Whether you take a black cold brew or a sugary, milky liquid, you likely see your cup of Joe as a source of energy and a ritual, not a part of your nutrition. In reality, though, you might be doing your body a favor by drinking it.
Let’s dig into the nutritional values and health advantages of this popular drink and explore ways to maximize the perks you get from it.
The nutritional profile of a cup of coffee varies based on everything you add to it. Your preferences play a vital role in the overall calories, macro, and micronutrients you receive.
When it comes to a plain black brew, it has no significant macronutrient amounts. There are only 2-4 calories per serving, but it packs quite a punch in the micronutrient department. Notably:
While you can’t get the recommended daily amounts from coffee alone, it boosts your overall intake, which is particularly beneficial if you’re on a standard Western diet.
Tip: If you’re looking to reduce your caloric intake, cutting out milk and sugar from your daily drink is a great option. As Good Fika suggests, look for blends with tasting notes that you enjoy rather than adding them later as calorie-dense liquids and sweeteners.
While various claims remain anecdotal, many studies confirm that coffee certainly has a spot in a healthy lifestyle.
Caffeine gets absorbed into your bloodstream, from where it travels to the brain. Once it arrives, it blocks inhibitory neurotransmitters, improving various aspects of body and brain function. Notably, you could see improvements in:
- Memory retention
- General mood
- Vigilance and awareness
- Reaction times
Improved Physical Performance
Coffee stimulates the nervous system, increasing adrenaline levels and breaking down fatty acids for fuel. As a result, you display enhanced physical performance, whether you’re lifting heavy weights or taking a stroll.
Studies show that caffeine can boost your metabolic rate by as much as 3-11%, depending on your lean muscle mass. The effects die down after several hours, but the numbers are nevertheless admirable.
Lower Diabetes Risk
Studies observe that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The underlying reasons remain unclear, but given the severity of this widespread condition, that’s good news anyway.
Neurodegenerative Disease Protection
Alzheimer’s and dementia are challenging conditions for seniors, impossible to cure once they develop. Research remarks that the beverage significantly lowers the chances of forming such issues in the first place.
Moreover, caffeine could reduce the danger of Parkinson’s, another frequent disorder without a known remedy.
Finally, remember that you can have too much of a good thing. Excessive amounts of liquid energy can cause the following issues:
- Insomnia and restlessness. Caffeine in large amounts can harm your sleep schedule, especially if you down a cup close to bedtime.
- Heightened anxiety. People with anxiety disorders could experience more intense physical symptoms after a cup.
- High LDL cholesterol levels. Coffee beans can raise your LDL levels, which could be harmful to those with cholesterol sensitivities.
- Pregnancy risks. Fetuses are much less resilient than people, and what the mom consumes affects the baby, too. The consensus is clear – stop or reduce your intake during pregnancy.
Take your Java in moderation – think up to four cups a day – and you’ll avoid these side effects.
Overall, this beverage can play a significant role in a generally healthy life. Plus, it helps you appreciate your day more, and it tastes good – what’s not to love?
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