By Stefan Ianev 

After water and tea, coffee is the next most popular beverage in the world. 

Not only does coffee taste great, but it also contains high levels of antioxidants, and it has numerous health benefits. 

Of course, coffee is also high in caffeine, which is responsible for some of its health benefits. However, drinking too much caffeine is not desirable either, as it can cause side effects such as anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, irritability, and GI distress [1].

If you limit your coffee intake to 2-3 cups a day, with your last cup no later than 4pm, you can reap the benefits without the unwanted side effects. There is no reason to absolutely cut coffee out of your diet. 

So, without further ado, here are the top 5 benefits of drinking coffee. 

Increased Energy and Motivation

As we mentioned, coffee contains caffeine, which is a powerful stimulant that has been shown to improve mood, increase motivation, and decrease fatigue [2,3]. This is a big benefit especially in the later states of a diet when fatigue and lack of motivation starts to kick in. 

Increased Fat Burning and Energy Expenditure

In addition to increasing energy and motivation, caffeine also increases fat oxidation and drives up energy expenditure. Studies have shown that a single dose of 100-200mg of caffeine, which is equivalent to 1-2 cups of coffee, can increase resting energy expenditure by as much as 3-11% [4,5].  

Once again, this becomes important in the later stages of a diet when metabolic rate slows down and weight loss plateaus. 

Increased Aerobic and Anaerobic Performance 

IIn addition to the thermogenic and psychological benefits, caffeine also increases both aerobic and anaerobic performance [6]. This is important, especially in the later stages of a diet because improved performance in resistance training exercise helps spare muscle mass, while improved performance in cardiovascular exercise helps drive up energy expenditure from physical activity, in addition to the increased resting expenditure.

Reduces Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Coffee consumption, including decaffeinated coffee has been associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. A 2009 systematic review with data from 18 observational studies with information on 457,922 participants reported that every additional cup of coffee consumed in a day was associated with a 7% reduction in the excess risk of diabetes relative risk [7]. 

A 2019 systematic review looking at the effects of coffee consumption on glucose metabolism reported that coffee may improve the glucose metabolism by reducing the glucose levels and improving insulin sensitivity [8].

Increased Lifespan 

Lastly, coffee consumption has been associated with a 20-26% reduced risk of death in healthy populations, and a 30% lower risk of death in individuals with type 2 diabetes [9,10]. This effect is likely due to the high antioxidant levels which coffee contains. 

 

References 

  1. Evans J, Richards JR, Battisti AS. Caffeine. [Updated 2020 Dec 2]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK519490/
  1. Cook C, Beaven CM, Kilduff LP, Drawer S. Acute caffeine ingestion’s increase of voluntarily chosen resistance-training load after limited sleep. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism. 2012;22(3), 157-64.
  1. Duncan MJ & Oxford SW. The effect of caffeine ingestion on mood state and bench press performance to failure. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 2011;25(1), 178-185.
  1. Dulloo AG, Geissler CA, Horton T, Collins A, Miller DS. Normal caffeine consumption: influence on thermogenesis and daily energy expenditure in lean and postobese human volunteers. Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 Jan;49(1):44-50. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/49.1.44. PMID: 2912010.
  1. Koot P, Deurenberg P. Comparison of changes in energy expenditure and body temperatures after caffeine consumption. Ann Nutr Metab. 1995;39(3):135-42. doi: 10.1159/000177854. PMID: 7486839.
  1. Goldstein ER, Ziegenfuss T, Kalman D, Kreider R, Campbell B, Wilborn C, Taylor L, Willoughby D, Stout J, Graves BS, Wildman R, Ivy JL, Spano M, Smith AE, Antonio J. International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010 Jan 27;7(1):5. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-7-5. PMID: 20205813; PMCID: PMC2824625.
  1. Huxley R, Lee CM, Barzi F, Timmermeister L, Czernichow S, Perkovic V, Grobbee DE, Batty D, Woodward M. Coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and tea consumption in relation to incident type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Arch Intern Med. 2009 Dec 14;169(22):2053-63. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2009.439. PMID: 20008687.
  1. Reis CEG, Dórea JG, da Costa THM. Effects of coffee consumption on glucose metabolism: A systematic review of clinical trials. J Tradit Complement Med. 2018;9(3):184-191. Published 2018 May 3. doi:10.1016/j.jtcme.2018.01.001
  1. Lopez-Garcia E, van Dam RM, Li TY, Rodriguez-Artalejo F, Hu FB. The relationship of coffee consumption with mortality. Ann Intern Med. 2008 Jun 17;148(12):904-14. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-148-12-200806170-00003. PMID: 18559841; PMCID: PMC3958951.
  1. Bidel S, Hu G, Qiao Q, et al. Coffee consumption and risk of total and cardiovascular mortality among patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetologia. 49, 2618–2626 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-006-0435-9