A cup of coffee in the morning may be more beneficial to you than just getting your morning jolt. More people in America are turning to coffee as their drink of choice with Keurigs and home brewed coffee. The uptick in coffee drinkers has led to more and more research being done and all data points to coffee reducing risks of death. We take a look at some of the more recent studies and give you a full breakdown of what a cup of joe can do or not do to your body.
What is in Coffee?
A good cup of coffee is 98.25% water, and the rest (1.75%) is soluble plant material. Breaking down the 1.75% you have Caffeine, 2-Ethylphenol, Quinic acid, 3.5 Dicaffeoylquinic acid, Dimethyl disulfide, Acetylmethylcarbinol, Putrescine, Trigonelline, and Niacin all can be found in coffee. While this list may seem daunting and you may feel like you are putting a bunch of abnormal chemicals in your body, rest assured you are not. All of the listed chemicals occur naturally in nature, and some even break down during the brewing process to release only vitamins. An excellent breakdown of each compound can be found here at Wired.com.
Can Coffee make you live longer?
The benefits to coffee are fascinating. Many studies over the past couple years have shown significant health benefits to coffee drinkers. We want to point out that moderation is key for the full health benefits and to have little to no side effects. Without further ado the good list!
1.) Coffee drinkers live longer
We start this list off right with the biggest benefit of all. Multiple studies show that coffee drinkers live longer than non-coffee drinkers. As you go further down the list, you will understand why this is true, but two large studies and both gave very similar results. Coffee lowers the risk of death in males by 20% and in females by 26%. The study also showed people with type 2 diabetes who drank coffee had their risk of death decreased by 30%.
2.) Improves energy levels and alertness and can increase intelligence
This one is a no-brainer. Healthy dosages of caffeine are great ways to wake up, get energy, or even improve your focus. The science behind this is that caffeine blocks an inhibitor called Adenosine. The blocking of Adenosine increases the firing of neurons in the brain that allows you to focus and even comprehend and retain information easier. The study for this can is here. This case study shows that caffeine in the correct dosages improves memory, reaction time, mood, and general cognitive functions. Long story short, coffee in moderation not only wakes you up but is a brain enhancer as well.
3.) Coffee can help strengthen teeth and keep them from decaying
One or more cups of coffee a day significantly decreases bone loss in teeth. The study took coffee drinkers of 30+ years and non-coffee drinkers and looked at gum disease, bleeding gums, and bone density in teeth. In all categories, coffee drinkers fair far better than their counterparts. The studies head scientist explains that many compounds in coffee fight oxidative damage and inflammation that cause gum disease. The full study is here.
4.) Coffee is the biggest source of Antioxidants in Western Diets
Coffee contains enormous amounts of Antioxidants. Multiple studies show that coffee contains more antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables.
5.) Coffee can protect your liver
The liver has many enemies when it comes to health, but the almost all of the diseases and conditions lead to cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is when the liver turns into non-functioning scar tissue. People who drink 3-4 cups of coffee a day are at a lower risk of 80% to contract this condition.
6.) Caffeine in Coffee can lower the risk of Parkinson's
Parkinson's disease is the second most diagnosed neurologic disease in the US only behind Alzheimer's. Multiple research shows that consistent amounts of Caffeine help lower your risk from Parkinson's. One study has the caffeine decreasing the risk by almost 60%.
7.) Coffee is linked to protecting you from Alzheimer's and Dementia
Remember how we were talking about chemicals in coffee blocking Adenosine? Well, studies show those same compounds might fight against Alzheimer's and Dementia. This study in particular, took 4 case studies and did a meta-analysis and determined those who regularly drink coffee are at up to 65% less of a risk for these diseases.
8.) Coffee helps lower your risk of type II Diabetes and also helps control blood sugar
According to a single review of 18 studies with a total just shy of half a million people, each cup of coffee you drink daily lowers your risk by 7%. The study points out that their numbers are dependent on the cups of coffee being black and not adding any sugar or creme to the cup.
9.) Coffee can decrease your risk of cancer
Coffee can protect you from two types of cancer liver and colorectal. Liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the US and colorectal is the fourth. Two studies came up with the same number that regular coffee drinkers are 40% less likely to get either type of cancer.
So Is anything about Coffee Bad for You?
This question is complicated and hard to answer. The simple answer is in moderation, no. Coffee has far more health benefits than it does negative side effects. Knowing how coffee affects the body is important to make sure that you are not negatively impacting your body when drinking it. HealthAmbition.com sites multiple tests and studies and gives a pretty comprehensive list of adverse side effects with coffee you can see HERE. One thing to note is that a majority of issues stem from over consumption of coffee.
So how much is too much?
A study by Mayo Clinic Proceedings showed the anyone under the age of 55 should not drink more than 32 ounces a day or 224 ounces a week. To make these numbers smaller if you drink the regular 8 ounces of coffee in a cup you must keep around or below 4 cups a day.
List of Negative Effects-
- Coffee can overworks digestive system and makes it harder to digest meals
- Coffee is very acidic and can cause ulcers or IBS
- Coffee can affect people with heartburn problems
- Coffee is a natural laxative and may speed up digestion too fast before all nutrients are extracted in the intestines.
- Coffee makes it harder for your digestive system to absorb iron
- There is Acrylamide in coffee which many researchers believe to cause cancer. (There always has to be cancer on a health list right?)
- Coffee contains caffeine, and large amounts of caffeine can have adverse effects.
The other negative to coffee drinkers is what we put into coffee that is not coffee. Most coffee drinkers in America do not prefer a straight black coffee, and the go to additives are cream and sugar. Anything else you put into coffee you must count the calories and include the negative nutrition as well.
TIP: If you need creamer use a low-fat milk instead of processed creamer. If you want to sweeten your coffee and need sugar, then use brown sugar instead of sweeteners in your coffee, it's slightly more healthy for you.
TIP: The healthiest option to sweeten your coffee is not sugar but Cinnamon. Cinnamon helps control blood sugar and has many other health benefits that include the ability to fight belly fat.
With multiple scientific studies and understanding how coffee can affect your body, it's simple to say that in moderation, Coffee is one of the healthiest drinks on earth. A regular cup of only coffee not only protects you from cancer and brain diseases but is correlated to the longevity of life. In conclusion, you can keep smiling coffee drinkers (with all your teeth cause coffee helps them) your beverage of choice is a healthy way to start your day.