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16 Science-Backed Benefits of Caffeinating on the Reg

benefits-coffee

Few things in this world are as comforting and enjoyable as sipping on a cup of coffee.

But, while some of us have a *really* hard time putting that cuppa down, others may argue that caffeinating on the reg isn't doing our health any favors.

Luckily, science begs to differ.

From boosting brainpower (yep, that's a fact!) to revving up a sluggish metabolism, the popular bevvie can benefit the human body in more ways than one.

So, get your Keurig ready because these 16 coffee benefits are just too sweet to pass up.

1. It Boosts Your Energy

If there's one thing your mo-joe can do well, it's boosting your energy.

The reason? Caffeine.

From that very first sip, the powerful stimulant infiltrates your bloodstream until it reaches your brain.

Once it's there, it works as a potent adenosine antagonist, which means it blocks certain receptors and keeps adenosine from attaching to them.

As a result, your sleep-wake cycle loses its momentum, and you stay awake for longer.

Caffeine also enhances the production of dopamine and nonadrenaline, boosting your energy even more.

2. It Makes You Smarter (Well, Sometimes)

Even though it's not going to turn you into a lil' Einstein, coffee (or better yet, the caffeine in it) can improve the way your brain works by enhancing your working memory.

This part of your brain is responsible for the proper use of stored info.

What does that mean, IRL?

It means that your 3 p.m. latte can help you pick up skills more quickly, especially when the new info is acquired passively (for example, when you cook or drive).

Caffeine can also improve your reflexes by reducing your reaction times.

3. It Fires Up Your Metabolism & Helps You Lose Weight

One of the most popular health benefits of coffee is weight loss.

The bevvie can increase your metabolism by 3-11%, peaking at about 3 hours after your first sip.

This surge in energy expenditure is caused by caffeine, which triggers several metabolic reactions, from thermogenesis to fat oxidation.

In other words, your body breaks down stored fat to meet your increased caloric needs.

The bad news is that this weight loss effect is less common in regular coffee drinkers as their bodies are accustomed to the stimulant.

4. It Reduces the Risk of Diabetes

With more than 1.5 million Americans being diagnosed every year, diabetes is officially an epidemic.

The metabolic disorder keeps insulin from distributing glucose to the surrounding organs.

As a result, sugar piles up in the blood, and several health issues arise shortly after that.

But, cutting back on candy bars isn’t the only way to prevent the disease.

Studies show that downing at least 3 cups of coffee every day reduces your risk by a whopping 42%. And why’s that?

Some of the brew's nutrients influence certain bodily functions, including how fast you absorb glucose and how sensitive you are to insulin.

In other words, people who indulge in their java addiction on the reg have better control of their blood sugar levels than those who nix the brew altogether.

5. It Relieves You From Post-Workout Muscle Soreness

If you rolled out of bed only to reach for those Epsom salts, ibuprofen or foam roller, congrats!

Yesterday's sweat sesh was a huge success.

Unfortunately, while your muscles are busy recovering, walking without feeling the burn seems next to impossible.

So, why not let your latte take the pain away?

According to one study, moderate doses of caffeine (almost equivalent to two cups of coffee) can reduce post-workout muscle soreness by up to 48%.

I don't know about you, but I'll raise my mug to that!

6. It Fights Some Types of Cancer

At this point, doctors sound like broken records when they tell us to exercise regularly and eat healthily.

But, such a message is worth repeating, seeing that cancer is now the second leading cause of death worldwide.

The good news? Your morning cup of Joe could be part of the solution.

Coffee contains an insane amount of antioxidants which keep your toxin buildup at an all-time low.

As a result, the drink reduces the risk of certain types of the disease, including colorectal, liver, and endometrial cancers.

Research also suggests that coffee may have a protective effect against melanoma, which is a form of skin cancer.

The only caveat: Piping hot bevies are linked to esophageal C. So, make sure you cool your cuppa down before you dive in.

7. It Makes You Happier

Sure, binge-watching funny videos of dogs and kittens can turn any crappy day into a good one.

But, if you are in it for the long haul, your daily cup of joe is where's at.

According to a recent study, women who drink about 4 cups of coffee daily have a 20% lower risk of developing depression.

The brew is also linked to suicide prevention.

Just note that regular coffee drinkers are 53% less likely to commit suicide than those who don't get along with caffeine.

But, drinking coffee is not the only way to bust a bad mood.

Experts suggest that just the smell of fresh-brewed java is enough to alter the activity of some genes in your brain and relieve you from stress.

But, not just any kind of stress. We're talking about the stress that comes after a poor night's sleep here.

So, if you are not a fan of the taste, I urge you to wake up and smell the coffee (literally).

After all, you know what they say: Fragrant brew, happy you. Or something like that, anyway.

8. It Enhances Your Athletic Performance

From plunging into ice baths to downing pickle juice (don't cringe, that's a thing), athletes often go to extremes to improve their performance.

But, sometimes, keeping it simple is the best way to go.

One of the many benefits of coffee – or caffeine, to be exact – is that it increases muscle strength and power, allowing you to push longer and harder in the weight room.

The stimulant also enhances the production of epinephrine, which forces your heart to beat faster and increases the oxygen flow to your muscles.

As a result, you can run, swim, ride, or jog for longer than usual.

So, whether you have a soft spot for deadlifts (anaerobic) or love to pound the pavement on the reg (aerobic), one cup of Joe is enough to set your body up for success.

9. It Lowers the Risk of Stroke

While many believe "heart health" is an issue only grandpas should worry about, statistics suggest that it's never too early to start caring for your ticker.

You see, stroke hospitalization rates have doubled over the past few years, especially for guys in their 20s and 30s.

So, it's clear that cardiovascular disease knows no age. But, here's where things get interesting.

If a decent amount of your paycheck goes toward funding your coffee habit, you're on the right path (at least, when it comes to your health).

According to research, drinking 4 or more cups of coffee per day has a preventive effect on strokes.

And for those of you who're wondering, yes: Coffee does increase blood pressure.

But, this effect is rather small and dissipates with time.

Friendly tip: Even though there's no science-backed connection between regular coffee consumption and high blood pressure, people with hypertension should be extra careful.

10. It Nips Dementia in the Bud

Growing old comes with a lot of perks. After all, 60 is the new 40.

But, dementia and its most prominent form, the Alzheimer's disease (AD), don't fall into the aging-rocks category.

Usually affecting people in their 60s, the syndrome takes a toll on your cognitive skills, including memory and reasoning.

Luckily, it's not all bad news for the aging brain.

Heavy coffee drinkers (we're talking 3-5 cups a day) are 65% less likely to suffer from dementia and AD as they get older.

And, yes, you can thank caffeine for that (ah-gain).

11. It Prevents Parkinson's Disease

Second only to Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder.

The movement-impairing condition occurs when certain neurons in your brain break down or die.

As a result, you produce less dopamine. Many attribute PD's cognitive decline to an uncontrollable accumulation of a protein (alpha-synuclein, if you're curious).

One way to prevent the disease is to go heavy on coffee.

According to research, tipping back 1-3 cups of java on a daily basis reduces your chances of developing PD by up to 60%.

Keep in mind, though, that it's caffeine that does the trick here. So, switching to decaf won't have the same effect.

12. It May Protect You Against Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is no joke.

The neurodegenerative disease tricks the immune system into attacking myelin, which is the fatty substance that coats and protects your nerve cells.

So, once myelin gets it, your brain and spinal cord become susceptible to damage of any sorts. #notcool

But, while the causes of MS aren't yet identified, inflammation is considered one of the main triggers.

That's where your morning Starbucks run steps in.

Thanks to caffeine's neuroprotective properties, the brew suppresses the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are linked to the disease and could reduce MS incidence.

Of course, I wouldn't fill my "But, First Coffee" mug on that reason alone because even though the findings sound promising, further research is always welcome.

13. It Increases Your Longevity

One of the lesser-known benefits of coffee is, without a doubt, its ability to add more years to your lifespan.

That doesn't come as a surprise considering the brew prevents several diseases, from diabetes to cancer.

So, during a 19-year-old study on regular coffee drinkers, researchers found that the popular bevvie can decrease the total mortality rate.

A recent European study backed up this claim, confirming that people who embrace their caffeine addiction (*raises hand*) live longer than those who can't stomach the thing.

The nearly 16-year-old study saw a significantly lower risk of death from all causes.

Plot twist: Both studies conclude that decaf coffee has the same potential as the caffeinated version.

So, you can enjoy all those coffee benefits without the jitters.

14. It Supports Your Liver

If you are obsessed with juice cleanses, it's time you put your blender to rest.

You see, the human body can actually detox itself, and it's all thanks to your liver.

The hard-working organ works 24/7 to deactivate free radicals -a.k.a. toxins- and turn them into harmless substances.

Of course, a little help never hurt anyone.

So, this is your chance to indulge in a cup of home-brewed PSL every chance you get.

According to experts, coffee can reduce the risk of various liver diseases such as hepatocellular carcinoma (that's science talk for cancer), fatty liver disease, and cirrhosis.

But, that's not all.

The nutritious brew can also slow down the progression of chronic liver conditions.

One study shows that drinking 3 or more cups of coffee daily curbs the advancement of viral hepatitis by 53%.

15. It May Increase Your Skeletal Muscle Mass

When it comes to building muscle, nothing does the trick quite like Greek yogurt, chicken, and eggs.

But what about coffee?

Well, since the dark brew is more of an afterthought, experts decided to do bit digging into its muscle-building potential, and the results were rather surprising.

Αccording to the findings, the popular bevvie interferes with certain proteins which are involved in myogenesis.

As a result, it boosts not just your skeletal muscle function but also size.

Of course, the study was very limited in scope.

So, until new studies hit the scene, I wouldn't give up on lentils, tofu, and deadlifts just yet.

16. It Fortifies Your DNA

It may sound like a quote from a Sci-Fi movie, but your daily cup of joe could be the secret to stronger genes.

Thanks to its rich nutritional profile, the popular drink can alter your gene expression.

This is a process that allows certain parts of your genetic profile remain active or go inactive.

So, as early as 2 hours after you take a sip, coffee's gene-friendly compounds limit the frequency of spontaneous DNA strand breaks by 27% and minimize (or even repair) the damage done to your genes.

The Take-Home Message

From what you can tell, I'm thiiis close to declaring coffee a superfood.

But I won't.

Why? Simply because -like with every food out there- moderation is vital.

Drinking coffee can easily grow into an addictive habit, so what was once a healthy choice can turn into a lifetime of headache and jitters.

That being said, keep enjoying your daily cup(s) of Joe in moderation, and these 16 coffee benefits will roll in (no doubt!).

Oh, and FYI: Fancy lattes and something-ccino brews aren't the only way to get your caffeine fix.

Instead, think outside the coffee mug and add the thing to your dishes – whether that's your morning oatmeal or summertime popsicles.

You can even take the whole coffee-as-a-meal-ingredient thing a step further by whisking some of it into your lunch.

Wouldn't that be a treat?!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Kyriaki Chatzi

Comments

Kyriaki Chatzi (author) on August 25, 2020:

@FlourishAnyway

Hey, Flourish. I hope you're doing great!

Thank you for your comment!

FlourishAnyway from USA on August 22, 2020:

I’m not a coffee drinker at all but with a list like that I’m tempted! You really did your research! Great list here.

Kyriaki Chatzi (author) on August 21, 2020:

Hey, Peggy!

Not that we need many reasons to down our daily cuppa, no? Hahaha!

But, it's good to know this habit of ours comes with some major health perks.

I hope you're having a fantastic day!

Kyriaki Chatzi (author) on August 21, 2020:

Liza, so nice of you to pop in!

Well, it's true: Coffee is a nutritional goldmine.

And as you mentioned, it pairs great with all kinds of goodies, from cakes to cookies - which gives me an idea.

Maybe I'll bake those awesome lime cupcakes of yours this weekend and serve them with my cuppa first thing on Sunday morning.

Would love to see how these two flavors mix!

Hope you're having a wonderful day!

Kyriaki Chatzi (author) on August 21, 2020:

Hey, Charlene.

Hahaha!! Well, now you know that your love for coffee isn't just legit; it has science's stamp for approval.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 20, 2020:

You gave us many reasons to enjoy several cups of coffee daily. I do enjoy starting my day with a cup or two. Let the research continue!!!

Liza from USA on August 20, 2020:

I couldn't be happier reading your article. My husband and I are avid coffee drinkers. We all know coffee is a perfect beverage to enjoy with delicious pastries and cakes, however coffee is essential to us.

I must have my coffee first thing in the morning as it gives me boost energy before starting my work out. My husband has a personal coffee maker in his office for the past few years.

From my experience, coffee gives me a better mood, increases my focus, and metabolism. Of course, many studies have shown the benefits of drinking coffee like what you've shared here, Kyriaki.

Thanks for sharing!

Charlene Gallant from Cape Town, South Africa on August 20, 2020:

Coffee is definitely my superfood! Great read always knew my love for coffee was legit:)