The Health Benefits of Coffee: How Much Coffee or Caffeine Is Healthy?

Updated on September 28, 2018
Chin chin profile image

My name is Chin chin. I have a BS degree in food technology. I like to share important information about health and food-related topics.

Ready for your next cup of coffee?

Nothing can stop the increasing popularity of drinking coffee around the world. As a favorite beverage, there are constantly new coffee shops coming up in the market with new flavors and variations of coffee to offer.

And you know what? That is perfectly all right. You may well be one of those who believe that sipping coffee is bad for you. I've had the same thinking since I was young, but have just changed my mind lately when I began drinking coffee. And I'm so glad to know that research supports my present coffee drinking habit. Coffee (in moderation) actually provide healthy benefits for the body, brain, and skin.

I have listed down six health benefits of coffee, which I think are enough reasons to get you to start your day with a cup of coffee.

Image by RaSeLaSeD via Flickr (CC BY SA-2.0) and modified by Chin chin
Image by RaSeLaSeD via Flickr (CC BY SA-2.0) and modified by Chin chin | Source

6 Health Benefits of Coffee

1. Protect body cells with essential antioxidants

If you are a regular coffee drinker, you can actually get more antioxidants from the java you consume than from your typical diet. The polyphenol antioxidants you can get from coffee has more significant disease-preventive properties than Vitamins C and E.

According to a 2005 research of Joe Vinzon, nothing measures up to supplying the quantity of antioxidants present in coffee. Of course, you can acquire a ton of antioxidants from fruits and veggies. But, as per the study, your body can far better absorb the antioxidants coming from coffee. So drink up!

2. Reduce stress due to lack of sleep

Did you know that you don't even need to drink coffee to partly enjoy its benefit? Researchers from the Seoul National University say that even the aroma of coffee can help relieve stress. Hmm ... I just love the smell of coffee.

The research they were running was actually related to stress attributed to sleep deprivation. Though the test subjects were rats that were deprived of sleep and energized by the mere smell of coffee, the result implies that "coffee aroma do change the brain to some degree."

Hence, when you feel tiredness from not getting enough sleep and you have to get up for work, sip a cup of coffee to help you get going.

3. Guard against the occurrence of alcoholic cirrhosis

If you are drinking alcohol excessively, consuming coffee could help you steer clear of having alcoholic fatty liver disease which may end up in liver or alcoholic cirrhosis. In 2006, a research (published in the Archives of Internal Medicine) that involved 125,000 persons older than 22 consumed just one cup of coffee each day. The result of the investigation showed that they were more unlikely to develop cirrhosis of the liver.

Coffee has safety advantages which can help guard against liver cirrhosis. People who take coffee regularly are much less likely to be hospitalized, or die, from liver cirrhosis caused by consuming an excessive amount of alcohol. Other research studies have also revealed that non alcoholic fatty liver disease may be averted by ingesting coffee.

4. Keep your mind healthy and active for years

Who doesn't want to have a healthy brain for a longer period of time? I do. A good advice is to drink moderate levels of coffee each day (up to 3 cups). A research study at the University of Miami and the University of South Florida observed that high amounts of caffeine could postpone the onset of Alzheimer's disease. The investigators based the conclusion upon seeing higher blood levels of caffeine in people older than 65.

Nevertheless, this does not mean that coffee consumption could prevent you from acquiring Alzheimer's disease. Consuming a moderate quantity of coffee regularly can simply lower a person's risk for this debilitating condition.

5. Prevent depression and feel happy

Are you feeling depressed right now? A cup of coffee might be just what you need. The National Institute of Health conducted research several years ago involving people who drink a minimum of 4 cups of coffee every day. The medical doctors and researchers observed that the participants were more unlikely to be depressed compared to those who do not drink coffee. Further noted is that the resulting “high” from ingesting a cup of coffee (and its caffeine) is not the same as the “high” from drinking a can of soda pop. Other studies show that drinking certain soda pops actually cause depression.

Dr. Honglei Chen, the author of this study, explained that researchers believe that the antioxidants in the coffee causes you to be happy. You cannot find any antioxidant in soda pops, and that explains the different "high."

6. Enhance your intelligence, attentiveness, response time and logical thinking

You can read that again. Enhance your intelligence, attentiveness, response time and logical thinking. Drinking coffee can, in fact, make you smarter. So how exactly does it do that?

In general, people drink a cup of coffee if they are feeling lethargic or short of sleep. The caffeine in coffee works as a stimulant, and so coffee can give you that much-needed jolt and you can remain alert for a couple of hours. However, coffee doesn't only give the needed energy boost. As per CNN, it triggers the brain to work more efficiently as well, resulting in a more intelligent you!

Drinking coffee actually causes your attention span, response time, logical thinking and vigilance to improve. These 4 factors working together make up an individual's overall intelligence. So, coffee drinkers can become smarter.

6 health benefits of coffee. Image by Chin chin
6 health benefits of coffee. Image by Chin chin

How much coffee should you drink?

Having too much of the caffeine in coffee could cause many side effects including anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, chest pain and increased heart rate as a few of the negative effects. Drinking in moderation is essential to reap the benefits of coffee minus its unwanted side effects.

The Mayo Clinic recommends drinking up to 400 milligrams of caffeine daily (from all sources) for adults. If you drink four cups of regular coffee, that accounts for your daily recommended amount of 400 mg of caffeine.

Do not forget that different types of brewed coffee and different brands of coffee contain varying amounts of caffeine. For instance, Starbucks' 8-ounce brewed coffee gives 180 mg of caffeine while 10-ounce of brewed coffee served at Dunkin Donuts gives 105 mg of caffeine. See the table below, for a comparison of the general caffeine content of different types of coffee.

Amount of Caffeine in Coffee Drinks

Type of Coffee
Amount of Caffeine
Brewed
95-200 mg
Decaf
2-12 mg
Espresso
47-75 mg
Instant
27-173 mg
Specialty - latte or mocha
63-175 mg
Table of caffeine content in different types of coffee. The serving size of coffee is 8 oz except for espresso, which is 1 oz. This data is taken from MayoClinic.org.

Caffeine Content of Top Coffee Brands

Death Wish Coffee is number 1 when it comes to the coffee brand with the highest caffeine content. It has 54.2 mg of caffeine per ounce. It is dubbed as the world's strongest coffee with double the caffeine content of the average coffee.

Next is Starbucks with 20.6 mg of caffeine per ounce. Dunkin' Donuts coffee has half the caffeine content of Starbucks at 12.7 mg. McDonald's Coffee has the lowest caffeine content at 9.1 mg per ounce. Find the article of the coffee ranking according to caffeine content here.

More Health Benefits of Coffee from this Video

Questions & Answers

    © 2015 Chin chin

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