When many people think of a beverage with numerous health benefits, tea is usually the first thing that comes to mind. However, a significant number of people greatly prefer their morning cup of coffee over tea, and some may wonder if that choice is doing them more harm than good. So why drink coffee, except for its caffeine content that wakes you up in the morning? Mounting research is showing that coffee has an incredible number of health advantages, many of which increase with each additional cup. Here are just a few of the benefits of coffee.
A study performed in 2005 found that coffee is the most potent source of antioxidants in the American diet, containing whopping doses of hydrocinnamic acid and various polyphenols. High consumption of polyphenols has been shown to reduce the likelihood of numerous ailments, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and viral infections. Meanwhile, hydrocinnamic acid prevents oxidative stress and protects the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals.
A 2006 study involving 125,000 participants demonstrated that people who consumed a minimum of one cup of coffee daily had a 20 percent lower chance of developing cirrhosis. This is also true of cirrhosis caused by alcohol consumption, and the more coffee you drink, the lower your chances are of contracting the disease. Other studies also found that drinking four or more cups of coffee per day may protect you from the kind of fatty liver disease that’s not linked to alcohol consumption. However, that doesn’t mean you should increase your coffee intake to five cups of coffee per day. Remember that moderation is the key.
If you drink two to four cups of coffee each day, you may be less likely to suffer from depression. Researchers believe that this effect may be because coffee increases levels of dopamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters that are involved in feelings of happiness, contentment, fun and pleasure.
Athletes have long been aware that a cup of coffee prior to exercise improves their performance, particularly for activities like bicycling and running. However, even the average person can reap the benefits during their daily workout. Coffee allows fatty acids to be released into the bloodstream, which provides quick energy for your muscles. This has a sparing effect on glycogen, the muscles’ primary fuel source, and saves it for later in your workout routine. In other words, coffee lets you work out harder and longer.
As with most things, coffee isn’t right for everyone. Pregnant or nursing women should abstain from coffee since caffeine is transmitted through the placenta and breast milk. People who suffer from anxiety, cardiac arrhythmias, high blood pressure or heart palpitations should speak with their Urgent 9 doctor to find out if drinking coffee is safe for them.