There are some surprising health benefits to your daily caffeine fix [Photo: kaboompics.com via Pexels]
Can’t function before you’ve had your first-thing coffee fix? You’re not alone. According to the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee 67% of us can’t imagine life without coffee. But with warnings about the dangers of drinking too much caffeine growing ever louder, it’s difficult not to get coffee-guilt. Thankfully, though, it turns out that supping a daily cup actually has some pretty big benefits. So in honour of UK Coffee Week, we’re spilling the beans about why your caffeine hit might not be so bad after all….
It can boost your workout
OK maybe not the full fat mocha with whipped cream and marshmallows, but studies have shown coffee consumption increases adrenaline, which can help increase physical performance. “Caffeine stimulates the nervous system into producing natural forms of adrenaline,” explains Luke Thornton health and wellness instructor for Discount Supplements. “This in turns sends signals to the fat cells in your body to break down fat for energy.”
Louise Johnston, Head Nutritionist at Results with Lucy suggests having a strong black coffee as a pre-workout drink because it increases the blood flow to the muscles which in turn gives you better results. “The increased blood flow will also give you more energy to utilise in your workouts and up the oxygen levels in your blood which can help benefit your heart.”
And it can keep you going longer on the treadmill too. “Studies show that supplementation of caffeine (between 3-6mg/kg) is effective in reducing perceived exertion, meaning that a six-minute mile feels like a seven-minute mile,” explains Pamela Nisevich Bede a sports nutritionist for global healthcare company Abbott.
We’re spilling the beans on the health benefits of your daily cuppa *groans*[Photo: pixabay.com via Pexels]
It can improve your memory
Forget those brain-training apps, studies have found that moderate coffee intake can help boost memory and cognitive performance due to the levels of caffeine. “Caffeine acts as a stimulant,” explains Luke Thornton health and wellness instructor for Discount Supplements. “When we drink caffeine rich liquids like coffee our brains block the inhibitory neurotransmitter Adenosine. Adenosine is the energy molecule attached to sugars. When this happens our bodies other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine (a chemical naturally produced like a hormone) and dopamine (a precursor to adrenaline) increase and the body starts to produce more and fire these into the blood stream. In turn this improves brain function, memory, mood, energy and reaction times.”
It makes you more intelligent (sort of)
Need to impress your boss? Grab a cup of the black stuff pre-meeting. “Drinking coffee in moderation, boosts blood circulation and its flow to the brain because of the high caffeine content,” explains Frida Harju, in-house nutritionist at leading health and fitness app, Lifesum “Not only does it make you more alert and therefore better able to take in new information it improves your brain’s capability to form new short term memories. The benefits have been shown to be effective for up to 24 hours, so great if you are cramming for exams.”
Can’t cope without your caffeine-fix? Its better for you than you think [Photo: stokpic.com via Pexels]
It can help you lose weight
Not only is it super low-cal, coffee can also help you shift the pounds faster. “Black coffee is a really good choice for its low calorie content,” explains nutritionist Frida Harju. “Most importantly, the caffeine in coffee can help to speed up your metabolism, making the rate at which your body burns fat faster. One or two cups a day has been shown to make a difference.”
It makes you happier
There’s a reason that waft of coffee makes it so much easier to face the morning. “The smell of coffee alone can have a positive effect on people,” explains Frida Harju. “Caffeine has a reputation among researchers as a vitality and happiness booster. It has also been shown that the chemical reactions caused by caffeine on our brain, may well have a positive impact in the fight against depression. Additionally, the presence of antioxidants in coffee also contribute to making us feel happier.”
Aside from helping you function in the morning there are other health benefits to your daily cup of joe [Photo: stock.tookapic.com via Pexels]
It can help protect against Alzheimers
According to the Institute of Scientific Information on Coffee, research suggests regular, life-long moderate coffee consumption at 3-5 cups per day is associated with a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease, with evidence suggesting that coffee drinkers can reduce their risk of developing the disease by up to 20%.
It’s good for your heart
Recent research has shown that drinking coffee in moderation (approximately 3-5 cups per day) may in fact protect you against heart disease. “Coffee has been shown to achieve this by helping you avoid the build-up of coronary artery calcium which can clog up your arteries, leading to an increased risk of heart attack,” explains Frida Harju.
Can you survive without your daily cup of coffee? Let us know @YahooStyleUK