Is drinking coffee good for you?
As any normal human being does, I often wonder if my daily habits are beneficial or detrimental to my future self.
As the proprietor of a coffee roastery, I also consider my customers, neighbors, etc. in my daily habits and hope that what I'm doing is beneficial for them as well.
As an amateur scientist, I realize how lucky we are to be at the greatest technological point in human history for the sheer fact that if you wonder something, you have the Internet just seconds away from you at nearly all times, and through the power of the Internet you can learn anything.
So, with all that said, I did a bunch of research recently with one question in mind:
Is drinking coffee good for you?
As any good blogger or sex therapist will tell you, you have to wait until the end to see if the time put in was worth it, so I'm going to go through the evidence first and then present the verdict. But, if it's any consolation, my coffee business is still up and running, so if coffee were really that bad I wouldn't be writing this article. You can also take this quote from Frank Hu, chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health:
"The overall evidence has been pretty convincing that coffee has been more healthful than harmful in terms of health outcomes."
Well, that does it for me, but if you're curious about the science behind why, read on!
Moderate coffee consumption is linked to a lower risk of many common diseases and afflictions
This list includes, but isn't limited to:
That's quite the list right there.
Coffee improves your mood
The #1 source I'll cite on this one is my lovely wife, Kay. Though I am pretty inclined to be a morning person most of the time, there's definitely a time of day that I'm more happy and motivated than any other time, and that's after I've had my first cup of Payday Roast.
The National Coffee Association (totally unbiased, by the way) released a study noting that the research tends to show that individuals that drink coffee often have a 32% lower risk of developing symptoms of depression. It looks like about two cups of coffee is the magic number for helping improve your mood.
Mood improvements are attributed to the way coffee's caffeine blocks receptors in the brain from binding with adenosine, which causes fatigue and a lowered mood.
Coffee can motivate you to exercise
I experienced this first-hand about three years ago when I ran a half marathon for the first time. I could barely run a mile at many times in my life, and living in Texas during the summertime severely limits your ability to train. So, many mornings started with a fresh cup of coffee, a pause for the cause then a training run fueled by at least one cup of coffee.
It turns out that the science backs this up, too: caffeine has been shown to be an effective performance enhancer and can not only motivate you, but help you achieve peak performance when consumed 45-60 minutes before exercising. Here are some of the improvements you might see:
- increased muscular strength, endurance, and power
- increased aerobic endurance
- improved sprinting, jumping, and throwing performance
- sparing glycogen stores and utilizing fat as a main fuel source (perhaps supporting weight loss)
- enhanced focus and alertness
Coffee is a social cohesion device
I just made that term up, but you know what I mean: coffee brings people together. Whether it's starting the morning with your spouse or meeting friends at a coffee shop, coffee is a great way to get together with others and bond over a shared love of something great. In fact, one of my favorite things is connecting with those who like our coffee as well — sometimes to the point where I'm getting so involved in talking coffee that I'm forgetting I'm supposed to be selling coffee!
Some of my fondest memories are from my first job working in a cafe in my hometown and meeting so many people through coffee. It was the first step in getting into the roasting business, and I'm incredibly thankful for the path it put me on!
Summary: Coffee has many, many benefits
Whether it's health-related or social, coffee has many benefits, and I'm thankful that I get to share in those with you!