As the legend goes, an Ethiopian shepherd discovered the magical power of caffeine when he observed his goats acting hyper after gobbling down coffee berries.
True or not, coffee as a drink may be the GOAT (the greatest of all time). If you’re not downing a daily dose, consider starting. And if you’re already sipping a cup per day, don’t feel the need to shy away from more. Why? There are plenty of benefits to drinking the good stuff. Here are some of them.
Coffee is filled with nutrients and antioxidants
According to Nutrition Data, a single cup of coffee contains 11% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin B2. It also contains Vitamin B5, Potassium, and Vitamin B3.
In addition, coffee contains antioxidants, which help your body fight “free radical” chemicals. This means coffee drinks could reduce their risk of diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Coffee fights dementia, depression, and more
If the nutrients and antioxidants were not sufficient to impress, studies show coffee drinking can reduce the chance of getting Alzheimer’s disease by up to 65%. Drinking three, four, or even five cups of coffee per day may lower the risk of clogged arteries, South Korean research suggests, the symptoms of which include serious heart problems.
High coffee consumption has also been shown, in a study published in the journal Heart, to reduce the risk of developing multiple sclerosis. Moreover, liver diseases often lead to a condition called cirrhosis, in which the organ is largely replaced by scar tissue—and coffee may protect against this: four or more cups a day can lower the risk of developing cirrhosis by up to 80%.
Coffee can boost both mental and physical performance
Caffeine is a stimulant, enhancing mental alertness in as little as 10 minutes after consumption. Drinking coffee also triggers increased neuronal activity, boosting heart rate, increasing blood pressure, and releasing sugar into the bloodstream for additional energy. In addition, coffee boosts metabolic rates by up to 11%.
The mental benefits of caffeine are well-touted, but coffee helps physical performance, too. First, caffeine’s stimulation of the nervous system sends signals to fat cells to break down body fat. Second, coffee boosts adrenaline levels in the blood, preparing the body for intense physical exertion. Consequently, caffeine can improve physical performance by up to 12%.
Coffee leads to a longer, healthier life
As one of the most antioxidant-rich beverages in the world—rivalling vegetables—coffee has been shown to be protective against liver cancer and colorectal cancer, which are both among the top four causes of cancer death globally. Coffee can also prevent strokes.
Because of coffee’s ability to guard against diseases, frequent drinkers may even experience a lower risk of death. Up to five cups per day has shown to help people live longer and healthier, but anything more experiences immediate diminishing returns. These positive effects have been shown with as few as one to two cups per day.