It doesn’t really matter if you’re a huge coffee lover or just a person who has tried it once or twice before – we can all agree that this liquid sustenance is a global phenomenon. Millions of people make it a topic of conversation, posting photos of their perfect cups online, and even using it as a status identifier. However, do you really know how beneficial coffee can actually be? We’ll bet you don’t, so stay with us and let us extol the virtues!
While we don’t want to push the idea of coffee as a “health drink”, it’s no secret that many people drink it daily as part of their routine. So we would like to point out that there are actually benefits and show you how to drink yours the right way, improving the taste of every cup and making it much healthier to drink. Here is everything you need to know about drinking coffee…
First of all, what are the benefits of drinking coffee?
It can boost your energy levels
First things first, coffee is said to boost energy levels and help people feel less tired. This is because of caffeine – a natural stimulant most commonly found in coffee and tea. Caffeine can stimulate the brain and central nervous system and therefore help you stay alert. As this stimulant gets absorbed into the bloodstream, it quickly travels to your brain.
While it is very important to remember that caffeine is a drug, and therefore is artificially stimulating your system, there are actually numerous studies that show that it can actually improve many aspects of brain function. It can also improve your mood, memory, and overall mental function. If you want to feel energized immediately after waking up, it can help to have a cup of coffee after breakfast. It’ll instantly help you feel more awake and energetic, which can be helpful – especially if you’re constantly on the go.
It can reduce the risk for liver diseases, including cirrhosis
In case you weren’t aware of it, there is information that suggests that coffee can reduce the risk of liver cancer, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and even cirrhosis.
Protecting your liver at all costs is essential because this is an organ that carries out hundreds of vital bodily functions. This is particularly true if you tend to drink alcohol regularly, which puts you at a greater risk for developing alcoholic cirrhosis. The good news is that only one cup of coffee a day can decrease the chances of developing this disease. Of course, drinking coffee should never be an excuse for excessive drinking. Besides that, it won’t make this problem go away, so make sure to ask for professional help if you think you need it!
It can improve your physical performance
No matter if you’re a passionate fitness enthusiast or just a novice at working out, you can incorporate a cup of coffee into your pre-workout routine to improve your metabolic rate and burn fat faster. This is because caffeine found in coffee can encourage your body to use fat as fuel while you work out, which may help burn fat and improve your physical performance. Also, drinking coffee before a workout can delay the time it takes your muscles to reach exhaustion by helping the glucose stored in muscles last longer.
Besides that, it’s good to know that caffeine can strengthen your muscles and increase tolerance to fatigue, which is crucial during intense workouts. Some experts claim that 5 mg of caffeine per 1 kg of body weight can improve performance by up to 5% when consumed one hour before a workout. So perhaps give this natural stimulant a try rather than depending on some of the harsher pharmaceutical stimulants that are packaged up for athletes with little respect for overall health.
It can raise your alertness
As mentioned above, coffee can give you more energy and raise your alertness, which is exactly what makes it so popular all across the world. Some studies have shown that the effects of caffeine found in coffee can increase both selective attention, which means focusing on the relevant stimulus, as well as sustained attention, which means maintaining focused attention over a longer period of time. If you need to be super focused and concentrated on a certain task, try having a cup of coffee before you start working on it. This is exactly why many companies now have at least one top quality coffee machine in their break rooms. A good cup of coffee will boost your alertness and improve your performance, both in simple and complex tasks, potentially creating a great ROI.
It can boost your mood and fight depression
Last but certainly not least, coffee can boost your mood and fight depression in more ways than you might imagine. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and therefore boosts the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which are known for elevating mood. No matter if you love to savor it in your alone time or if you are all about coffee with friends or coworkers, it could help to lift your mood and help you accomplish daily tasks.
How to drink coffee the right way?
Drink your coffee sugar-free
Even though a large number of people love to add sugar to their coffee, it’s not the best idea. The reasons for that are numerous, and the first one is the fact that sugar is one of the worst ingredients in the modern diet. Nutritionists almost universally agree that it should be avoided as much as possible. Our sugar dependency can result in unstable blood sugar levels that cause fatigue, headaches, and mood swings. Consuming too much sugar can also lead to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
It’s worth noting that the quality of your coffee is imperative. Once you stop adding sugar to your coffee, you’ll realize that there are so many types of amazing roasts and regional variations. Eventually you’ll be able to spot the differences between those as there’s no sugar to distract you while staying healthy and energized.
Opt for a more sustainable and eco-friendly coffee-drinking way
If you’re one of those people who are doing everything they can to help save the planet and be more eco-friendly – welcome to the club, you aren’t the only one! Many people these days are switching from conventional coffee drinking to more sustainable ways, which is a simple way for you to add another “live better” tip to your list.
Carry your own reusable cup wherever you go. This is particularly important for those constantly on the go or who work on the move. If you have a more stationary job, get a fabulous mug for your workplace, as this is where you spend a lot of time every single day.
Stopping the use of disposable cups every time you want to enjoy a cup of coffee is a great step toward creating less waste. Even though the majority of those disposable cups are recyclable, it’s still too much waste in the long run and we know that most don’t actually get recycled. Don’t be afraid to make a difference and inspire people to follow, our planet will be more than grateful!
Don’t have coffee only for breakfast
Yes, we know that a lot of people are always in a rush – especially in the morning, if they don’t have enough time to eat healthy breakfast before heading straight to work. So, you’re running late for work, breakfast isn’t an option, and you decide to have a cup of coffee on an empty stomach? Well, that’s the last thing you should do if you want to keep your stomach healthy in the long run. The acidic makeup of the coffee can wreak havoc on your system. Also, our bodies run on essential nutrients such as protein, carbs, fats, minerals, vitamins, fiber, etc. These are vital for our overall health and well-being, which means that skipping them altogether and drinking coffee instead is beyond wrong. Just because coffee can suppress your appetite and boost your energy levels, but you should never use it as a meal replacement or to lose weight in that way. Bear that in mind and have nutritious breakfast no matter what.
Top your coffee up with cinnamon
Adding a touch of cinnamon to your coffee not only complements the flavor of most roasts, it will upgrade the overall taste of your coffee and take it to a whole new level, but it also has numerous health benefits you shouldn’t overlook. First, cinnamon is packed with antioxidants that can protect your cells from getting damaged by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules produced by your body as a reaction to stress and other environmental pressures. Apart from premature aging, these can also cause different types of diseases – including several types of cancers. Antioxidants in cinnamon have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal effects, which is why you should start adding this fantastic spice to your coffee.
Use filtered water only
Many people think that using filtered water to make their coffee isn’t necessary because they will boil the water anyway. However filtered water is always a better option – not just because of the taste, but because its health benefits are unmatched. Tap water in many countries isn’t really appropriate for drinking. This is because of the plumbing systems made from old pipes that can sometimes feature unwanted heavy metals such as copper or lead. Also, tap water often contains a variety of chlorine disinfection byproducts that can be harmful over time. If you want to prevent potential health problems and still enjoy a cup or two of coffee every day, make sure to switch from regular tap water to filtered water. This is the only way to stay safe and healthy, so take it into consideration and you won’t make a mistake!
Make sure to always use paper filters
If you’re a huge fan of unfiltered brewed coffee and you love to drink it on a day-to-day basis, you must know that it can negatively affect your health in the long run. This is because unfiltered coffee contains two compounds – kahweol and cafestol – which can raise both LDL and total cholesterol levels. Unfortunately metal and fabric re-useable filters have not proven to be helpful in filtering out the two compounds so in order to prevent consumption. It is important then to source recycled paper or even bamboo paper filters for your coffee making. If you are only enjoy an occasional cup, re-useable filters or non-filtered are fine.
Hopefully these ideas have given you some food (or drink) for thought, and you can make some small adjustments to enhance your routine.