Love Coffee: The 5 Top Benefits of Caffeine
We LOVE Coffee and couldn’t start the day without a delicious cup! We love it so much that we’ve even invested in a travel coffee maker to ensure that we’re never without access to a great tasting cup, even when we’re on the move. (We use the nanopresso if you’re interested - it’s brilliant).
We were amazed to read in The Telegraph recently that neither the UK or USA were anywhere near the biggest coffee drinking nations, far from it in fact - the US comes 26th, while the UK turns up at number 45 with Finland topping the chart grinding their way through an impressive 12kg of coffee per person per year!
If you’re as armoured by coffee as we are then you’ll be pleased to know that drinking coffee has a tonne of benefits, as long as you’re using high-quality beans, not drinking bucket loads of the stuff, stopping early enough in the day (the recommendation is to hit the decaf after 2pm) and avoiding sugar/sweeteners.
So if you can’t live without your daily caffeine fix then here are the five top reasons for having your coffee - and drinking it!
1. High in antioxidants
Coffee is no longer a taboo with health professionals thanks to its powerful antioxidant properties, in fact research shows that your morning cup of coffee may even contain more polyphenol antioxidants than cocoa and green tea which have historically been held as the antioxidant superstars.
Antioxidants fight inflammation which is the underlying cause of many chronic conditions, such as arthritis, atherosclerosis and various types of cancer. They also neutralise free radicals, which occur naturally as a part of everyday metabolic functions, but which can cause oxidative stress that leads to chronic disease. In simple terms, antioxidants keep us healthy by protecting our cells from damage.
2. Helps with weight loss
There is a vast array of research showing that coffee boosts metabolism and aids weight loss. In one study, athletes who drank the equivalent of 12 ounces of coffee before working out burned 15% more calories for up to three hours after exercising.
But even if you don’t exercise, coffee has been proven to boost metabolism by an average of 7 percent within three hours after consumption. So if you’re battling the bulge then adding a cup of coffee to your routine may just help boost your results.
3. Makes you smarter
In an article published by Livestrong neurologist Dr. R. E. Shapiro of the University of Vermont claims that caffeine is the most widely consumed stimulant drug in the world. It’s thought that the caffeine in coffee induces feelings of alertness and increased energy as a result of its interactions with adenosine receptors in the brain.
Coffee can also help reduce the chances of developing memory degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's according to one study which in which participants who drank 3 to 5 cups of coffee per day saw a 65% decreased chance of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia later on in life.
4. Enhances your workout
It’s common to see coffee cups floating around the gym and there’s a reason for that -
The International Society of Sports Nutrition states that caffeine is effective for enhancing sports performance and not just that, it also states that it enhances vigilance during bouts of extended exhaustive exercise. And it’s not just for uber athletes either, the report covers all types of exercise from strength training and high intensity workouts to kicking a ball around with your mates.
It’s advised that drinking coffee 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to exercise may provide the best results. So now you have a great excuse to stop at your local coffee shop on your way to the gym, any excuse to delay that workout!
5. Coffee actually makes you happier (science says so!)
There’s nothing better than a good cup of coffee first thing in the morning, we actually look forward to it each day and science says there’s a valid reason for that. Coffee stimulates the release of dopamine in our brain, which produces the euphoric and happy feelings that we associate with our first cup of coffee of the day.
In fact numerous studies conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health show that coffee can help people to have a more positive life. The studies suggest that the caffeine in coffee can even act as a mild antidepressant as caffeine can reach almost every known reward system in the brain. Furthermore they endorse the ideal that coffee stimulates the release of dopamine and suggest that coffee simply provides a welcome excuse to take a break, relax and even socialise with friends.