Here’s good news for all the coffee lovers out there – coffee is not as bad as they make it seem. It has numerous health benefits provided you drink it the right way. As long as you drink the right kind of coffee in moderation, coffee can provide more benefits than risks.
So, what is the right kind of coffee? It’s not your regular Starbucks frappuccino! The right kind of coffee is the classic beverage brewed from fresh ground coffee beans.
Surprising Health Benefits Of Black Coffee
If your idea of coffee is in the form of milkshake or any other form with milk and sugar, then it will not benefit your health. It is only black coffee, with a little cream, that can provide your body with its numerous benefits.
1. Boosts Physical Performance
Black coffee can improve your physical performance. This is especially beneficial if you are into workouts and strenuous exercises. Having a cup of black coffee about an hour before your workout sessions can improve your performance by 11 to 12 percent.1
This occurs because black coffee increases the level of adrenaline in your blood. Adrenaline prepares the body for “fight or flight” response – a mechanism in the body that enables it to respond to any form or stress. In this case, it prepares the body for the intense workout.
A study also shows how consuming caffeinated coffee can improve your performance for carrying out tasks during the day.2
2. Burns Fat And Helps In Weight Loss
Another similar health benefit of black coffee is the ability to burn fats and, in turn, may help lose weight. Studies show that consuming caffeine in moderation can help in the treatment of obesity.3
Black coffee contains magnesium and potassium that help regulate blood sugar levels and can control your cravings for sugary snacks. Black coffee also increases the metabolic rate, aiding in weight loss.
3. Reduces The Risk Of Stroke
Black coffee can improve cardiovascular health. Research has shown that consuming black coffee can also reduce the risk of a stroke and even heart failure. Studies discovered that those who consumed four cups of coffee every day had a lower risk of heart failure than those who did not consume coffee.4 It is true that coffee can increase your blood pressure but the effect of it on the body is short-lived and cannot possibly cause any health condition.
4. Decreases The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
Black coffee has powerful effects on type 2 diabetes. Many studies show that consuming black coffee can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Three compounds in coffee help in the control of blood sugars in the body.5
Firstly, chlorogenic acid delays glucose absorption in the gut and, therefore, less sugars are released into the bloodstream. Secondly, animal studies show that quinidine present in coffee liver glucose production. These effects may be seen in humans as well. Finally, magnesium present in coffee enhances insulin sensitivity and can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
5. Improves Mental Alertness
Coffee can help you stay focused and alert. This is because it stimulates the brain and the nervous system. It improves short-term memory and the part of the brain that deals with attention, concentration, planning, and monitoring.
Apart from mental alertness, coffee can also reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.6 Some studies also show that coffee drinkers are at a lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.[/ref]Hernán, Miguel A., Bahi Takkouche, Francisco Caamaño‐Isorna, and Juan J. Gestal‐Otero. “A meta‐analysis of coffee drinking, cigarette smoking, and the risk of Parkinson’s disease.” Annals of neurology 52, no. 3 (2002): 276-284.[/ref]
6. Lifts Your Mood
Coffee can fight depression and improve your mood. The reason why you feel all charged up for the day after a cup of black coffee is that it stimulates the release of dopamine. Dopamine produces the pleasant feelings and coffee supports this further. So, moderate coffee consumption can make you feel happy.
There are studies that show that increased coffee consumption is associated with decreased risk of depression, especially in women.7 However, more research is required to substantiate this claim.
7. Protects The Liver
Coffee drinkers are a lot safer than non-coffee drinkers because black coffee has protective effects on the liver. Regular coffee consumption may help reduce the risk of liver cancer and other liver-related conditions including hepatitis, fatty liver diseases, and cirrhosis. Studies show that coffee may protect the body from alcoholic cirrhosis.8
If you want your body to benefit from black coffee, it is important to stick to the coffee made from ground coffee beans. Instant black coffee is not going to provide the body with any of the benefits mentioned. Also, it is important to keep the coffee consumption moderate; going overboard may cause some side effects. Let’s examine these side effects briefly.
Side Effects Of Drinking Too Much Black Coffee
Pure black coffee in moderate quantities can do good for the body. However, going overboard with this beverage can cause certain side effects. Some of the side effects are as follows:
- Raises blood pressure: If you suffer from anxiety issues or have hypertension, black coffee may not be your best beverage. This is because it can raise blood pressure, which may further cause a risk of cardiovascular diseases and heart attacks. It is best to stick to decaf or limit your coffee consumption and have your blood pressure checked regularly.
- Causes acidity: Coffee is an acidic beverage and too much of it can cause digestive discomfort, indigestion, heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
- Affects mineral absorption: Coffee may interfere with the absorption of essential minerals required by the body. Studies have shown that coffee may reduce the absorption of iron which is important for the body’s normal functioning.9
- Contains acrylamide: Coffee contains acrylamide – a skin and respiratory tract irritant in humans. This is usually formed when coffee beans are roasted at high temperatures.10
|↑1||Marks, Sharon. Health is Your Wealth Magazine: April, 2016.|
|↑2||Smith, Andrew P., P. Brockman, R. Flynn, Andrea Maben, and M. Thomas. “Investigation of the effects of coffee on alertness and performance during the day and night.” Neuropsychobiology 27, no. 4 (1993): 217-223.|
|↑3||Dulloo, A. G., C. A. Geissler, T. Horton, A. Collins, and D. S. Miller. “Normal caffeine consumption: influence on thermogenesis and daily energy expenditure in lean and postobese human volunteers.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 49, no. 1 (1989): 44-50.|
|↑4, ↑5||Mullin, Gerard E. The Gut Balance Revolution: Boost Your Metabolism, Restore Your Inner Ecology, and Lose the Weight for Good!. Rodale, 2015.|
|↑6||Maia, L., and A. De Mendonça. “Does caffeine intake protect from Alzheimer’s disease?.” European Journal of Neurology 9, no. 4 (2002): 377-382.|
|↑7||Lucas, Michel, Fariba Mirzaei, An Pan, Olivia I. Okereke, Walter C. Willett, Éilis J. O’Reilly, Karestan Koenen, and Alberto Ascherio. “Coffee, caffeine, and risk of depression among women.” Archives of internal medicine 171, no. 17 (2011): 1571-1578.|
|↑8||Klatsky, Arthur L., Cynthia Morton, Natalia Udaltsova, and Gary D. Friedman. “Coffee, cirrhosis, and transaminase enzymes.” Archives of internal medicine 166, no. 11 (2006): 1190-1195.|
|↑9||Morck, Timothy A., S. R. Lynch, and J. D. Cook. “Inhibition of food iron absorption by coffee.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 37, no. 3 (1983): 416-420.|
|↑10||Granby, Kit, and Sisse Fagt. “Analysis of acrylamide in coffee and dietary exposure to acrylamide from coffee.” Analytica Chimica Acta 520, no. 1 (2004): 177-182.|