Is Coffee Good for You? Fourth Estate Explores

Many of us have heard about the ill effects of coffee consumption, but recent studies have shown that a morning cup of coffee also has some positive benefits.

While consuming coffee in large amounts can lead to health disorders, controlled consumption can safeguard the body from several risks and diseases.

So you do not need to feel guilty about your cup of coffee in the morning because a subtle supply of that has also been contributing to maintaining your health.

10 Surprising Health Benefits of Coffee That You May Not Have Known

1. Lowers Depression in Women

A study has shown that women are more susceptible to depression than men, and thus it becomes important for them to be protected from it much more. Almost double the amount of women suffer depression around the world as opposed to the number of men.

Coffee has been known to reduce depression in women. The study concluded that women who drink two or three cups of coffee a day are 15% less likely to have depression, and those who drink four cups a day are 20% less likely. However, more consumption than that could still lead to other problems.

2. Lower Risk of Prostate Cancer in Men

It has been known that men who drink between one and three cups of coffee a day are at 20% less risk of coming down with dangerous forms of prostate cancer. Also, men who drink up to six cups a day experience 60% less chance of dangerous kinds of prostate cancer and are also shielded from prostate cancer by almost 20%.

3. Prevents Alzheimers Disease

There are two ways in which coffee helps reduce the risk of Alzheimers disease. Four or five cups of coffee a day boost levels of granulocyte colony stimulating factor (GCSF) which is one way of being able to fight off the disease. It also reduces the production and deposition of protein beta-amyloid, which is the main cause of the disease.

4. Ward Off Basal Cell Carcinoma

This is the most common and most prominent form of cancer in the world. It is widespread and affects the skin. However recent developments have been able to pinpoint that more than three cups of coffee a day have been successful in reducing the risks of the disease by up to 20% in women and up to 9% in men.

It was also concluded that decaffeinated coffee has not been able to achieve the same results in terms of being able to protect a person from the disease.

5. Reduces Type 2 Diabetes

It has been established that coffee drinkers are less prone to suffering from type 2 diabetes, even if they are susceptible to it because of other factors. The reduction in risk is up to 6% lower for each cup of coffee you drink per day. And even those who are non coffee drinkers now but who were coffee drinkers in the past are less likely to suffer from the disease than those who have not been coffee drinkers at all.

Is coffee bad for your kidneys? High blood sugar from diabetes can damage the blood vessels found in the kidneys and cause them not to work as well as they should. When you have diabetes, it is also common to develop high blood pressure, which can damage the kidneys.

The caffeine in coffee can cause a short and sudden increase in blood pressure, but research has not shown that drinking up to four cups of coffee a day can increase your risk of kidney disease or accelerate your already declining kidney functions. However, you still want to be sure to moderate how much coffee you drink.

6. Reduce the Risk of Parkinsons Disease

Some studies have shown the reduced risk of Parkinsons disease in coffee drinkers. People who drink coffee regularly can be at 50% less risk of getting the disease because coffee consumption increases the amount of dopamine being produced in the body, thus barricading the disease.

7. Sharper Memory

It is known to save your memory with time and keep it sharper, thus more trustable. Women who drink three cups of coffee or more daily have been known to have less memory loss and cognitive decline with time. Also, men who drink more coffee daily are less likely to suffer from cognitive deterioration than those who do not drink coffee.

8. Protecting the Heart

Is caffeine bad for your heart? Coffee has been seen to prevent death from cardiovascular disease in both men and women. Women who drink two or three cups of coffee a day are 25% less susceptible to a death relating to heart disease. Men who are regular coffee drinkers enjoy the antioxidant properties of caffeine, as well as see a reduction in cholesterol from the same.

9. Save Yourself the Exercise Pain

It has been noticed that people who drink a cup of coffee an hour before vigorous workout sessions tend to experience less pain after their workout. Caffeine blocks the release of adenosine, the chemical that triggers pain reactions in the body.

Also, caffeine gives more strength to work out longer while also helping release dopamine to enjoy the workout and make it less stressful at the same time.

Some research has also shown that coffee can change fat storage and support our gut health, which is beneficial for weight management.

Those who consumed one or two cups of coffee per day were found 17% more likely to meet the recommended physical activity levels than those who consumed less than a cup each day or none.

10. Reduced Changes in Stones

Coffee has been known to reduce the risk of gallbladder and kidney stones in both men and women. People who drink four or more cups of coffee in a day have been known to suffer 25% fewer chances of surgery relating to stone formation.

The caffeine increases bile being sent to the gallbladder and encourages it to contract, thus reducing the risk of stones. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee reduces the risk of kidney stones by increasing the amount of urine output.

Is Black Coffee Good for You?

As you can see from the many health benefits outlined above, black coffee is good for you and supports many aspects of your overall health. Not only can black coffee reduce your risk of cancer and type 2 diabetes, but it can also provide you with some much-needed energy to help you stay focused throughout the day.

Black coffee contains tons of antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation in the body. It also contains vitamins B2, B3, B5, manganese, potassium, and magnesium.

However, like with anything in life, you want to drink black coffee in moderation. Too much coffee can also have detrimental effects on your health due to the caffeine. We will go more into depth about this below.

Is Decaf Coffee Good for You?

The same benefits of regular coffee do not always apply to decaffeinated coffee. Is decaf coffee good for you? In a way, yes. It still contains beneficial antioxidants and nutrients your body needs. However, decaf coffee usually contains fewer antioxidants than you would find in a regular cup of coffee. Sometimes, it can be up to 15% lower, in fact.

When you brew one cup of decaffeinated coffee, you won’t have the caffeine levels, but you will have approximately 2.4% of your recommended daily magnesium intake. It also provides you with 4.8% potassium and 2.5% vitamin B3 or niacin.

Let’s explore some of the health benefits of decaf coffee.

Reduced Heartburn Symptoms

One of the more common side effects you experience when drinking coffee is heartburn and acid reflux. Drinking decaf coffee may be a way to lessen this because it has been shown to cause fewer symptoms than regular caffeinated coffee.

Lower Risk of Neurodegenerative Diseases

Both regular coffee and decaf coffee can help with mental and cognitive decline. Decaf coffee may also be able to produce brain neurons which can help with Alzheimers disease and Parkinsons, the same way regular coffee can.

Instead of caffeine, decaf coffee contains chlorogenic acid, which may be responsible for the reduced risk of these neurodegenerative diseases and other health conditions.

Decreased Risk of Rectal Cancer

Some studies have also shown that when you drink two or more cups of decaf coffee each day, you will have a decreased risk of developing rectal cancer by a staggering 48%.

Is Caffeine Bad for You?

Not necessarily. For most people, caffeine consumption is not bad as long as you limit yourself to a 400mg caffeine intake per day. Even with moderate coffee consumption, caffeine intake can cause jitteriness and anxiety.

According to Dr Kilgore, a neurologist at the Veterans Affairs Health Care System in Palo Alto, California and Stanford University School of Medicine, it can also “increase respiratory rate, heart rate, and blood pressure.”

You may also experience caffeine withdrawal, which can happen as quickly as 12 hours after the last coffee. A caffeine withdrawal can last up to two days if you are a regular coffee drinker.

How Much Caffeine Is in a Cup of Coffee?

The amount of caffeine you can find in one 8 ounce cup of brewed coffee is 95 mg. However, this can vary depending on the coffee drink you choose and how much you drink. Here are the approximate caffeine levels for different coffee drink types:

  • A 12 fluid ounce Americano can contain up to 154 mg of caffeine
  • A 12 fluid ounce Cappuccino can contain up to 154 mg of caffeine
  • A 16 fluid ounce latte can contain up to 120 mg of caffeine
  • A 1.5 fluid ounce espresso can contain up to 77mg of caffeine

There are several factors that can ultimately influence how much caffeine is in your coffee, such as the type of coffee beans that are used. Light roast coffee beans, for example, can contain a little more caffeine than dark roasted coffee beans.

The amount of ground coffee beans you use and your brewing method can also make a difference in caffeine content. Drip coffee contains a more moderate amount of caffeine compared to a pour over brew or a cold brew coffee drink that has much more.

How Much Caffeine Is Too Much?

Now that you know how much caffeine you can expect from your favorite coffee drinks, we need to talk about how much caffeine is too much, so you can avoid the negative health effects of an overly caffeinated beverage.

With the rapid consumption of more than 1200 mg of caffeine, the FDA says you can experience toxic effects like seizures. When you consume more than four cups of coffee a day, you can experience a headache, insomnia, nervousness, irritability, frequent urination, a fast heartbeat, and muscle tremors.

Some people are also more sensitive to caffeine than others, so even a moderate coffee intake can cause sleep issues and restlessness.

Is Coffee Dehydrating?

One of the biggest questions coffee drinkers ask is if the coffee counts as part of their water intake. According to Lauren DeWolf, MS, RD, a registered dietician, the water in coffee and other caffeinated beverages can help you meet your daily fluid intake.

Caffeine is also a chemical and can increase urine production, which makes it a diuretic. This can make some feel more dehydrated than not after drinking coffee. However, your body will likely absorb as much of the fluid as possible before expelling the remainder, which means your morning cup of joe could help hydrate you.

Is Espresso Bad for You?

Believe it or not, espresso may be a healthier option than normal coffee types that people reach for throughout the day. Espresso isn’t muddled with sugars and creams because it is enjoyed as it is. You are not adding in those extra fats and calories as you more likely would when trying to sweeten your coffee.

So, you can get the energy boost you need from an espresso without the negative health effects of the added sugar.

Deciding whether to drink espresso or coffee depends on how your body handles the caffeine. Some can drink espresso throughout the day without problems, while others can only handle one or two espresso shots daily.

If you want to take advantage of as many health benefits as possible, you will want to choose coffee over espresso. As we already mentioned, a light to medium roasted coffee can improve your heart health, cognitive functions, metabolic health, and so much more.

Is Tea Healthier Than Coffee?

Now comes the next big question on all of our minds: Is tea healthier than coffee? Which should I choose? While neither choice has proven to be harmful, you want to find what will offer the most health benefits. This debate has no clear-cut winner, as both have their own benefits.

If you want more antioxidants or you want something to help with nausea, then tea is the winner. It is also a good choice if you need to cut down on your sugar intake because you are more likely to use sweeteners with coffee over tea.

Green tea is associated with antioxidants, but you will find even more in white tea. Green tea is packed full of polyphenols in addition to antioxidants and can boost your brain and heart health.

Green tea is also considered one of the least processed herbal tea types since it doesn’t undergo any oxidation. Each tea leaf is harvested and then dried and rolled immediately.

You also need to consider how your body reacts to each caffeinated beverage. Coffee has up to four times more caffeine than herbal tea, so if you are sensitive to this, tea is the better and healthier option for you.

Go Ahead and Enjoy Your Next Cup of Coffee Worry-Free!

While you climb out of bed and drag yourself to your cup of morning coffee, only to be able to look less zombie-like for the first few hours of the day, you should also be aware that you are allowing your body to make certain changes that would prove to be very useful in the long run.