Coffee has always been a favorite drink of musicians, poets, and thinkers. Honore de Balzac usually drank up to 60 cups of coffee per day and Voltaire drank 50 cups of coffee a day. There are still disputes regarding the effect of coffee on the human body. There are thousands of chemicals contained in coffee beans, and only half of them have been well studied. And all their properties are incredibly healthful. Let’s review the benefits of coffee for our health.
1. Coffee Improves Body Function
When caffeine stimulates the nervous system, it sends signals to other body parts. Fat cells receive a signal to break down fat deposits. According to studies, caffeine burns up to 29% of fat in thin people and up to 10% in people who are overweight. When fats enter the bloodstream and turn into free fatty acids, the body can use them as a source of energy. Drinking coffee before a workout is very effective since caffeine increases adrenaline levels in the blood, which prepares the body for intense physical activity.
2. Coffee Relieves Muscle Pain After Exercise
According to a study, two cups of coffee after training helped relieve muscle pain. During this experiment, participants drank coffee after performing eccentric muscle exercises. An hour later they were asked to rate the intensity of pain on a scale from 0 to 100. It turned out that coffee with caffeine significantly reduced pain sensitivity.
3. Coffee Helps Fight Depression
Caffeine increases dopamine production. This is the neurotransmitter which is responsible for movement, memory, and thinking. Increasingly produced dopamine is associated with a sense of pleasure. Therefore, coffee helps to fight depression.
According to a study at Harvard University, women who drink coffee have a 20% lower risk of depression. Another study found that those who drink coffee are 53% less likely to commit suicide. Participants in both studies drank four cups of coffee per day.
4. Coffee Is Good for Liver Health
Some people think that coffee can even protect against cirrhosis. A study by Singaporean scientists confirmed that two or more cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of developing cirrhosis by about 66%. Other researchers have found that coffee can also reduce the risk of liver cancer, and decaffeinated coffee lowers the level of liver enzymes in the blood.
5. Coffee Can Prevent Gallstones
Gallstones are solid formations in the gallbladder. They appear due to an improper diet (too much cholesterol), gallbladder problems, and due to some diseases such as cirrhosis.
The fact that caffeine helps prevent gallstones was confirmed by a study in which scientists over a 10 year period observed coffee consumption and gallstones in 46,000 men. Another study in which women participated, yielded the same results.
6. Coffee Can Reduce the Risks for Type 2 Diabetes
An analysis of 18 studies confirmed that each cup of coffee reduces the risk of diabetes by about 7%. Coffee affects a sex-hormone binding globulin. This protein controls the activity of the sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen) which play a role in diabetes. The authors of the study noted that there is an inverse relationship between drinking coffee and diabetes risks. By increasing the level of sex hormones in plasma, coffee inhibits diabetes.
7. Coffee Reduces the Risk of Skin Cancer
Basal cell carcinoma is one of the most common forms of skin cancer. Although it’s usually not fatal, it leads to irreversible skin flaws. A study by American scientists has shown that caffeine intake reduces the risk of skin cancer. The least risk was observed in women who consumed three cups of coffee per day. Another study found that coffee might help prevent melanoma.