5 Health Benefits of Coffee, Based on Science

Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages.

Thanks to its high levels of antioxidants and beneficial nutrients, it also seems to be quite healthy.

Studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of several serious diseases.

Here are the top 13 health benefits of coffee.

 

 

 1. Can Improve Energy Levels and Make You Smarter

Coffee can help people feel less tired and increase energy levels (1Trusted Source2).

That’s because it contains a stimulant called caffeine — the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world (3).

After you drink coffee, the caffeine is absorbed into your bloodstream. From there, it travels to your brain (4).

In the brain, caffeine blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine.

Many controlled studies in humans show that coffee improves various aspects of brain function — including memory, mood, vigilance, energy levels, reaction times and general mental function.

 

2. Can Help You Burn Fat

Caffeine is found in almost every commercial fat-burning supplement — and for good reason. It’s one of the few natural substances proven to aid fat burning.

Several studies show that caffeine can boost your metabolic rate by 3–11% (10Trusted Source11Trusted Source).

Other studies indicate that caffeine can specifically increase fat burning by as much as 10% in obese individuals and 29% in lean people (12Trusted Source).

However, it’s possible that these effects diminish in long-term coffee drinkers.

 

3. Can Drastically Improve Physical Performance

Caffeine stimulates your nervous system, signaling fat cells to break down body fat (13Trusted Source14).

But it also increases epinephrine (adrenaline) levels in your blood (15Trusted Source16Trusted Source).

This is the fight-or-flight hormone, which prepares your body for intense physical exertion.

Caffeine breaks down body fat, making free fatty acids available as fuel (17Trusted Source18).

Given these effects, it’s unsurprising that caffeine can improve physical performance by 11–12%, on average (20Trusted Source29Trusted Source).

Therefore, it makes sense to have a strong cup of coffee about half an hour before you head to the gym.

 

4. Contains Essential Nutrients

Many of the nutrients in coffee beans make their way into the finished brewed coffee.

A single cup of coffee contains (21):

  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2): 11% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI).
  • Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5): 6% of the RDI.
  • Manganese and potassium: 3% of the RDI.
  • Magnesium and niacin (vitamin B3): 2% of the RDI.

Though this may not seem like a big deal, most people enjoy several cups per day — allowing these amounts to quickly add up.

 

5. May Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a major health problem, currently affecting millions of people worldwide.

It’s characterized by elevated blood sugar levels caused by insulin resistance or a reduced ability to secrete insulin.

For some reason, coffee drinkers have a significantly reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

Studies observe that people who drink the most coffee have a 23–50% lower risk of getting this disease. One study showed a reduction as high as 67% (2223Trusted Source24Trusted Source2526).

According to a large review of 18 studies in a total of 457,922 people, each daily cup of coffee was associated with a 7% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes (27Trusted Source).

 

The Bottom Line

Coffee is a highly popular beverage around the globe that boasts a number of impressive health benefits.

Not only can your daily cup of joe help you feel more energized, burn fat and improve physical performance, it may also lower your risk of several conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

In fact, coffee may even boost longevity.

If you enjoy its taste and tolerate its caffeine content, don’t hesitate to pour yourself a cup or more throughout the day.

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