Coffee does more than boost your energy. A few daily cups of coffee may also lower your risk of type 2 diabetes and depression, support weight management, and help you live a longer life. Just keep in mind that experts recommend limiting caffeine if you’re pregnant or nursing.
Caffeine is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about coffee. But coffee also contains antioxidants and other active substances that may reduce internal inflammation and protect against disease, say nutrition experts from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Coffee improve overall health
An analysis of nearly 220 studies on coffee, published in the BMJ in 2017, found that coffee drinkers may enjoy more overall health benefits than people who don’t drink coffee.
The analysis found that during the study period, coffee drinkers were 17% less likely to die early from any cause, 19% less likely to die of heart disease and 18% less likely to develop cancer than those who don’t drink coffee.
Protect against Type 2 diabetes
A 2014 study by Harvard researchers published in the journal Diabetologica tracked nearly 124,000 people for 16 to 20 years.
Those who increased their coffee intake by more than a cup a day over a four-year period had an 11% lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes; those who decreased their intake by one cup per day had a 17% higher risk of developing the disease.
The reason may be the antioxidants in coffee, which reduce inflammation (inflammation contributes to your Type 2 diabetes risk).
If you already have Type 2 diabetes, however, you should avoid caffeinated products, including coffee. Caffeine has been shown to raise both blood sugar and insulin levels in people with the disease.
Boosts energy levels
Coffee contains caffeine, a central nervous system stimulant that is known for its ability to fight fatigue and increase energy levels.
This is because caffeine blocks the receptors of a neurotransmitter called adenosine, and this increases levels of other neurotransmitters in your brain that regulate your energy levels, including dopamine.
One small study found that consuming caffeine increased time to exhaustion during a cycling exercise by 12% and significantly reduced subjective levels of fatigue in participants.
Another study had similar findings, reporting that consuming caffeine before and during a round of golf improved performance, increased subjective energy levels, and reduced feelings of fatigue.
Could support brain health
Although studies have turned up mixed results, some research suggests that coffee may help protect against certain neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
According to one review of 13 studies, people who regularly consumed caffeine had a significantly lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. What’s more, caffeine consumption also slowed the progression of Parkinson’s disease over time.
Another review of 11 observational studies in more than 29,000 people also found that the more coffee people consumed, the lower their risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Additionally, several studies have demonstrated that moderate coffee consumption could be associated with a lower risk of dementia and cognitive decline
May promote weight management
According to some research, coffee could alter fat storage and support gut health, both of which may be beneficial for weight management.
For example, one review of 12 studies concluded that higher coffee consumption could be associated with decreased body fat, especially in men.
In another study, increased coffee intake was linked to decreased body fat in women.
Furthermore, one study found that people who drank one to two cups of coffee per day were 17% more likely to meet recommended physical activity levels, compared with those who drank less than one cup per day.
Higher levels of physical activity could help promote weight management.