We all know that a cup of coffee can wake you up, boost your energy levels, and get your brain going. Our Beauty Insider writers can’t live without it. (We like to say that our website runs on Google and caffeine.)
But coffee gives you more than an energy burst. Studies show that it can also protect you from disease, help you burn fat, and even keep your mind sharp when you grow older!
Coffee boosts your metabolism
A lot of fat-burning supplements contain caffeine, and for good reason! It boosts your metabolic rate by 10% (and some studies say it can go up as much as 25%). It also increases your adrenaline levels, which signals fat tissues to break down and release energy into your blood.
Unfortunately, your body can get desensitized to coffee – so long-term coffee drinkers won’t really get a huge metabolic boost.
Coffee can curb your food cravings
Lots of studies show that having coffee can help decrease appetite (which is another reason it’s found in diet pills). But can it really help you lose weight? Depends on how you drink your coffee. Black coffee is less than 5 calories, but sugar and cream spikes your calorie count to 200 or more. And if you’re ordering a sweet coffee drink and eating a cookie or bagel with it, all bets are off.
Coffee can help you have a more effective workout
A lot of athletes and fitness experts recommend drinking black coffee before exercise. Studies show it can improve physical performance by as much as 15%!
That’s because coffee increases your adrenaline levels and preps your body for intense physical activity. And since it breaks down body fat, you now have a lot free fatty acids available as fuel. For best results, drink strong coffee 30 minutes before you go to the gym.
Coffee can lower your diabetes risk
Research shows that coffee drinkers have a 30% to 50% lower risk for type 2 diabetes. Even one cup of coffee a day can reduce your risk by 7%. Ironically, if you already have diabetes you should limit your coffee intake.
Coffee can prevent gallstones
The Harvard Nurses’ Health Study – which studied 80,000 women over 20 years – found that people who drank more than 4 cups of coffee a day had a 25% lower risk for gallstones than those who drank no coffee at all.
Researchers think the caffeine causes the gallbladder to contract, so it’s less likely to produce stones. But even they think 4 cups of coffee may be too much – keep your daily intake to 2 or 3 cups so you enjoy the health benefits but avoid side effects like migraines or jitteriness.
Coffee protects your brain
Numerous studies link coffee intake with lower risk for neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s.
Researchers believe it’s because of the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents in coffee that protect the brain cells from dying.
Coffee prevents liver disease
Your liver flushes out toxins from your body. However, liver function can be impaired by hepatitis, fatty liver disease, and more. They all lead to liver cirrhosis – or the build up of scar tissue. Once your liver stops working, your body gets clogged up with chemicals and other toxins that can cause other complications.
Some studies show that people who drink 4 cups of coffee a day have an 80% lower risk for cirrhosis. Even just drinking two cups of coffee day can lower your risk by about 44%.
That doesn’t give you an excuse to ruin your liver with excessive alcohol and fatty food! Moderation is key – and if you’ve had a round of drinks with the girls, a cup of coffee can be just what you need to help your liver and relieve your hangover.