Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world, and for good reason. Not only does it taste great, but it also has a number of health benefits.
Here are five science-backed ways coffee can improve your health:
1. Coffee Can Help You Live Longer
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine: Recent studies have found that coffee drinkers are less likely to die from some of the leading causes of death in women: coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease. Drinking one to two cups of coffee a day may help ward off heart failure, when a weakened heart has difficulty pumping enough blood to the body. You are also less likely to develop certain other diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, liver diseases, and colon cancer. (Read our article on coffee and your liver)
2. Coffee Can Boost Your Physical Performance
You may not be a morning person, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the benefits of an early morning workout. Looking for a pre-workout boost? (Or a little motivation to go to the gym?) Yep, coffee may be just what you need. Caffeine has been shown to improve physical performance and intensify workouts—not to mention the obvious benefits for your energy level. So, if you're looking to get the most out of your exercise routine, coffee may be a helpful addition.
3. Coffee Can Help You Burn a Little More Fat
If you're like most people, you probably start your day with a cup of coffee. But did you know that your morning ritual could actually be helping you to lose weight?
Caffeine has been shown to increase metabolism, and thus the amount of fat you burn. This study demonstrated that caffeine intake might promote weight, BMI and body fat reduction. And while I don't recommend replacing all your meals with coffee—or any of them, just to be clear—it might not be a bad idea to have an extra cup or two if you're trying to slim down.
But there's a catch (sort of.) It should go without saying, but make sure to avoid adding too much sugar or cream, or you can cancel out that metabolic boost. As long as you go easy on the sweet and creamy stuff, you should be able to get the weight loss benefits of the caffeine. Black coffee is best of course, but a little healthy, low sugar “creamer” like unsweetened almond milk or skim milk probably won’t hurt anything. (Read: 6 ways to lighten your coffee)
4. Coffee May Lower Your Risk of Diabetes
According to The Mayo Clinic, it turns out that coffee may help to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. While it doesn't apply if you already have diabetes, it is believed that coffee helps to increase insulin sensitivity and improve glucose metabolism. The exact mechanism still isn't known at this point, but it's more good news for coffee drinkers.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should start drinking coffee if you don’t already. But if you’re like me and can’t imagine starting your day without a strong cup of joe, you could very well be reducing your risk of developing diabetes.
5. Coffee Can Improve Your Brain Health
When it comes to the subject of "brain food," coffee is often overlooked as a mere energy booster. But, coffee does more than just give you a jolt of energy that makes you feel a little smarter—Studies have shown that coffee drinkers may have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and forms of dementia.
In addition, coffee has been shown to improve cognitive function in healthy adults. So, if you're looking to boost your brain power, and delay or prevent the onset of cognitive decline, coffee’s a pretty smart choice.
Whether you're looking to boost your brain performance, improve physical performance, burn more fat, or just live a longer, healthier life, coffee is a great choice.
So go ahead and enjoy that cup of coffee—it just might be even better for you than you thought.
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