Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, consumed by millions of people on a daily basis1. While some people may view coffee as a simple source of caffeine, research has shown that it may also have a number of potential health benefits.
One of the main active ingredients in coffee is caffeine, which is a stimulant that can help to improve mental alertness and physical performance. Caffeine has been shown to increase energy levels, improve mood, and enhance cognitive function, including memory and reaction time2.
In addition to caffeine, coffee also contains a number of other biologically active compounds that may have health benefits. For example, coffee is a rich source of antioxidants, which are molecules that help to protect cells from damage caused by oxidative stress. Some studies have suggested that regular coffee consumption may help to reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and liver disease.
In terms of cardiovascular health, some studies have found that moderate coffee consumption may be associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. One large study found that people who drank three to five cups of coffee per day had a lower risk of heart disease and stroke compared to those who drank no coffee4.
There is also some evidence to suggest that coffee may have a protective effect against cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Some research has found that coffee consumption may be associated with a lower risk of developing these conditions, although more research is needed to confirm these findings5.
Overall, the evidence suggests that coffee may have a number of potential health benefits, including improving mental alertness and physical performance, reducing the risk of certain chronic diseases, and potentially protecting against certain types of cancer and cognitive decline. However, it is important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the health effects of coffee and to determine the optimal amount of coffee to consume. As with any food or beverage, it is also important to consume coffee in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
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- International Coffee Organization. The Current State of the Global Coffee Trade. CoffeeTradeStats. 2016.
- Shabir A., Hooton A., Tallis J., Higgins M. The influence of caffeine expectancies on sport, exercise, and cognitive performance. Nutrients. 2018;10:1528.
- Nieber K. The Impact of Coffee on Health. Planta Med. 2017 Nov;83(16):1256-1263.
- O’Keefe JH, Bhatti SK, Patil HR, DiNicolantonio JJ, Lucan SC, Lavie CJ. Effects of habitual coffee consumption on cardiometabolic disease, cardiovascular health, and all-cause mortality. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013 Sep 17;62(12):1043-1051.
- Ran LS, Liu WH, Fang YY, Xu SB, Li J, Luo X, Pan DJ, Wang MH, Wang W. Alcohol, coffee and tea intake and the risk of cognitive deficits: a dose-response meta-analysis. Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci. 2021 Feb 11;30:e13.