Coffee, anyone? We’re not just saying that because it’s International Coffee Day on September 29th, a holiday you probably now have the urge to add to your calendar. We feel you. To say we’re fans of this day-starter would be putting it mildly. It’s energy in a cup, and who couldn’t use a little more energy to power them through the day?
Plus, like the other good things in life (wine, sugar, carbs, you get the idea), it’s pretty hard to overdo it on coffee. The Mayo Clinic says the average healthy adult can safely consume 400 mg of coffee a day, or the equivalent of about four cups. So unless you’re guzzling it by the pot, you’re safe to go for that refill when you need it.
And even if you do go a little overboard from time to time, you don’t need to stress. One guy tested the caffeine limits of the human body by drinking the equivalent of 47 cups of coffee every single day for decades. And has mountains of intellectual property to show for it. Now, we’re not advising that kind of excess. But it can definitely ease your mind if you’re drinking more than the Mayo-advised 32 ounces of coffee on a regular basis.
And it’s not just that the java won’t hurt you. Turns out, coffee does more than just keep you from falling asleep at your desk. It can seriously help your health.
Yep, you read that right. That freshly brewed, aromatic black magic that calls to you could actually be just what the doctor ordered. Let’s look at the perks your body gets as your cuppa perks you up.
Think coffee is just beans and water? Think again. Coffee has vitamins B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), and B5 (pantothenic acid), plus potassium, magnesium, and manganese. Now, there aren’t huge amounts of any of these nutrients in any given cup. But considering most of us drink multiple cups a day, they can add up.
And the brain benefits of coffee don’t wear off with the caffeine, either. Multiple studies (check them out here and here) have linked coffee consumption with a significantly reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. If you’re looking for a way to keep your brain sharp for life, look no further than the mug in front of you.
Want a way to take your workouts up a notch? Drinking coffee before you exercise can improve your physical performance by 12%. That’s some serious gains from a pretty easy (and delicious) addition to your routine.
Part of that benefit stems from the fact that the caffeine in coffee acts as a stimulant, increasing the adrenaline in your blood so you have motivation to crush it. But that’s not all. Coffee also tells your body to break down fat. This frees up that fat so you can burn it as fuel, keeping you from feeling gassed to early in your exercise.
Oh, and that fat burning obviously helps you with your healthy weight goals. Not only does coffee tell your body to let go of fat so you can burn it as fuel, but it bumps your metabolism up for three hours after you drink it.
To max out on coffee’s workout benefits without feeling like you’ve got a bunch of acid in your belly as you sweat, drink a cup of strong coffee about 30 minutes before you plan to work out.
Studies have shown that coffee can shrink your risk for:
What’s more, the Mayo Clinic says, “Some studies have found an association between coffee consumption and decreased overall mortality.” In other words, more coffee = less risk of death. We’ll drink to that.
The Western diet has come a long way. You can get an acai bowl virtually anywhere you travel and you might even be able to grab goji berries in your local grocery store. That said, coffee is still the biggest source of antioxidants for most of us.
As a refresher, antioxidants help fight the oxidative stress caused by free radicals in your cells. And oxidative stress heightens your risk for cancer, high blood pressure, inflammation, diabetes, and a bunch of other stuff you really don’t want happening in your body. So, yeah, your morning cup of coffee is basically preventive medicine.
This International Coffee Day, you can feel pretty darn good about treating yourself to that third or fourth cup of coffee. You deserve it and, turns out, your body’s going to put it to work for you.
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