The health effects of coffee are quite controversial.
Depending on who you ask, it is either a super healthy beverage or incredibly harmful.
But despite what you may have heard, there are actually plenty of good things to be said about coffee.
For example, it is high in antioxidants and linked to a reduced risk of many diseases.
However… it also contains caffeine, a stimulant that can cause problems in some people and disrupt sleep.
This article takes a detailed look at coffee and its health effects, examining both the pros and cons.
Coffee Contains Some Essential Nutrients and is Extremely High in Antioxidants
Coffee is more than just dark brown water… many of the nutrients in the coffee beans do make it into the drink.
A typical 8oz (240 ml) cup of coffee contains (1):
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 11% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 6% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 2% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 2% of the RDA.
- Folate: 1% of the RDA.
- Manganese: 3% of the RDA.
- Potassium: 3% of the RDA.
- Magnesium: 2% of the RDA.
- Phosphorus: 1% of the RDA.
This may not seem like a lot, but try multiplying with 3, 4, or however many cups you drink per day. It can add up to a significant portion of your daily nutrient intake.
But where coffee really shines is in its high content of antioxidants.
The average person who eats a typical Western diet actually gets more antioxidants from coffee than fruits and vegetables… combined.
Coffee Contains Caffeine, A Stimulant That Can Enhance Brain Function and Boost Metabolism
Caffeine is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world.
Soft drinks, tea and chocolate all contain caffeine, but coffee is the biggest source.
The caffeine content of a single cup can range from 30-300 mg, but the average cup is somewhere around 90-100 mg.
Caffeine is a known stimulant. In the brain, it blocks the function of an inhibitory neurotransmitter (brain hormone) called Adenosine.
By blocking adenosine, caffeine actually increases activity in the brain and the release of other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine. This reduces tiredness and makes us feel more alert.
There are numerous studies showing that caffeine can lead to a short-term boost in brain function… including improved mood, reaction time, vigilance and general cognitive function.
Caffeine can also boost metabolism (calories burned) by 3-11% and even increase exercise performance by 11-12%, on average.
However… some of these effects are likely to be short-term. If you drink coffee every day, then you will build a tolerance to it and the effects will be less powerful.
There are also some downsides to caffeine, which I’ll get to in a bit.
Continue reading HERE.