize glucose. The disease can progress quickly when left untreated, leading to various life-threatening conditions.
It is not yet clear how coffee lowers the risk of pre-diabetes and diabetes in people. But research suggests thatdrinking 3 cups of coffee per day can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. It may do this by lowering blood sugar.
Note that regularly consuming coffee products with added sugar can contribute to the development of diabetes.
So you may be negating some of the benefits of drinking coffee if you drink sweetened coffee drinks.
7. Protects the Liver
Cirrhosis is a fatal disease where the liver becomes permanently damaged. It occurs when the healthy liver tissue is damaged, then repaired and replaced by scar tissue. While there’s no cure for it, the disease can certainly be prevented.
Studies reveal that regular coffee consumption can reduce the risk of liver cirrhosis. One possible cause may be the action of a chemical called paraxanthine in coffee. It slows down the growth of scar tissue and fibrosis.
8. Full of Nutrients
Caffeine contains many micronutrients crucial for overall health and wellness. When you measure the total cups of coffee consumed in a day, the nutritional benefit is significant.
● Niacin (vitamin B3)
● Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)
● Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
9. Fights Depression (🤯)
Depression is a serious mental disorder that affects 280 million people around the world. If untreated, depression can often lead to suicide.
You already know that coffee has the power to stimulate the central nervous system and improve physical activity.
But did you know it also has antidepressant properties?
According to this study, regular coffee consumption can help reduce the risk of depression. Another study showed a strong inverse relation between caffeine intake and suicide risk.
Coffee can also significantly improve your mood.
This is due to the rush of neurotransmitters released from the brain when you drink coffee. Serotonin and dopamine—known mood regulators and boosters—circulate in the blood.
10. Lowers Risk of Certain Cancers
Coffee can reduce the risk of certain cancers. While the mechanism is not yet entirely clear, it is assumed to be a collective effect of many other coffee benefits.
Here are some statistics on coffee consumption and lowered risk of various types of cancers.
● Consumption of 3 or more cups of coffee per day reduced the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer and malignant melanoma.
● Consumption of 2 cups of coffee per day resulted in a reduced risk of liver cancer by up to 43%.
● A study spanning 22 years showed that women who drank at least 6 cups of caffeinated beverages daily have a reduced risk of postmenopausal breast cancer.
● Those who consumed coffee had a 26% lowered risk of colorectal cancer than those who didn’t. The risk also reduced as consumption of the beverage increased.
● Coffee consumption reduces the risk of endometrial cancer, especially in overweight and obese women.
● Consumption of coffee may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Coffee consumption is also inversely linked to non-advanced prostate cancer.
● Consumption of caffeinated beverages is inversely associated with the risk of cancers affecting the oral cavity and pharynx.
11. Lowers Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke
Heart disease kills nearly 659,000 people every year (😢) and is the leading cause of death in the United States.
One way to keep your heart out of those numbers? Drink more coffee!
According to one study, consuming four or more cups of coffee per day (that’s a lot! or is it?) results in a preventive effect on heart stroke.
Although coffee does increase blood pressure, the effect diminishes with time.
Paradoxically, coffee consumption can reduce the risk of arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, premature ventricular contractions, and other heart conditions.
How does coffee have such a positive effect on one of the biggest killers in the world? While the exact reason isn’t clear, it is assumed coffee improves heart health due to its antioxidant properties and by lowering LDL cholesterol.
12. Prolongs Life
Consumption of decaffeinated coffee reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) all-cause mortality. At the same time, consumption of coffee reduced total CVD and coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality in type 2 diabetes.
The bottom line?
With regular consumption of coffee, your risk of coronary heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, and diabetes all goes down. That gives you a healthy and long life!
13. Full of Antioxidants
Antioxidants protect tissues against damage from oxygen-free radicals. It’s common knowledge that caffeine contains high amounts of antioxidants. But how high exactly?
About 1,000 antioxidants have been identified in unprocessed coffee beans. The number goes up significantly after roasting.
Coffee contains more antioxidants than many fruits and vegetables. This makes coffee their most significant source of antioxidants for those on a Western diet.
These antioxidants are found in both caffeinated and non-caffeinated beverages. In particular, coffee is loaded with chlorogenic acid, which is a polyphenol known to fight inflammation in the body. It also protects against chronic diseases such as obesity.
14. Anti-Aging Effects
Anti-aging might be one of the most significant coffee benefits—another reason for you to add coffee to your daily diet.
While coffee does not reverse any age-related issues, it certainly helps prevent them. This is because of its positive action on cholesterol, heart rhythm, physical performance, oxygen-free radicals, and more.
Studies have shown that regular consumption of coffee reduces the occurrence of all-cause mortality and age-related diseases.
15. Induces Bowel Movements
Keeping your bowel movements regular is one of the main bodily processes you need to avoid getting sick.
Wondering how your cup of coffee can induce bowel movements?
Coffee activates contractions in your colon and increases anal sphincter pressure. These contractions help move the contents in your intestines towards the rectum. This result is seen after consumption of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee.
16. Prevents Gallstones
Gallstones are commonly formed due to cholesterol that crystallizes in the gallbladder. They might not be fatal, but left untreated can cause life-threatening complications such as sepsis and cholecystitis.
Coffee is associated with a reduced risk of symptomatic gallstone disease in women and men. Coffee stimulates gallbladder contractions and bile production. Bile ultimately prevents the crystallization of cholesterol and prevents gallstones from forming.
17. Prevents Gout
Gout is a form of arthritis caused by excess uric acid buildup. The acid crystallizes in the joints, leading to severe pain and tenderness in the joints.
According to this study, consumption of coffee leads to a reduction of serum uric acid. With coffee, the body excretes more uric acid and prevents purine breakdown. Since purine breakdown results in the creation of uric acid, coffee stops it in its tracks.
18. Boosts Short-Term Memory
Poor short-term memory can be very frustrating. Here are some situations that you may find yourself in if you’ve got poor short-term memory:
● You forget what you ate for lunch
● You forget whether you ate lunch
● You forget where you parked the car
If you’ve found yourself in such situations lately, then drinking a few cups of coffee might be your solution.
According to one study, consumption of coffee boosts activity in the frontal lobe regions that control working memory. Working memory helps us store details in the short term.
19. Improves Digestion
According to one study, regular and decaffeinated coffee stimulates serum gastrin in the stomach. Gastrin is a hormone secreted by the stomach lining. Its role is crucial in digestion as it signals the release of gastric acid that breaks down and absorbs the nutrients in your food.
Gastric acid is a central component in the digestive process. Without gastric acid, no matter how nutritious food you eat, your body will not be able to benefit from it.
20. Protects DNA
DNA strands undergo breakage from normal cellular processes. Coffee reduces this breakage by making your DNA stronger.
DNA breakage can be dangerous as it can lead to tumors and cancer. If you’re trying to explore this benefit, dark roast will help protect the DNA better.
Is caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee better?
It depends. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee are known to benefit the body in many ways.
Most people prefer decaffeinated coffee for its fewer side effects, while others prefer caffeinated beverages for increased energy levels, better reaction time, metabolism, and heightened brain function.
Is it good to drink coffee regularly?
Yes, as long as you drink it in moderation.
How many cups coffee a day is ok?
Like all other healthy things, coffee is beneficial only when consumed in moderation. Beneficial caffeine intake (400 mg) makes for around 4 cups of coffee.
What is the best time to drink coffee?
The best time to drink coffee is between mid and late morning.
It is best not to drink coffee first thing in the morning because of elevated cortisol levels (stress hormone). Caffeine can further elevate these levels, which may lead to symptoms of anxiety. Wait at least an hour after waking up before sipping that cup of coffee.
Andrew Huberman of the Huberman podcast advises to wait 90 minutes to drink caffeine.
Another reason to avoid drinking coffee first thing in the morning is that caffeine stimulates the release of hydrochloric acid (HCl) in the stomach. HCl release without food to digest can lead to bowel inflammation, vomiting, bloating, irritation, and even colon cancer.
The next best window to drink coffee is an hour before you hit the gym. This helps delay the fatigue from exercise and improves your endurance levels.
What is the worst time to drink coffee?
Avoid drinking coffee at least six hours before bedtime. That’s how long it takes for the stimulating effects of coffee to wear off.
Research like this 2013 study showed that consuming coffee up to 6 hours prior to bedtime had significant effects on sleep disturbance relative to placebo (p < 0.05 for all).
How to drink coffee to receive its health benefits?
After looking at all these coffee benefits, you may want to drive to the nearest Starbucks. But that’s not what you need.
Brewing coffee with a paper filter is the best coffee preparation method to reap most of its benefits. Different brewing methods can influence the antioxidant activity and mineral content in your coffee. Make sure to not go overboard with sugar and cream as these can negate the health effects of coffee.
Can you get the benefits of caffeine from drinking green tea?
Yes. While green tea contains less caffeine per ounce than coffee, it does come with similar benefits.
For those with insomnia or anxiety issues, coffee might not be a suitable choice. Going for green tea may be a better alternative. The lower caffeine content in green tea does not lead to caffeine dependence, as is common with coffee drinkers.
Like coffee, green tea is rich in antioxidants, helps protect against a variety of cancers, keeps blood sugar under control, and supports weight loss. Furthermore, green tea contains L-theanine, which is an amino acid that is known to produce a calm and alert effect in consumers.
However, like coffee, green tea should be consumed without any added sugars, syrups, or creamers to get the best benefits.
Who should be careful about drinking coffee?
Children, pregnant women, or breastfeeding women should avoid consuming coffee. This is mainly due to the lack of information on the effects of coffee on children and its ill effects on pregnant women.
Coffee is also not suitable for people with anxiety or panic disorders as it can worsen symptoms in these conditions.
Many people experience adverse effects due to caffeine intake. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms after drinking coffee, then stop consuming it and consult your doctor.
● Increased breathing rate
● Increased blood pressure
● Increased heart rate
● Jittery feelings
● Symptoms of anxiety or panic
● Trouble falling asleep
● Upset stomach
How Can You Prevent Coffee from Making You Poop?
Answer: you can’t. Unless you are constipated which could negate the diuretic effects of coffee.
Coffee is a diuretic which means it increases the production of urine. I have not tried this myself, but you could potentially take an anti-diuretic to prevent you from needing to poop after drinking coffee (if you’re in a pinch [no pun intended]). A search on Amazon for Anti-diuretics shows one result. But try this at your own risk, ok? I really have not tested this.
The popularity of coffee is unmatched. Its many short-term benefits can get you through boring meetings or lectures, provide you daily recommended nutrients, and boost your energy levels.
In the long run, coffee benefits include keeping your weight in check, lowering the risk of many diseases, and helping you live a long and healthy life.
For fulfilling all these roles alone, coffee is undoubtedly a super drink with tons of health benefits for your body.
While not everybody enjoys a cup of joe, there is good reason to add a steaming cup of coffee to your daily diet for the long run.
If you’re one of the millions of people who can’t live without your daily cup of joe, we hope this article has helped ease any concerns. You can go ahead and consume your favorite beverage without worrying about adverse side effects. Just make sure to consume caffeinated drinks in moderation and avoid adding too much sugar, cream, and other artificial flavorings to them.