Eight reasons to wake up and smell the coffee

By Kaye Lopez | Photo by Frankie/Unsplash

Recent studies have given more reasons to stick to your caffeine habit. New dietary recommendations for Americans state that it’s safe for adults to consume up to 400 mg of caffeine daily. That’s equivalent to three to five cups of coffee a day.

Lowers risk of developing multiple sclerosis

Researchers studied the impact of coffee consumption by comparing Swedish patients with multiple scleroris (MS) and healthy controls as well as California patients to healthy controls. In the Swedish group, a daily consumption of at least six cups of coffee lowered the risk of MS by 33 percent. In the American group, consuming at least four cups a day also lowered the risk by 33 percent. According to the researchers, it may be that caffeine is protecting brain cells in part by suppressing inflammation.

Helps prevent Parkinson’s Disease

According to Leslie Bonci, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburg Medical Center, another positive effect of coffee on the brain is that it appears to prevent Parkinson’s Disease and quiets the tremors in patients afflicted with the disease.

Protects against liver disease

2014 studies show that coffee can protect the liver against primary sclerosing cholangitis and counteract the harmful effects of alcohol drinking. It also found that those who consume three cups of coffee a day were less likely to have abnormal liver enzymes. Note though that this doesn’t give you license to go on a drinking spree then consume coffee to protect your liver.

Lowers the risk of diabetes

Scores of studies relating coffee and diabetes consistently show that coffee drinkers have a lower diabetes risk. This is more an effect of the antioxidants and polyphenols rather than that of caffeine. Some of these plant nutrients are uniquely found in coffee.

Lowers the risk of heart failure

According to a review of five studies, moderate coffee consumption, about two cups a day, may lower the risk of heart failure.

Protects against certain types of cancer

There seems to be evidence showing that people who drink coffee have a lowered risk of liver and prostate cancer. In women, coffee consumption relates to lower risks of endometrial cancer.

Helps athletic performance

Caffeine has been shown to improve endurance, which allows you to exercise harder and longer. To determine your effective dose, take your weight in pounds, divide it by two and multiply it by three. If you weigh 200 pounds, that would be 100 x 3 = 300 mg, more or less the amount of caffeine in a large coffee.

Increases life span

In new studies published in Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers analyzed the coffee-drinking habits of more 700,000 people in the US and found that the death rate is lower among people who drank coffee within the period. Four cups of coffee lowered the risk by 18 percent and even on one cup a day reduces risk of dying early by 12% based on the TIME article “Coffee Drinkers Really Do Live Longer.”

Your cup of coffee’s saving powers doesn’t always come from caffeine. Many times, it’s the constituents in the bean itself that have protective qualities. As a plant or bean, it has plenty of nutrients that are not affected by roasting. But for expectant mothers, be careful with your coffee consumption and check with your doctor to find out how much you can drink without compromising you  health.