Wake Up and Smell the Coffee (and its benefits!)
Coffee: friend or foe? The age-old puzzle has plagued java junkies for decades, but good news lies ahead. Recent insights point to a hefty list of health benefits, signaling a positive change in coffee’s seedy reputation.
A newly released study[i] boasts hydrating qualities in the beloved black nectar. Contrary to previous notions linking coffee with dehydration, the study directly compared hydration levels of those drinking water to those drinking equal amounts coffee…and guess what? There were no significant differences between groups! Myth busted.
Coffee is also believed to enhance memory functions. In a study at Johns Hopkins University[ii], participants who consumed caffeine could better distinguish minor differences in photographs than the non-caffeinated group. Participants who took in 200 and 300 milligrams of caffeine showed similar results, though both groups outperformed those who only ingested 100 milligrams. Scientists point to 200 milligrams as the optimal amount, which can be found in 12 to 16 ounces of coffee, depending on the roast[iii].
The above are general to caffeine of all forms, though coffee gets the gold prize for its antioxidant-rich composition that links it to more benefits, including:
- 80% reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease and cirrhosis of the liver [iv]
- 25% reduced risk of colon cancer[v]
- 15% reduced risk of depression[vi]
- A lowered risk of heart attacks (especially in women!), endometrial cancer, some breast cancers, and type 2 diabetes[vii]
Note that these claims are based on moderate caffeine consumption. In the hydration study, the participants drank 27 ounces per day, and most recommendations are based upon 1-3 eight ounce cups per day. So, don’t let this trigger a coffee binge. Keep the following in mind before you guzzle the whole pot:
- Drinking coffee late at night is not the best idea. You need sleep.
- Ditch the cream and sugar (read: calories and fat). Try cinnamon for a hint of sweetness.
- High doses can cause anxiety, increased heart rate, and headaches in some. Know your body before you over consume.
- Be wary of caffeine when pregnant. Fetuses aren’t able to efficiently metabolize caffeine, and intake could lead to decreased nutrition. [viii]
The takeaway message: sip your cup of joe in moderation, and free of guilt.
- Posted by holx-admin
- On May 30, 2014