It’s the beginning of yet another new year, which means that everywhere you look, people are making changes. Maybe you’re one of the many promising that 2015 will be a year of health, wealth, and happiness. If so, we offer you hearty congratulations and one surprising suggestion: you might want to drink more coffee.
Yes, that’s right: I said more coffee. So often our quest for health leads to less—less chocolate, less television, less wine and beer, less fun. That’s why I was so excited to learn that a moderate amount of coffee (that is, between two and five cups a day) is served up with plenty of benefits. Living a healthy lifestyle is as easy as pouring another cup! If all this seems too good to be true, keep reading.
1. Coffee is a great source of antioxidants.
Most people think of red wine and chocolate as good (and fun!) ways to get their antioxidants. In reality, coffee is actually the number one source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are great because they can help prevent cancer and heart disease, and they’re present in both regular coffee and decaf, so drink up!
2. Coffee can help you become a better athlete.
According to scientists, a cup of coffee before you toe the starting line of race can give you an athletic edge. Caffeine increases the number of fatty acids in the bloodstream, which allows people to run and pedal longer. So make sure you hit the Port City Java drive-thru on your way to your next 5K or half-marathon!
3. Coffee makes you smarter.
I didn’t need a scientist to tell me this one, but it’s always nice when research and common sense agree. Caffeine blocks the neurotransmitters that normally calm the brain and cause sleepiness, which opens the door to efficiency, productivity, and creativity. (This explains why so many great artists were devout coffee drinkers!)
4. Coffee burns calories.
By now you’re probably thinking coffee is a miracle drink, and I’m inclined to agree. Studies show that caffeine can increase your metabolic rate by 3-11%. The better your metabolism, the more efficient your body is at burning calories and fat. (It also helps to hold the handmade whipped cream on your Java Super Shake, but what’s the fun in that?)
5. Coffee: it’s practically a vitamin!
Did you know coffee contains a number of essential nutrients? It’s true! In fact, a single cup of coffee contains 11% of your daily vitamin B2 needs, 6% of your B5, 3% of your manganese and potassium, and 2% of your magnesium and niacin. As for what all those important nutrients do, well, you might want to ask an actual doctor. I’m just here for the coffee.
6. Coffee can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
While coffee can decrease your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, it’s the numbers for Alzheimer’s that I find most impressive. In one study, researchers discovered that participants who drank three to five cups of coffee per day had about a 65% decreased chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia later on in life. Forget champagne—from now on, I’m toasting to my health with coffee.
7. Coffee makes you happy.
Let’s face it—not all benefits need to be tested and quantified by scientists and doctors. There are some truths we just know deep in our coffee-loving souls. The fact that coffee makes us happy, eases us into our day, and makes us much more pleasant to be around—especially first thing in the morning—is reason enough to pour ourselves a cup.
Happy New Year! Here’s to another year full of health, wealth, happiness—and coffee!