With so many of us loving our daily coffee, it’s not surprising that there’s been loads of research into the effects of coffee on our health. You only have to drink a cup to know that coffee gives you a boost and that you find new reserves of energy for work or training but what else is going on?
Just before we get started though, it turns out you can have too much of a good thing. Yup, apparently drinking over 80 cups of coffee in a day can be fatal – although quite honestly, how anyone manages to fit in 80 cups of coffee is a mystery to even us... and we're rarely without a cup in hand!
So assuming you aren’t attempting to drink 80+ cups a day, how and why is coffee good for us? To ensure no old wives were exploited in the writing of this article, we skipped their tales and headed for the science instead. Luckily, the venerable Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM) researchers have been busy so we delved into their research.
- Reduce your risk of early death from coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and kidney disease. JHM says these are all leading causes of death in women so definitely an inspiration to reach for a cuppa
- Coffee and the heart… JHM say that coffee may reduce the risk of heart failure but there is plenty of contradictory research. The good news is that a review in Medical News Today concludes that coffee has no effect on aortic plasticity. So, in moderation, we’re good to go!
- The diabetes thing… It seems that the antioxidants in coffee reduce glucose and insulin levels. This is good because medicine has known for many years that heightened glucose levels trigger insulin production and this is one of the ways diet increases your risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Reducing your risk of a stroke – that’s got to be a good thing! Again, there’s research that tells you different things but it’s mentioned on the NHS website so we’re happy to say it’s true.
There’s more – it’s not just the big 4 that are linked to coffee…
- Your DNA will be stronger… but we’re not specifically talking reproduction here. Our body replaces cells continually and there is a link between drinking coffee and fewer breakages in the DNA strands in those cells. This is great news because disruptions in DNA can lead to cancer.
- This probably explains the next statistic which is that the risk of colon cancer fall substantially (as much as 23%) if you drink coffee. Our Coffee Buddies™ all come with caffeine so please don’t tell them that decaf coffee has the same benefit!
- Now we are obviously all super-healthy body gods at Get In The Mood® so our bodies are perfectly balanced (well, in our dreams they are) but one great thing about coffee is that it seems to help keep liver enzymes in healthy balance.
- Brainy stuff and coffee – no, we’re not suggesting you will get more intelligent with a daily cup or two but JHM tells us that coffee does good things to parts of the brain. The big ones that interest the medical types are to do with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s (as well as other types of dementia).
So, it seems there’s every reason to enjoy your Coffee Buddies™ in moderation and, naturally, if your coffee helps you with your exercise regime or to maintain a healthy weight then so much the better.
No matter how great your coffee is, the big picture of a healthy lifestyle is the key to maximising your longevity – and ensuring many happy, healthy years of coffee in the future!
P.s. Sorry about all the techie stuff… although I try to hide it, I'm a bit of a closet science nerd!