Top 10 Health Benefits of Coffee

Updated on January 25, 2018
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David is an army-trained biomedical scientific officer, writer, and lifelong health and fitness enthusiast.

Coffee has many health benefits
Coffee has many health benefits | Source

Coffee Health Benefits

Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world, and over half of all the adults in America (about 100 million people) drink it on a daily basis. And that’s a good thing because, despite popular belief to the contrary, coffee is actually very good for you. In fact there are a number of specific health benefits you can experience from drinking coffee on a regular basis. Here are the top 10 of them…

1. Coffee Contains Antioxidants And Essential Nutrients

Coffee is high in antioxidants and it also contains a number of vitamins and minerals, including several of the B complex vitamins and the minerals magnesium, potassium, chromium and manganese.

And whilst these are only present in relatively small quantities, if you drink 3 cups per day it does add up to a worthwhile amount.

However, to get the maximum nutritional benefit you need to drink freshly brewed, good quality organic filtered coffee. The cheaper brands often come from degraded beans and may contain rancid oils. Coffee should have a pleasing smell and taste; if it tastes stale or has a strong bite you could have a coffee that is rancid. Also coffee is one of the most sprayed crops in the world, so it’s important to choose organic.

2. Coffee Can Give You More Energy

When you drink coffee the caffeine in it is absorbed into your bloodstream and travels to your brain. Here it blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine. And this in turn causes an increase in other neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine and dopamine. This leads to enhanced firing of the neurons, resulting in an increase in energy and an improvement in mood.

3. It Improves Cognitive Function

Coffee has been shown to improve various aspects of brain function, including memory, mental clarity, focus and concentration.

4. Coffee Can Help You Burn Fat

A cup of strong coffee can temporarily increase your metabolism by up to 20%. And it also causes your fat cells to break down, releasing free fatty acids into the bloodstream and making them available as fuel. This results in increased fat burning, especially during exercise, and so helps with weight loss.

5. It Improves Physical Performance

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system causing stronger muscle contractions. And it also increases adrenaline (the ‘fight or flight’ hormone) levels in the blood, which makes our bodies ready for intense physical exertion.

This, combined with its effect of breaking down body fat for use as fuel, makes coffee the ideal pre-workout drink.

6. Coffee Reduces The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a serious life-threatening disease that affects over 300 million people worldwide. But studies show that drinking coffee can drastically reduce your risk of developing this condition. In fact heavy drinkers (those who drink 4 or more cups per day) can have a risk reduction of over 50%; but even moderate consumption offers a significant benefit.

7. It Helps Protect Against Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease And Parkinson’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disorder in the world, and Parkinson’s disease is the second most common. There is no cure for either, but there are several things you can do to prevent them from developing in the first place. These include eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly; but regular coffee drinking has also been shown to substantially reduce the risk of developing these conditions.

In fact the reduction in risk has been shown to be as high as 65% for Alzheimer’s and 60% for Parkinson’s. But decaf does not have any effect, so it appears to be the caffeine that is responsible for this particular benefit.

8. Coffee Is Extremely Good For The Liver

Coffee helps to protect the liver against various types of diseases including cirrhosis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

In fact drinking just one cup per day can reduce your risk of cirrhosis by up to 20%, and drinking 4 or more cups per day can give you a risk reduction of up to 80%.

And coffee drinkers have up to a 40% lower risk of developing liver cancer too.

9. It Helps Fight Depression

Depression is a common complaint these days, with over 4% of the US population being categorized as clinically depressed. But people who drink 4 or more cups of coffee per day are significantly less likely to become depressed. And they are also much less likely to commit suicide.

10. Coffee Could Help You Live Longer

As we have seen, coffee drinkers are less likely to develop a number of diseases, so it makes sense that coffee could help you live longer. There are also several studies showing that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of death from all causes. And this effect seems to be particularly strong in type 2 diabetics.

Apart from the above, coffee consumption has also been associated with a slight reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer and stroke.

How much coffee do you drink per day?

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An interesting discussion on the health benefits of coffee

Coffee Negative Effects

There are however a few negative effects of drinking coffee. These include the following…

Coffee can increase blood pressure a little – But this effect usually disappears if you drink it regularly.

It can increase pregnancy risks – Drinking large amounts of coffee may impair fetal growth, and it may also increase the risk of miscarriage. However, drinking a small amount of coffee does not seem to have any effect.

It may reduce bone density – This may contribute to osteoporosis and give an increased risk of bone fracture. But not all studies show this effect, and again it is only associated with drinking large amounts.

It is addictive – Coffee addiction and withdrawal symptoms are very real, and some heavy drinkers can suffer badly from this if they stop drinking it.

And coffee also contains acids that can make heartburn worse.

So in view of this, if you have high blood pressure, are pregnant or are post menopausal, it might be a good idea to limit your coffee drinking to no more than 1 or 2 cups per day.

But for everyone else, drinking 2 – 4 cups of coffee per day can improve your physical and mental performance and give you some exceptional health benefits too. So keep drinking it.


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    • dwelburn profile image

      David 8 months ago from Birmingham, UK

      Me too Sunnygirl. :)

    • profile image

      Sunnygirl 8 months ago

      Awesome,I drink it everyday..

    • dwelburn profile image

      David 2 years ago from Birmingham, UK

      Thanks Irdl; glad you liked it. :)

    • lrdl3535 profile image

      Richard Lindsay 2 years ago from California

      Great post. I use to drink a lot of coffee. But now have slowed down a lot on it. Your article has lots of good information in it.

    • dwelburn profile image

      David 2 years ago from Birmingham, UK

      Me too Lipnancy; would love to hear the results of your research.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 2 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      I love my coffee. Currently I an researching healthy coffees.

    • dwelburn profile image

      David 2 years ago from Birmingham, UK

      Thanks Entourage; I'm more of a cappuccino guy myself :)

    • Entourage_007 profile image

      Stuart 2 years ago from Santa Barbara, CA

      Great article, I can't Imagine my mornings without coffee. Especially a latte.

    • dwelburn profile image

      David 3 years ago from Birmingham, UK

      I know what you mean Writer Fox. I couldn't do without my coffee either.

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      I'm glad to know that coffee has some benefits other than waking me up in the morning. I can't imagine starting the day without it!

    • dwelburn profile image

      David 3 years ago from Birmingham, UK

      Thank you Peggy. Glad you liked it.

      And glad you are now enjoying coffee more often Alison. Sorry to hear you have osteoporosis. Hope you are doing regular weight bearing exercise and ensuring you get plenty of minerals in your diet to help with this.

    • Alison Graham profile image

      Alison Graham 3 years ago from UK

      Very interesting, I have Osteoporosis and hardly ever drank coffee for a long time because of this. However the combination of the health benefits you highlight and my husband buying an espresso machine which made the smell of brewing coffee irresistible has meant I now drink 1-2 cups each morning and have to say I feel so much better for it!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      This coincides with the latest evidence regarding the benefits of drinking coffee. You are on top of this by writing this article now. The video is well worth watching! Good job! Up votes and sharing.

    • dwelburn profile image

      David 3 years ago from Birmingham, UK

      No; decaf will give you some of these benefits Liam, but not all. The decaffeination process removes some of the antioxidants as well as the caffeine. Decaffeinated beans tend to be degraded and often contain residues of the solvents used to decaffeinate them. Also decaf is more acidic, so can cause stomach problems if you drink too much. And it also tends to raise cholesterol levels too.

    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 3 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Are all these benefits the same dwelburn for decaf? How does that differ in how it benefits my body?