When we wake up in the morning, many of us reach for a coffee to kick-start our day. According to the International Coffee Organization, approximately 1.6 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide every day.
The main ingredient in coffee is caffeine – a compound that naturally derives from over 60 different plant sources, including coffee beans, tea leaves, cacao seeds and cola nut seeds. Caffeine acts as a stimulant by activating the central nervous system. It can combat tiredness and improve concentration and focus. As well as its stimulating effects, caffeine has been heralded for providing an array of health benefits.
Caffeine Increases Energy.
Coffee can help people feel less tired and increase energy levels. That’s because it contains a stimulant called caffeine — the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world. After you drink coffee, the caffeine is absorbed into your bloodstream. From there, it travels to your brain. In the brain, caffeine blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine. When this happens, the amount of other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine increases, leading to enhanced firing of neurons.
Can Help You Burn Fat.
Caffeine is found in almost every commercial fat-burning supplement — and for good reason. It’s one of the few natural substances proven to aid fat burning. Several studies show that caffeine can boost your metabolic rate by 3–11%. Other studies indicate that caffeine can specifically increase fat burning by as much as 10% in obese individuals and 29% in lean people
May Lower Type 2 Diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a major health problem, currently affecting millions of people worldwide. It’s characterized by elevated blood sugar levels caused by insulin resistance or a reduced ability to secrete insulin. For some reason, coffee drinkers have a significantly reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
Helps Fight Depression.
Depression is a serious mental disorder that causes a significantly reduced quality of life. It’s very common, as about 4.1% of people in the US currently meet the criteria for clinical depression. In a Harvard study published in 2011, women who drank 4 or more cups of coffee per day had a 20% lower risk of becoming depressed. Another study in 208,424 individuals found that those who drank 4 or more cups per day were 53% less likely to die by suicide.
Helps You Live Longer.
For people who eat a standard Western diet, coffee may be one of the healthiest aspects of their diet.That’s because coffee is quite high in antioxidants. Studies show that many people get more antioxidants from coffee than from fruits and vegetables combined. In fact, coffee may be one of the healthiest beverages on the planet.
Caffeine isn’t for everyone or in excess! You may want to cut back if you’re drinking more than 4 cups of caffeinated coffee a day (or the equivalent) and you’re experiencing side effects such as:
- Migraine headache
- Frequent urination or inability to control urination
- Stomach upset
- Fast heartbeat
- Muscle tremors
Coffee is a highly popular beverage around the globe that boasts a number of impressive health benefits. Not only can your daily cup of joe help you feel more energized, burn fat and improve physical performance, it may also lower your risk of several conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.