3 Amazing Health Benefits of Drinking More Coffee
I don’t know about you, but I want to live forever.
I also want to stay healthy and active for as much of that as I can.
And while I know that there are many things out of my control, I also know that there’s plenty that I can do to prepare myself. Things like exercise, eating right, keeping my brain active, having a purpose, and so on.
If you think about it, people training for longevity are a lot like athletes who want to prolong their career and prevent injury.
Back when I was playing baseball, I followed my routine religiously. Maybe to the point of obsession.
There were always 2 days for working out, 2 days for shoulder strengthening, and we did some kind of running every day except for Sundays. If we’re being honest, I usually did a sprint workout on Sundays too. I did, however, take days off when the team didn’t have a game…most of the time.
All of it was to prevent injury and maximize performance for as long as possible.
The strange thing was that the workload never seemed like a grind for me. Maybe it was because I loved what I was doing, or it could have been that I understood the importance of it. I guess it even could have been that the average pro sports career is really short, so there was some urgency behind preventative maintenance.
The difference is that this type of urgency doesn’t normally transfer into every-day life.
As young, healthy adults we don’t often see the importance of working out and eating right today because old age seems like it’s a lifetime away.
I mean seriously, does it really matter if you have McDonald’s 3x per week when you’re 24?
My argument is that it does. It all matters, but I get the other side of the argument too.
We want to be healthy and strong but outside of looking good in the mirror the benefits are really hard to see without getting testing done.
From the outside we can’t tell if our heart is healthy, or if our liver is functioning at its peak, or if we have risks for Diabetes or Alzheimer’s. Most of us just ignore that stuff and go about our lives doing as we please.
Eating terribly, working out sporadically and strengthening bad habits because “Who cares? I’m young, I’ll change when it actually matters!”
But here’s the thing…it does matter.
What we do today will manifest itself at some point down the line, good or bad.
I’m no doctor, but it makes perfect sense if you sit back and think about it.
Taking care of yourself when you’re young HAS to have an effect on your quality of life when you’re old. It has to enable you to be active for longer and prolong your functional life.
How could it not?
If you follow the same logic that I do, it would make sense to start working towards being better in every area of your health and fitness as soon as possible.
My recommendation would be to start with the small things and build them into bigger habits as you go along.
Like, for example, switching out energy drinks or other synthetic caffeine blends for black coffee. Something seemingly small like that can have an enormous impact.
In fact, coffee may have more health benefits than you realize. It really is a powerful leverage point for anyone looking to change their diet for the better.
And since most of us drink it daily, I thought that it would be interesting to dive in and explore just how healthy it is.
I won’t get into all of the health benefits of coffee here, but let’s take a look at the top 3.
Benefit #1: Alzheimer’s Prevention
I’ll be the first to point out that coffee is not, and never will be a cure for anything. But it is an effective way to lower your risk of several serious conditions.
Studies have shown that caffeine consumption over a long period of time can actually help to ward off the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
The cool thing about coffee though, is that it’s more than just a vehicle for caffeine. Roasted and brewed coffee also contains many beneficial compounds that contribute to our health.
One of these compounds is known as Phenylindanes, and a recent study found that it can help protect against age related cognitive decline.
One of the doctors in the study also points out that coffee contains natural compounds which are much preferred to any synthetic compounds derived in a lab. In their words “Mother Nature is a much better chemist than we are, and Mother Nature is able to make these compounds.”
Benefit #2: Improved Heart Health
Remember back in the day when everyone thought coffee intake was bad for your heart?
Well, turns out they were wrong.
One study found that drinking coffee was actually “linked to a lower risk of heart failure, stroke and coronary heart disease.”
And here’s the best part…these benefits increased with every extra cup of coffee consumed, up to 6 cups!
Benefit #3: Diabetes Prevention
Want to hear a crazy stat?
Nearly 10% of the US population has Type 2 Diabetes. 10%!
As it turns out, there’s a natural way to help lessen your risk of developing this disease. Drink coffee, a lot of it.
In fact, studies show that “the associations were strong, followed a dose-response relation (higher coffee intake, lower diabetes incidence), and appeared to be independent of potentially confounding dietary and lifestyle factors. (Source)”
If that’s not an endorsement for including more coffee in your diet, I don’t know what is.
OK I get it, I should drink more coffee! But how much is too much?
If you’re like me, drinking coffee is probably a part of your daily routine.
Wake up, drink coffee. Mid-day, drink coffee. Post-dinner, have decaf. Sometimes.
That probably adds up to around 5-6 cups per day, depending on how big your mug is. If you have one of those bucket sized ones you may be pushing 10+, which would be impressive, but probably not a great idea.
Scientists have pinpointed 400mg of caffeine (about 4 cups of coffee) as the optimum recommended amount.
I’d take this with a grain of salt though, by no means should you go around trying to measure the caffeine content in your coffee. I’d even say it’s too much work to record your intake in a journal to see how much you’re drinking.
My advice would be to be mindful of your consumption. Have some in the morning and some in the afternoon and you’ll be good to go.
What’s the best way to drink your coffee?
Black, hands down.
Adding in a bunch of synthetic creamers and flavors might taste good but it also can counteract all of the health benefits that we’ve already talked about.
However, there are some natural options like heavy cream, coconut milk, and almond milk that you can use if drinking your coffee black just isn’t an option.
If you think about it, coffee is kind of like nature’s wonder drug.
It’s packed with loads of antioxidants and compounds that can help keep you healthy long-term.
Again, it’s not a cure for anything, but it can help prevent Alzheimer’s and Diabetes. It also has been linked to better overall heart health if consumed in moderation.
Plus, it has caffeine!
Seriously, does it get any better?
Natural compounds that keep you healthy and caffeine for an energy boost, it’s the ultimate combination.
And even though none of us will live forever, maybe it can help us get a little bit closer.
Are you with me?
Ok, it’s your turn…Which one of these benefits is most important to you? Do you drink coffee for the health benefits or the caffeine hit?