Coffee sometimes gets a bad reputation, but caffeine alone shouldn’t shoulder the blame for poor health outcomes. In fact, caffeine, when consumed in moderation, can be good for you.
But, what’s defined as “good” for you? A beverage or food is considered good for you when its positives greatly outweigh its negatives. Drinking 10 cups of coffee daily will void any possible benefit you could gain from the drink, so we recommend drinking less than 5 cups a day.
Now that we have a metric for what’s considered “normal” coffee consumption, we can get right to it. Here’s why you should never stop drinking coffee for the benefit of your health.
1. Coffee Tastes Better Than Water
Let’s face it; water can get a little boring sometimes. Sometimes we want something different, but most other beverages are filled with sugar, or extra fat. Balck coffee doesn’t have any fat or sugar content. You can even have a non-caffeinated coffee if you’re caffeine intolerant.
But what if you don’t enjoy the taste of black coffee? We recommend buying yourself gifts coffee drinkers will love, like better beans or a more sophisticated coffee machine. You could also add plant-based milks to your coffee as a healthier alternative to cow’s milk.
2. Coffee Protects Your Heart
Drinking coffee increases your blood pressure, leading many to believe that coffee increases your risk of heart disease. However, coffee actually lowers your stroke risk because it’s high in antioxidants. In fact, coffee has more antioxidants per serving than blueberries.
The antioxidants found in coffee naturally lower inflammation throughout the body, including your arteries. Over the long term, coffee helps produce nitric oxide, which widens blood vessels and increases circulation to the brain, heart, and other internal organs.
3. Coffee Reduces Diabetes Risk
Antioxidants, chlorogenic acid, and quinides found in coffee also boost your cells’ sensitivity to insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar. Drinking 4 coffees a day lowers type 2 diabetes risk by 11%. Decreasing your daily coffee consumption by 1 cup increases diabetes risk by 17%.
Remember that type 2 diabetes risk reduction is still possible if you add a little bit of milk and sugar to your coffee, but black coffee drinkers benefit more. That’s because cow’s milk and sugar can aggravate type 2 diabetes symptoms due to their high sugar and fat content.
4. Coffee Increases Workout Performance
When you start a new exercise routine, it’s difficult to find the energy you need to show up for your workouts. Without enough energy, you may skip a few days, making it harder for you to maintain this necessary habit. Coffee can give you a safe energy kick when you truly need it.
While it’s common for athletes to take caffeine pills, you don’t have to limit your options. We recommend experimenting with different foods and beverages to get your caffeine fix. There are plenty of coffee smoothie recipes and coffee-infused shakes that are delicious and nutritious.
5. Coffee Helps Your Liver
Anything that passes through your bloodstream is filtered by your liver. Any prescription or non-prescription drug, including caffeine, is broken down in the liver. Since coffee isn’t a substance your liver needs to aggressively filter, it passes through it with relative ease.
However, coffee still makes your liver work when it otherwise wouldn’t have to, which allows for more toxins to filter out of your body. This leads to fewer incidences of liver cirrhosis and liver disease. Studies have shown that daily coffee intake reduces liver cancer risk by 43%.
6. Coffee Increases Brain Function
Researchers know that brain diseases, like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, occur when abnormal buildups of proteins form amyloid plaques and tau tangles in our hippocampus and entorhinal cortex. Beyond that, the mystery of these diseases has yet to be unraveled.
With that said, drinking coffee may ward off brain cell damage and help neurotransmitters involved in cognitive function work better. A mix of lifestyle changes, including eating healthier, exercising, and sleeping longer, can do a lot to ward off most brain diseases.
Coffee can also help you with headaches and migraines. Non-addicted drinkers who consume 16 ounces of coffee daily will benefit from increased brain cell activity, which constricts surrounding blood vessels. This phenomenon relieves pressure in the head that causes pain.
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