Boost Your Health with These 3 Benefits of Coffee
You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out that I love coffee; simply go through just about every one of my videos and you are sure to find a coffee cup in the shot. I wasn’t always a big coffee fan, but that certainly changed while I was in the Navy, where coffee is as good as gold.
Fun fact: The phrase “cup of Joe” is said to have come from the US Navy. During the Wilson presidency, the Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels, became upset about the officers’ mess having so many bottles of wine. He ordered all ships to get rid of the wine and replaced it with coffee, hence, “cup of Joe”.
Caffeine is the most popular drug of choice in the world, and coffee is how most people get it. While coffee is most often drank to help people wake up in the morning, did you know that there are health benefits to drinking coffee? Studies indicate that drinking coffee may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and improve cognitive function.
Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
As long as more Americans are continuing to be overweight or obese, the numbers of type 2 diabetes are only going to continue growing. If you’re black or hispanic or have a number of relatives who have type 2 diabetes, you are at a greater risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes if you don’t manage your weight. When you drink coffee black (that is, no creamer nor sugar), a cup has less than 5 calories, but when you add a plethora of sugars, creamers, and syrups in your fancy drinks at Starbucks, you could be looking at almost 500 calories! That’s about as many calories in an entire meal.
Were you aware that drinking coffee can improve insulin sensitivity? A systematic review and meta-analysis of 30 studies by Mirmiran et al. (2020) found that habitual coffee consumption was associated with improved insulin sensitivity. This could be a key factor in reducing the development of type 2 diabetes.
Chronic inflammation is one of the first indicators offered by our bodies that let us know that something is wrong, and in many cases, it is a contributing factor to the development of type 2 diabetes. In Urgert et al. (2020), researchers found that coffee consumption was associated with lower levels of inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein, suggesting a protective effect against inflammation. If you manage to reduce inflammation in time, you can get yourself out of being pre-diabetic.
Liver fat accumulation can lead to serious health complications and increase the risk of premature death, including being a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. A 2020 study found that coffee consumption was associated with a lower risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and reduced liver fat accumulation, possibly due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of coffee.
Improved Cognitive Function
Let’s be honest, who in the world would not want to have improved cognitive function? Anyone rejecting improved cognitive function might be an insane person or be the least goal-driven person in the world. Whether you’re a student, work in the drive-thru lane at Chick Fil-A, or the leading researcher working on the cure for cancer, all three could benefit from improved cognitive function.
Do you struggle remembering people’s names or find yourself forgetting things? You might want to start drinking some black coffee which may enhance memory. In Fernandez et al. (2018), researchers concluded that caffeine consumption improved long-term memory consolidation, which is the process of stabilizing and strengthening memories. This can be especially helpful for college students on test day, assuming that you’ve done all of your readings, started studying well-ahead of time, and got a full night’s sleep.
Does your job require you analyze and process loads of information on the fly? A 2014 study found that moderate caffeine consumption improved information processing speed, which is the rate at which information can be assessed, analyzed, and acted upon. Anyone from trial attorneys to police officers can benefit from this.
Executive function involves higher-level cognitive processes, such as working memory, decision-making, and problem-solving. A 2014 study published in the research journal, Neuropharmacology, found that moderate caffeine consumption was associated with better executive function, compared to low or high consumption. In other words, drinking massive amounts of coffee doesn’t necessarily turn your brain into a super computer, but it’s probably going to do a number on your stomach and have you running to the bathroom every 20 minutes.
Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Even in the COVID era, it doesn’t even leave a dent on the prevalence of deaths in the US because of cardiovascular disease. While cancer is the leading cause of death for Americans between age 40-60, cardiovascular disease is a close second. By adopting a healthier lifestyle, such as replacing alcoholic beverages and sodas with black coffee, this could help a person reduce their caloric intake.
High blood pressure is commonly referred as a “silent killer” because most people are unaware that their pressure may be on the high end. In a 2011 meta-analysis of 18 studies that was published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that coffee consumption was associated with a modest reduction in blood pressure, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. It’s also important to note that hypertension can also hurt cognitive function.
A poor diet and sedentary lifestyle are the perfect recipe for developing chronic inflammation. Not only is black coffee a low-calorie drink that one can enjoy, but it may help to reduce some of that inflammation. In fact, a 2018 study found that regular coffee consumption was associated with lower levels of inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, which are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Endothelial function refers to the ability of the blood vessels to dilate and constrict in response to various stimuli. When a person is in really poor health and playing in a recreational game of basketball, he may complain of feeling light-headed, and this is usually because of poor endothelial function. A study found that caffeine consumption improved endothelial function, which may help prevent the development of cardiovascular disease.
In conclusion, drinking coffee can have a range of health benefits, including reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and improving cognitive function. However, it is important to consume coffee in moderation and to be aware of the potential negative effects of excessive caffeine consumption. If you are looking to improve your health, adding a moderate amount of coffee to your daily routine may be a simple and enjoyable way to do so.
Coach Julio is an expert in fitness and nutrition, having helped hundreds of busy professionals in their 30s, 40s, and 50s be healthy, as well as offering nutritionist counseling services. He works out of El Paso, Texas, but also offers remote nutritionist counseling and online personal training. Coach Julio’s expertise is backed by over eight years as a personal trainer and a Master’s degree in Nutrition.
For information about working with Coach Julio for online personal training and nutritionist services, visit https://www.365physique.com/bookonline