If you’re anything like me, you are incapable of functioning without your first cup of coffee in the morning. Okay, not like you can’t function, but you’d need bail money and what would be the fun in that when you could be using that money for shoes?
There are many of us that are from the Clan of Caffeine, but the media keep warning us about the health risks. Like we’re ingesting high-grade cocaine as opposed to a few harmless grounds of heaven. It’s hard to deal with the coffee-guilt that gets piled on, but there’s good news, brethren!
Turns out that supping a daily cup actually has some pretty big benefits. So in honour of UK Coffee Week, we’re spilling the beans about why your caffeine hit might not be so bad after all….
1. Coffee makes you happier
Fact. And if this isn’t enough reason to indulge then I don’t know what else to tell ya, but yeah, I guess you weren’t asking me, so here’s some advice from a qualified nutritionist: “The smell of coffee alone can have a positive effect on people,” explains Frida Harju, in-house nutritionist at leading health and fitness app, Lifesum. “Caffeine has a reputation among researchers as a vitality and happiness booster. It has also been shown that the chemical reactions caused by caffeine on our brain, may well have a positive impact in the fight against depression. Additionally, the presence of antioxidants in coffee also contribute to making us feel happier.”
2. It can help you lose weight
You see?? Not only is it super low in calories, coffee can also help you shift the weight faster. “Black coffee is a really good choice for its low calorie content,” explains nutritionist Frida Harju. “Most importantly, the caffeine in coffee can help to speed up your metabolism, making the rate at which your body burns fat faster. One or two cups a day has been shown to make a difference.”
3. It can help you with your workout
Look, don’t be silly. Don’t call my name if you have a full fat mocha choca frappa diabetes-chino. That’s not coffee, that’s just weight gain in a pretty cup if you do it daily. But normal coffee? Studies have shown that caffeine consumption increases adrenaline, which can help increase physical performance. “Caffeine stimulates the nervous system into producing natural forms of adrenaline,” explains Luke Thornton health and wellness instructor for Discount Supplements. “This in turns sends signals to the fat cells in your body to break down fat for energy.”
Louise Johnston, Head Nutritionist at Results with Lucy suggests having a strong black coffee as a pre-workout drink because it increases the blood flow to the muscles which in turn gives you better results. “The increased blood flow will also give you more energy to utilise in your workouts and up the oxygen levels in your blood which can help benefit your heart.”
And it can keep you going longer on the treadmill too. “Studies show that supplementation of caffeine (between 3-6mg/kg) is effective in reducing perceived exertion, meaning that a six-minute mile feels like a seven-minute mile,” explains Pamela Nisevich Bede a sports nutritionist for global healthcare company Abbott.
4. It makes you smarter
This thing I’m telling you is not an ordinary something o. Need to impress your boss? Go for a quick test? Grab a cup of the black stuff pre-meeting or exam hall. All your cylinders will just be firing anyhow! “Drinking coffee in moderation boosts blood circulation and its flow to the brain because of the high caffeine content,” explains Frida Harju “Not only does it make you more alert and therefore better able to take in new information it improves your brain’s capability to form new short term memories. The benefits have been shown to be effective for up to 24 hours, so great if you are cramming for exams.”
5. Guess what? It’s great for your heart too!
Oh, you mad? Stay mad! We coffee-drinkers are winning at life! Recent research has shown that drinking coffee in moderation (approximately 3-5 cups per day) may in fact protect you against heart disease. “Coffee has been shown to achieve this by helping you avoid the build-up of coronary artery calcium which can clog up your arteries, leading to an increased risk of heart attack,” explains Frida Harju.
6. Coffee can help protect against Alzheimer’s
According to the Institute of Scientific Information on Coffee, research suggests regular, life-long moderate coffee consumption at 3-5 cups per day is associated with a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease, with evidence suggesting that coffee drinkers can reduce their risk of developing the disease by up to 20%.
7. Coffee can improve your memory
Oops, I nearly forgot this one but after my morning cuppa, I can confirm that studies have found that moderate coffee intake can help boost memory and cognitive performance due to the levels of caffeine. “Caffeine acts as a stimulant,” explains Luke Thornton health and wellness instructor for Discount Supplements. “When we drink caffeine rich liquids like coffee our brains block the inhibitory neurotransmitter Adenosine. Adenosine is the energy molecule attached to sugars. When this happens our bodies other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine (a chemical naturally produced like a hormone) and dopamine (a precursor to adrenaline) increase and the body starts to produce more and fire these into the blood stream. In turn this improves brain function, memory, mood, energy and reaction times.”
Culled from Yahoo.
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