I drink coffee. It helps me wake, it helps me focus. It helps me write.
I love the smell. (I don’t think I have ever had a coffee that tasted quite as good the smell.) Coffee smells good.
On a good day, I’ll have 3. On a tough day, where my concentration is not good, where I have been woken a few times during the night by my visiting daughter… I’ll get up to 5.
And when its really bad… I can make it to 7.
I drink expresso. Here in Spain it’s called “Cafe solo”. Sometimes I’ll go for a long black, in spanish “cafe americano”.
As I think about whether I should decrease my coffee drinking as part of my 2015 resolutions, I decided to do a quick study on the health effects of caffeine.
It looks like good stuff. Maybe I should keep drinking 3-4 cups a day?
How much do you drink?
Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee
I found that coffee can help you…
- Make you less tired – Caffeine is a stimulant that makes you feel more alert and focused.
- Burn fat – One or two cups a day can increase your metabolic rate by up to 10 per cent.
- Protect against Alzheimer’s – Researchers from the University of South Florida and the University of Miami found that coffee consumption is associated with a reduced risk of dementia. They discovered that adults who drink an average of three cups of coffee a day were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
- Reduce the risk of depression – Coffee is linked to a lower risk for depression, particularly in women – provided it’s drunk without sweeteners (farewell flavoured syrups). Research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that drinking 4 cups of caffeinated coffee cut the risk of clinical depression by 20% when compared with drinking 1 or less cups per week.
- Prolong your life – Researchers form the National Cancer Institute (NCI) found that adults who drink three of more cups of coffee a day have a 10 per cent lower risk of death.
- Improve micro-circulation – Japanese researchers recently discovered that people who were not regular coffee drinkers experienced a 30 percent boost in capillary blood flow after drinking five ounces of regular coffee, compared to those drinking decaf. Improved blood circulation typically equates to improved oxygenation of your tissues, which may boost your exercise performance.
- Pain reduction – Research from the University of Georgia, published in The Journal of Pain reported that consuming the equivalent of two cups of coffee an hour before training reduced post-workout muscle soreness by up to 48 percent (in comparison: aspirin only produced a 25 percent decrease.)
- Improve endurance – Caffeine improved exercise performance by more than 11 percent, which appears to be related to the reduction in perceived level of exertion.
- Muscle preservation – Coffee triggers a mechanism in your brain that releases a growth factor called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). Besides the brain, BDNF also expresses itself in your muscles, where it supports the neuromotor—the most critical element in your muscle. Without the neuromotor, your muscle is like an engine without ignition. Neuro-motor degradation is part of the process that explains age-related muscle atrophy. So in this respect coffee may help maintain more youthful muscle tissue.
- Improve memory – BDNF also activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons in your brain, which can have definitive benefits for your brain function. Indeed, research conducted at Johns Hopkins University found that 200 milligram (mg) of caffeine enhanced participants’ memory for up to 24 hours.
[Edit] Contrasting Viewpoints and Other Perspectives
Readers have shared a few views from the other side:
- 7 Negative Effects of Coffee from healthambition.com
What else does caffeine do for us? Have I missed anything?