15 Health Benefits of Coffee and Side Effects

Coffee is a very popular beverage across the globe, with a range of impressive health benefits. Your regular cup of coffee makes you feel more energised, burn fat, and improve your physical performance. Coffee was first discovered in the early 15th century. The only reason coffee got famous is its aroma and taste.

What Makes Coffee Good for You?

Coffee contain antioxidants and other active ingredients that have been shown to reduce internal inflammation and protect against diseases. The caffeine in coffee is the main psychoactive stimulant substance, contributes to several health benefits. Caffeine is also available as capsules. Athletes are using it as an energy boosting supplement. In addition, people who drink coffee have less body fat percentage. Here are the 15 health benefits of coffee and its side effects.

1. Coffee contains nutrients

One cup of regular coffee contains:

  • 2.4 calories
  • 0.3 grams of protein
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of sugar
  • 0.5 milligrams pantothenic acid 6% of the daily value.
  • 0.2 milligrams vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 10% of the daily value.
  • 110 milligrams of potassium 3% of the daily value.
  • 0.1 milligrams of manganese 3% of the daily value.
  • 7 milligrams magnesium 2% of the daily value.
  • 0.5 milligrams vitamin B3 (Niacin) 2% of the daily value.

These nutrients may not look much, but when you drink 3 to 5 cups daily than it might affect your 10 to 20% of the daily value.

2. Coffee can boost metabolism

The caffeine in coffee can increase your metabolic rate, which is the pace at which your body converts calories into energy. Caffeine may also help with fat burning during exercise. In one 2018 study, they gave participants 3mg of caffeine per kilogramme of bodyweight. Caffeine consumption changed their caloric expenditure, subjects were burning more body fat during exercise than carbohydrate alone. However, the caffeine can affect every individual differently. Some may tolerate it well during exercise while other may experience side effects such as headache, nausea and motion.

3. Coffee can boost energy

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The caffeine in coffee is a natural stimulant, and it contains the most appropriate drug. The main stimulant in coffee is caffeine, which speeds up the messages between the body and the brain. In proper doses, it is a part of a healthy diet, which can make you feel more energetic. Evidence shows it stimulates the central nervous system and gives you mental alertness. People who drink coffee feel less tired. After drinking coffee, some people may find their self, increasing productivity while some will scroll mobile screen rather than doing work. [1]

4. Boosts physical performance

The purine alkaloid properties of coffee, such as caffeine, can amplify stamina. There are many people aware of its impressive effect, and they drink a cup of black coffee before their workouts. Drinking coffee as a pre-workout supplement has been linked to greater strength and endurance during an exercise. For best results, drink around 1–2 cups (240–475 mL) one hour before your workout. However, in my case, it gives me a mild headache during the workout. This may be because of the increased blood pressure induced by caffeine. Make sure you are not allergic to caffeine, as it may cause serious side effect during an exercise.

5. Prevents diabetes

Coffee drinkers have a low risk of diabetes mellitus. DM is a group of metabolic disorders such as high blood sugar, frequent hunger, incredible thirst, and rapid urination. In addition, the regular coffee drinkers are less likely to feel hungry than non-coffee drinkers. [2] Caffeine has a unique effect on each individual. If you have diabetes, decreasing coffee in your diet may be beneficial. The effects of caffeine on insulin action may be associated with higher or lower blood sugar levels. For some people with diabetes, about 200 milligrams of caffeine — or the equivalent of one to two cups of black coffee may cause this effect.

6. Prevents heart disease

The contribution of caffeine in heart disease reduction is conflicting. The caffeine in coffee can increase blood pressure, which is not good for the heart. But for a regular coffee drinker, it is a slight increase in blood pressure. [3] However, coffee is a substantial source of antioxidants, and it plays a vital rule in balancing cholesterol by decreasing inflammation inside the body. Coffee drinker has a low risk of cardiovascular and stroke diseases. The point here is how much coffee to drink? What is the best time to drink coffee? To reap the benefits, most expert recommend drinking 1 cup of plain unsweetened coffee (100 mg caffeine) in the morning right after you wake up. Drinking too much coffee can be harmful for people who are at risk of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, the amount of caffeine you ingest matters.

7. Good for the liver

Coffee can lower the risk of fibrotic illness in several chronic liver conditions, which may lower the replication of the hepatitis C virus. [4] The liver plays a fundamental rule inside the body. It regulates the balance of hormones, such as cortisone, thyroid, and other adrenal hormones. Common chronic liver disease such as fatty liver, hepatitis creates hormonal imbalances. One study shows that regular coffee consumption may protect against liver cirrhosis. However, we need more studies to understand the correlation between coffee and liver disease prevention. [5]

8. Can fight depression

Depression is a chemical imbalance in the human brain. Caffeine blocks these brain receptors from binding with a chemical (adenosine), which promotes the feeling of tiredness and depression. Studies show an increase or decrease in brain chemicals doesn’t always lead to mental disorders, but it could be because multiple problems such as stressful life events, facing hurdles, and other mental problems. In one study, people who drink coffee were happier than non-coffee drinkers. The antioxidants in caffeine, such as theophylline and theobromine, belong to a family of organic compounds xanthines. These antioxidants can cross the brain-blood barrier and decrease oxidative stress. [6]

9. Coffee may prevent cancer

Coffee doesn’t treat cancer, but it plays a vital rule in preventing various cancers such as lung cancer, skin cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, and brain cancer. The study shows people who drink 3 to 5 cups of coffee can reduce cancer risk by 50%. Various studies have been investigating the effects of coffee in the prevention of cancer for decades, but still there is no concrete evidence available. This might be because of the antioxidants properties in coffee, which can decrease oxidation caused by free radicals in the body. However, cancer is a genetic disease caused by variation in genes that controls how our cells behave, how they grow and divide. Therefore, it is hard to assume the effects of coffee on cancer prevention. [7]

10. Coffee lovers live longer

There are many other factors that contribute to longevity, such as healthy habits, active lifestyle. However, people who drink coffee are less likely to get sick and have a low rate of health problems. The study shows people who drink coffee have a low risk of premature death by 25% than the people who don’t drink coffee at all. Drinking two to three cups of coffee a day may keep you healthy and energetic. This could be because of the psychoactive and antioxidant effects of caffeine, which are believed to decrease oxidative stress. Oxidative stress (OS) is the major cause of chronic diseases and ageing process. [8]

11. Protect you from alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is a common neurodegenerative disease, and it is one of the leading causes of dementia. The symptoms of this disease are cognitive decline, short-term memory loss, and forgetting important life events. The study shows that coffee can help balance brain chemicals and may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s in people who have been drinking coffee for long time. In another study, people who were drinking 3-5 cups of coffee had a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) by 65%. They concluded that drinking coffee may be associated with lower risk of mental health problems in late-life. Caffeine’s short-term stimulating effects on the central nervous system are well established, but the long-term effects on cognition have been not clear. Thus, we need even more large-scale studies to find out caffeine’s long-term effects on age related cognitive decline. [9], [10]

12. Protects against parkinson’s

Parkinson’s disease is another neurodegenerative disorder that affects dopamine-producing neurons in the brain. The symptoms typically appear gradually and worsen. People with Parkinson’s may have trouble walking as the condition develops. They may also have mental and behavioural changes, sleep issues, depression, memory problems, talking problems, and weariness. Scientists’ research shows that caffeine can increase dopamine in the brain and it is associated with a significantly lower risk of PD. Although there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, medications, and other therapy can only ease the symptoms to some points. People who love to drink coffee may have a reduced risk of PD at their late age. [11]

13. Reduces muscle pain

According to a study, caffeine can help in pain modulation because of its influence on adenosine receptors, which play a key role in pain perception and can help relieve pain. Certain compounds in coffee bind and block adenosine receptors, which can provide pain relieving benefits. Coffee also boosts the release of dopamine and beta-endorphins, which are neurotransmitters in the body that work as natural painkillers. In addition, hypnic headache is a condition that affects people in the 40s and 50s. Coffee may also reduce muscle pain and headaches. [12]

14. Can make DNA stronger

There are many factors, such as diet and chemical exposure, which can cause modification in DNA methylation that alters gene expression. Caffeinated beverage such as coffee and tea are two examples of pharmacologically active exposures. Coffee plays a key rule in lowering inflammation and altering oestrogen metabolism. People who drink coffee are less prone to get chronic diseases, but it is not clear why. A European journal of nutrition found that coffee can protect the body from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can harm DNA. Hence, coffee plays a crucial rule by protecting these DNA cells. [13]

15. Contains soluble fiber

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate, which the body can’t digest it. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, but fiber stays intact in your digestive system. Spanish researchers report that one cup of coffee contains approximately 1.5 grams of soluble fiber. Coffee can’t replace the whole grain and vegetable fibers, but it can improve digestion and help the stomach observe vitamins and minerals from the food you consume every day. In addition, it can activate the digestive system by pushing food and make you poop.

Side Effects of Coffee

When consumed in moderation, 3 cups per day or less, coffee is safe for most healthy adults. Too much coffee can have side effects, such as causing insomnia, nervousness, stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, and an increase in heart rate. Pregnant or breast-feeding women should talk to their doctor before consuming caffeinated beverages. People who are on certain medication should also avoid coffee [14].

Conclusion

Coffee is a popular beverage that has been extensively researched for its many health benefits, including its ability to boost energy levels, promote weight loss, improve athletic performance, and protect against chronic disease. Some people, such as pregnant or breastfeeding women, children and adolescents, and people with certain health conditions, may need to limit their intake. Drinking coffee in moderation has been linked to several health benefits and is safe for most adults.

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