Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee: What are the Benefits of Drinking Coffee?

benefits of coffee

There’s nothing like the jolt that a cup of coffee can provide you in the morning. But beyond its mystical powers that seem to help you conquer your day, there’s so much more to the benefits of coffee. 

From helping to safeguard you from illness and disease to providing the boost you need to power through a workout, there’s a myriad of benefits to coffee. There are also some concerns to be aware of when it comes to drinking too much coffee. 

Read on, and we’ll cover everything you need to know about the health benefits of coffee and how you can maximize those benefits in your life. We’ll also cover some of the potential dangers of having too much coffee in your diet. 

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Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee 

Beyond its delicious flavor and enriching aroma, there are tons of health benefits that coffee possesses. Below, we’ll dive into the top benefits you’ll experience the next time you reach for a cup of joe. 

Coffee Can Help You Live Longer 

As we dive deeper into the health benefits of coffee and its ability to prevent certain ailments and diseases, this first surprising benefit will make more sense. Studies show that coffee consumption is tied to a 20% decreased risk of death in men and a 26% decreased risk of death in women over the age of 18. 

There is a 23% decreased risk of death for coffee drinkers

This phenomenon appears even more pronounced in coffee drinkers dealing with diabetes. A 20-year study illustrates a 30% decrease in the risk of death among type II diabetics who are also coffee drinkers. 

When you consider that drinking coffee is associated with a reduced risk for stroke, certain cancers, liver disease, degenerative mental diseases, and more, it’s easy to understand why coffee drinkers tend to live longer. 

Major Source of Antioxidants 

Most folks who follow a Western diet get more antioxidants from coffee than from any other source in their diet. Antioxidants help purify our bodies and eliminate free radicals, and no shortage of scientific literature reinforces the benefits of antioxidants. 

Compared to other sources like fruits and vegetables, most people actually get the majority of their antioxidants from coffee. If you seek an even healthier cup of coffee, you should consider the benefits of mushroom coffee instead.

Coffee May Lower Cancer Risks 

Cancer is the leading cause of death in the US and many other parts of the world, and coffee consumption may help to protect you. 

While some research suggests a correlation between coffee and reduced cancer risk, two types of cancer, in particular, seem to be especially affected by coffee. Colorectal and liver cancer are both less prevalent in coffee drinkers. 

A study of coffee drinkers found that those who drank coffee lowered their risk of liver cancer by an incredible 40%. Another found that heavy coffee drinkers (four to five cups each day) had lowered their risk of colorectal cancer by 15%. 

Coffee Fights Depression 

Serious mental disorders like depression have a profound effect on many of our lives. It’s estimated that more than 4% of Americans suffer from depression. Drinking coffee appears to be one of the easiest ways to help protect yourself from the effects of depression. 

A study by leading Harvard researchers found that female coffee drinkers who consumed four or more cups per day were 20% less likely to experience depression. Another large study of over 200,000 individuals found that test subjects who drank four or more cups per day were 53% less likely to consider suicide. 

Coffee Exhibits Liver Protecting Properties 

Our livers are one of the most critical organs in our body, and it’s responsible for carrying out several crucial processes that keep us healthy. 

Cirrhosis is one of the most deadly liver diseases, and it’s been increasing steadily over the years. An alarming 65% more people died of cirrhosis in 2016 than in 1999. 

Interestingly, one of the best things you can do to protect yourself from cirrhosis is to drink coffee. Studies show that people who drink four or more cups of coffee per day can reduce their risk of cirrhosis by up to 80%.

Coffee Can Reduce the Risk of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is caused by a reduction in neurons in the brain. It’s one of the most deadly neurodegenerative conditions, and there is currently no cure for this horrible illness.

Studies show that coffee drinkers are 60% less likely to develop Parkinson's disease

Fortunately, drinking coffee is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself against Parkinson’s disease. Many studies have concluded that coffee drinkers are at a much lower risk of developing Parkinson’s, with some studies suggesting that coffee drinkers are 60% less likely to develop the disease.

This risk reduction seems to be closely associated with caffeine. Studies of decaf coffee drinkers don’t seem to suggest a reduction of the risk of Parkinson’s disease.

Coffee Can Reduce the Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s

The only neurodegenerative diseases that affect more people than Parkinson’s are dementia and Alzheimer’s. 

Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia worldwide, and it mostly affects people over the age of 65. Eating well and regular exercise are two ways to help stave off these diseases, but it appears that coffee can help protect you, as well. 

According to several studies, coffee drinkers are up to 65% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s or dementia later in life. 

Coffee Lowers Diabetes Risk 

Millions of people worldwide suffer from Type II diabetes, and it can cause or contribute to many degenerative diseases and health concerns. 

For years, studies have suggested that coffee drinking reduces your risk of Type II diabetes. Some studies have suggested that coffee drinkers are up to 67% less likely to develop diabetes. 

A meta-analysis of coffee and diabetes studies totaling more than 400,000 people concludes that each cup of coffee you drink daily leads to a 7% reduction in diabetes risk. 

Coffee Is an Easy Way to Hit Nutritional Requirements 

Within those humble coffee beans are many of the nutrients we need to thrive, and regular coffee consumption is an easy way to ensure you’re receiving the nutrients you need. 

A cup of coffee contains vitamins B2, B3, and B5, potassium, and niacin. While a cup of coffee only contains a small amount of these nutrients, they compound over the day when you drink several cups of coffee. 

Caffeine for Peak Performance 

Serious athletes rely on caffeine as part of their pre-workout caffeine because of the noted benefits it provides for physical performance. 

No need for pre-workout, drinking coffee can help achieve peak performance

Caffeine increases adrenaline in the bloodstream, which is a fight-or-flight hormone that helps athletes dial in and achieve peak performance. Studies suggest that caffeine increases athletic performance by more than 10%, so it’s a good idea to reach for a cup of coffee before your next workout. 

Caffeine Is a Proven Fat Burner 

Looking to improve your health? Caffeine could help! It’s no secret that caffeine is a top ingredient in virtually every fat-burning diet, and it delivers proven results. 

Caffeine helps increase your metabolic rate, and it provides a profound fat-burning effect. Studies suggest that caffeine can help boost fat burning by more than 25% in people in good condition, and more than 10% in those who are not. 

Caffeine Delivers an Energy Boost

Caffeine is the most widely used stimulant in the world, and the stimulating effect it provides can help improve brain function while also increasing feelings of alertness and boosting your energy. 

Once caffeine reaches your brain, it inhibits the neurotransmitter adenosine, which allows neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine to increase. With more dopamine and norepinephrine in the bloodstream, neurons can fire more freely, which makes us more alert, focused, and ready to take on the day. 

Possible Coffee Health Concerns

coffee country health department

While there are many coffee benefits you can unlock by adding this tasty beverage to your diet, there are also a few potential concerns to be aware of. Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid most of these concerns. Here’s what to consider before reaching for your next cup! 

Toxicity Concerns

There’s a small chance that poor-quality coffee can contain toxic compounds that are bad for your health. Beans that are overripened or begin to rot can contain toxic impurities that lead to headaches and lethargy. When these beans are roasted, those compounds can leach into the other beans, ruining the entire batch. It only takes a few bad beans to ruin the roast. 

Poor quality coffee can contain deadly toxic compounds which is why quality matters

Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid toxic coffee by choosing quality coffee that’s grown properly and overseen through each stage of production. Coffee toxicity is typically only a concern with very inexpensive coffee made from lesser-quality beans. 

Coffee Can Be Deadly

Too much coffee can actually kill you. Before you start worrying about whether your next cup could be your last, keep in mind that coffee is only deadly in theory. It’s virtually impossible to consume a lethal dose of coffee. 

Depending on the person, a lethal dose of caffeine is between 10-13 grams. To consume that much coffee, you’d need to drink between 80-100 cups. Even drinking 80-100 cups of water can be toxic, so keep that in mind before you start worrying. 

Coffee Can Impact a Pregnancy 

Pregnant women will want to monitor their caffeine consumption closely when carrying a child, as babies are highly sensitive to caffeine. While there’s some conflicting information in studies relating to caffeine and pregnancy, it’s generally accepted that pregnant women should limit their caffeine consumption to one cup of coffee per day or less. 

Coffee Can Raise Cholesterol Levels

Coffee beans contain kahweol and cafestol, which are compounds believed to increase cholesterol levels. The easiest way to reduce your exposure to these compounds is to filter your coffee during the brewing process. 

Brewing methods that use a filter, such as a drip or pour over, remove almost all of these compounds from coffee. If you’re concerned with high cholesterol, filtering the coffee can help eliminate the risk. 

Using a paper coffee filter will reduce the unwanted coffee sediment, decreasing your risk of raised cholesterol

Other methods, such as brewed espresso, a percolator, or French press coffee that don’t filter the grinds, will have higher levels of these cholesterol-raising compounds. Keep in mind that these compounds are still only found in trace amounts, so unfiltered brewing isn’t a concern for most people with normal cholesterol levels. 

While kahweol and cafestol may raise LDL cholesterol levels, some studies suggest these compounds have positive effects on the liver and may help reduce cancer risks.

Too Much Coffee Causes Insomnia 

Overconsumption of coffee can lead to insomnia or restlessness because of the caffeine that the beverage contains. 

Most experts recommend keeping your caffeine consumption to 400mg per day or less, which is roughly four to five cups of coffee at the maximum. People who are especially sensitive to caffeine will want to limit their consumption further. 

If you find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep, you can try to limit your coffee consumption to earlier in the day, or consider switching to decaf or half-caffeinated coffee. 

Too Much Caffeine Causes Anxiety 

If you consume too much caffeine, it can lead to increased anxiety and stress. Caffeine-induced anxiety disorder is recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as a mental health concern, and it can occur in people with overly high caffeine intakes exceeding 1,000mg each day. 

If you are feeling anxious, you should consider tracking your daily caffeine intake

In people who are sensitive to caffeine, anxiety symptoms can be seen at much lower levels. If you find that drinking coffee makes you anxious, lower your consumption or switch to decaf coffee. 

Excessive Coffee Can Contribute to Digestive Issues

The laxative effect of coffee is well known, and many coffee drinkers rely on their first cup of the morning to get things moving, so to speak. 

This effect is caused by the hormone gastrin, which is released when we drink coffee. This hormone speeds up activity in the colon, and it’s seen in both regular and decaf coffee. The caffeine present in regular coffee also seems to increase peristalsis, which are the muscle contractions that help move food through our digestive tracts. 

As you’d imagine, these effects become more pronounced when you drink more coffee. Excessive coffee consumption can lead to diarrhea, loose stool, and other gastrointestinal distress. 

Coffee Nutrition

coffee benefits

On its own, coffee is exceptionally low in calories and contains no fat or sugar. Coffee also contains polyphenols, which are an antioxidant that helps to remove free radicals from the bloodstream. With only two calories per serving, coffee is also an excellent choice for weight management. 

Coffee also contains important nutrients like magnesium and potassium. Since coffee is around 95% water, it can also help you meet your daily fluid intake requirements. Of course, adding things like cream or sugar will dramatically alter the nutritional profile of coffee. By itself, the beverage is quite good for you. 

Final Word 

Humans have relied on coffee for thousands of years for its delicious and comforting taste and the myriad of health benefits it provides. From providing nutrients to protecting against certain diseases and cancers, coffee is one of the healthiest beverages on earth. 

There are a few concerns associated with coffee consumption you’ll want to be aware of before your next cup, as well. Fortunately, these side effects are rare, and they’re often associated with excessive consumption of caffeine exceeding ten or more cups per day. 

Next time you reach for a cup of coffee, consider all the amazing benefits it has and raise your mug to the humble coffee bean. 

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Author Profile Picture

Parker Russell is a coffee professional and the founder of Black Ink Coffee. As an expert in the field of coffee roasting, cupping (professional Q-Grader) and brewing, Parker has established Black Ink as brand that fuels the grind of dreamers.