10 Health Benefits of Coffee

by Trinity Jimenez

Not only is coffee delicious, it also may be good for you! Here are some of the possible health benefits of coffee.

(Note: Here at KLINK, we are not doctors – please speak to a medical professional if you would like more information about what we say here.)

Coffee Can Improve Energy and Make You Smarter

Coffee can help people feel less tired and increase energy levels. This is because coffee contains a stimulant known as caffeine, which is the highest consumed psychoactive substance in the world. After drinking coffee, it is then absorbed into the bloodstream. From there, it travels into the brain. In the brain, caffeine blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter called Adenosine. Once that happens, the amount of other neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and dopamine actually increases, leading to enhanced firing of neurons.

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Coffee has been proven in controlled trials that it actually improves many aspects of brain function. This includes memory, mood, vigilance, energy levels, reaction times and general cognitive function.

Fat Burner

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I’m sure we have all been guilty of using a fat burning supplement in the past, but did you know that caffeine is found in almost every commercial fat burning supplement? Let me tell you why! Caffeine is one of the few natural substances that have actually been proven to increase fat burning.

A variety of studies have shown that caffeine can boost the metabolic rate by 3-11%. Other studies show that caffeine can specifically increase the burning of fat, by as high as 10% in obese individuals and 29% in lean people. However, these effects could possibly diminish in long-term coffee drinkers.

Caffeine Can Drastically Improve Physical Performance

Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, causing it to transmit signals to the fat cells to break down body fat. But caffeine also increases Epinephrine (Adrenaline) levels in the blood, which is the hormone, designed to make our bodies ready for intense physical activity.

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Caffeine causes the fat cells to break down body fat, releasing them into the blood as free fatty acids and making them available as fuel. Because of this, it is not surprising to see that caffeine can enhance physical performance by 11-12%, on average. So why not have a cup of coffee before a workout!

Essential Nutrients in Coffee

A single cup of coffee contains:

  • Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5): 6% of the RDA
  • Manganese and Potassium: 3% of the RDA
  • Magnesium and Niacin (B3): 2% of the RDA
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 11% of the RDA.

Lowers Possible Risk of Type II Diabetes

Type II diabetes is a massive health problem that is currently afflicting about 300 million people worldwide. It is recognized in the elevated blood sugars in the context of insulin resistance or an inability to produce or discharge insulin.

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For some reason, coffee drinkers have a significantly low risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Clinical studies have shown that people who drink frequent cups of coffee have a 23-50% lower risk of getting this disease. One study showing a reduction as high as 67%. Now that’s impressive!

Coffee Appears to Have Positive Effect on the Liver

The liver is an incredible organ that has the vital responsibility of carrying out hundreds of important functions in the body. Many common diseases primarily affect the liver, including hepatitis, fatty liver disease and others. Often times many of these diseases can lead to a condition called cirrhosis, meaning that the liver has been largely replaced by scar tissue.

Surprisingly, it seems as though coffee may actually protect against cirrhosis. People who drink 4 or more cups of coffee a day have up to an 80% lower risk of developing this condition.

Coffee Can Reduce the Chances of Depression

Depression is a very serious disorder that causes a significantly reduced quality of life. It is extremely common and about 4.1% Americans currently meet the criteria for clinical depression.

In a study published in 2011 by Harvard, women who drank 4 or more cups of coffee a day maintained 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.

Caffeine May Lower Your Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

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Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease and the leading cause of dementia worldwide. This disease usually affects men and woman over the age of 65 years old. Sadly, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s.

However there are many things that can be done to prevent the disease from developing at all. This includes the basic advice such as eating healthy and staying physically active. But according to several studies, it showed that coffee drinkers have up to 65% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

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Drinking Coffee May Help You Live Longer

Given that coffee drinkers are not as prone to getting many diseases, it makes sense that coffee could help you live longer.

In two large studies, drinking coffee was associated with a 20% lower risk of death in men and a 26% lower risk of death in women, over a period of 18-24 years. This effect appears to be particularly strong in type II diabetics. In one study, diabetics who drank coffee had a 30% lower risk of death during a 20 year study period.

Coffee Is the Largest Source of Antioxidants on the Western Diet

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For people who maintain a Western diet, coffee may actually be the healthiest part of the diet. Why? That’s because coffee contains a massive amount of antioxidants. Studies show that most people receive more antioxidants from coffee than both fruits and vegetables.

Bottom line: Coffee not only tastes good, it might make you healthier!

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