There are so many benefits to drinking good quality coffee that it’s difficult to know where to begin. That's why we enlisted the help of Julie King, nutritional therapist and director of High Performance Development, to take us through them.
The most obvious benefits are increased energy, focus and concentration and a significant boost to cognitive function. This is, after all, the primary reason most people reach for a cup of coffee first thing.
Julie King - Nutritional Therapist
What people may not realise, however, is that coffee has a number of benefits that are more difficult to detect. Read on to find out how drinking more coffee could improve your wellbeing and why it might just be one of the healthiest drinks around:
1. Boosts Brain Function
Caffeine is a stimulant that works by blocking a inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine in the brain. When adenosine is blocked, the number of other neurotransmitters - such as norepinephrine and dopamine - are encouraged to increase, resulting in enhanced firing of neurons.
This neural firing has been linked to improved brain function and enhanced cognitive ability in a number of areas including attention, memory, focus, mood, energy, reaction time and alertness.
2. It’s High in Antioxidants
Did you know that coffee is actually the number one source of antioxidants in the western world? Antioxidants are important health-giving compounds found in olive oil, dark chocolate, berries, leafy green vegetables and red wine. But they are prominent in coffee too. Antioxidants are key to helping the body to fend off free radicals, and are really important for maintaining a well-functioning cardiovascular system.
3. May Improve Your Mood and Help Fight Depression
When it comes to mental health, scientists have shown that caffeinated coffee may have a positive impact on mood, with a small pilot study indicating that those who consumed caffeinated coffee experienced a greater mood boost than those who drank decaffeinated. In both groups, however, the compounds in the coffee were found to improve mood to a greater or lesser degree.
In one study, carried out by Harvard University, it was found that drinking four cups of coffee per day could reduce your risk of becoming depressed by up to 20%.
Furthermore, the ritual of taking the time to make a coffee - brewing it slowly, using your favourite cup and slowing down to really enjoy the sensation of drinking it - can have a positive and lasting impact on your wellbeing.
4. Could Protect Against Heart Disease and Stroke
Contrary to popular thought, scientists are beginning to unearth the potential health benefits of coffee when it comes to protecting against heart disease. In one study, people who drank more coffee had a reduced likelihood of heart failure; the researchers found that in the coffee drinking group the risk of heart failure decreased by between 5% and 12% per cup of coffee per day, compared with the non-coffee drinking group.
Furthermore, studies have demonstrated that coffee drinkers have a 20% lower risk of stroke.
Whilst it is often thought that coffee increases blood pressure, there are a number of new studies that contradict this fact.
It’s important to note that these benefits have only been seen in drinkers of caffeinated coffee, and decaffeinated coffee doesn’t seem to have the same effect.
5. Could Protect Against Type Two Diabetes
Type two diabetes affects millions of people around the globe and is characterised by insulin resistance and an inability of the body to efficiently metabolise sugars. Drinking coffee every day could lower your risk of getting type two diabetes by up to 50%, according to medical researchers.
Scientists are not totally certain why coffee seems to improve resilience against type two diabetes, but it could be something to do with the fact that coffee has been found to stabilise blood sugar.
6. May Protect You from Neurodegenerative Diseases
Scientists have observed that regular coffee drinkers are up to 65% less likely to succumb to Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease in later life. Furthermore, the instance of dementia appears to be significantly reduced in people who enjoy one or more cups of coffee per day.
Whilst there is no known cure for the above diseases, establishing a daily coffee habit - in addition to eating healthily, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly - could help to prevent their onset.
7. Can Help with Weight Control
Coffee could play an important role in fitness and weight control. Not only has enjoying a cup of coffee before hitting the gym been correlated with increased motivation, improved performance, better stamina and increased muscular endurance, but studies have shown that drinking coffee can improve your physical performance by up to 12%. And, if that weren’t enough, enjoying a cup of coffee first thing can also boost your metabolic rate, increasing your body’s fat-burning potential as you go about your day.
8. May Protect your Liver
Coffee drinkers who drink four or more cups a day have a significantly reduced risk of suffering from cirrhosis, with some studies demonstrating that they are up to 80% less likely to contract the disease.
Coffee may also play a role in protecting against other diseases of the liver, including hepatitis and fatty liver disease.
The pioneering team at Artisan work hard to create delicious coffee that everybody can enjoy. We have a coffee for every taste and for every mood. Once your dad has decided which Artisan Coffee Co. blends he loves the most, he has the option to subscribe to receive fresh, delicious coffee direct to his door every month. All our plans are easily customisable, totally flexible and tailored to your individual taste and budget. So, what are waiting for? This Father’s Day, give your dad the gift of coffee as it was always meant to be.
9. Could Lower your Cancer Risk
One in two of us will get cancer in this lifetime. It’s a scary statistic, but research shows that coffee drinkers may have a reduced likelihood of contracting both liver and colorectal cancers (the third and fourth most common forms of cancer worldwide, respectively).
Studies show that regular coffee drinkers have, on average, a 40% reduced risk of developing liver cancer, and a 15% reduced risk of developing colorectal cancer.
10. Contains Essential Micronutrients
Coffee contains a host of micronutrients vital to the proper functioning of the body. These include riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), manganese, magnesium and potassium.
The Bottom Line
Not only is coffee a delicious addition to your daily routine, it also delivers a whole host of potential health benefits.
It is important to remain mindful that your ability to tolerate and metabolise caffeine is totally unique and, for the most part, inherited. If you tend to drink coffee well into the afternoons and have issues with falling - or staying - asleep, it is likely that you are a slow caffeine metaboliser by nature. If this sounds like you, you should consider drinking your last cup of caffeinated coffee before midday and perhaps switch up your afternoon brew and enjoy a decaffeinated blend such as The Dreamer.
Overall, the science suggests that the optimal amount of coffee you should be drinking to experience its health benefits in full is between two to five cups per day, drunk between 9am and noon if possible.
Individual caffeine tolerance should be always taken into account, but if you enjoy coffee and tolerate it well, then go forth and drink. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
High Performance Development is a training and development company who develop bespoke training interventions through discussion. At High Performance Development it is our aim to generate new and inspiring training programmes that challenge and motivate individuals, teams and organisations. This enables higher levels of performance, in order to achieve outstanding results, especially in today’s turbulent times.
By drawing upon our team’s experiences from the business world, military operations and the sporting arena, we design bespoke training programmes and develop these through discussion with our client to ensure specific training needs are met. For more info, visit www.highperformancedevelopment.co.uk