Over the years, coffee has earned a bad name, specifically because of the caffeine. People began trying to “kick their coffee habits” and settled for decaffeinated alternatives. Fast forward a decade later, and we now know that coffee has many health benefits, and caffeine is one of them. In fact, scientists have now said that the caffeine itself is non-addictive.
So if you’re looking for a reason to keep drinking your morning (and afternoon) cups of joe, here are five health and exercise benefits of coffee.
Coffee Helps Burn Fat
The caffeine in coffee can help burn fat. This is good news for anyone trying to lose weight or those avid coffee drinkers who want a good reason to keep up with their habit. Studies have shown that coffee can potentially increase metabolic rate by up to 11 percent. The results do decrease over time though because the body acclimates to these changes. So use this as a boost for your fat burning goals, then plan out a regular cardio routine to keep up with your weight loss.
Coffee Improves Energy Levels
Caffeine is a stimulant that can help you feel more energized and awake. It’s a godsend for those that need a morning pick me up, and anyone who wants to add that extra kick to their work out. If you’re not into sports drinks that contain caffeine, a good old cup of coffee will work just as well. One cup before starting your morning or evening exercise routine is all that’s needed to add a little extra pep in your step. Just don’t over do it, as caffeine is a stimulant (it increases your heart rate) and you don’t’ want to have too much before doing a cardio workout.
Coffee is Rich in Antioxidants
A great health benefit you get from coffee is that it’s rich in antioxidants. In fact, in a study performed by the University of Scranton, the data revealed that coffee is the number one source of antioxidants for Americans. Why are antioxidants good for you? They are chemicals that either slow down or prevent cell damage. In other words, they help you stay healthy and looking younger longer.
Coffee Helps Prevent Stroke and Heart Disease
With heart disease and strokes on the rise in virtually every part of the civilized world, it’s good to know that a few cups of coffee each day can help combat this serious health threat. Women benefit the most when it comes to the decrease in strokes, and both men and women can benefit from the decrease in heart disease. The studies monitored people who drank 13 cups of coffee daily; another great excuse to “have at it” as often as you like.
Coffee Increases Concentration
If you have trouble concentrating, try drinking a cup or two of coffee. Caffeine can improve mental focus and alertness. This helps explain why college students can get an entire paper done in the midnight hours while running on pure coffee. The key to benefiting from this is not to have too much caffeine. One to three cups of coffee should be the limit if you’re looking to concentrate and get things done. Any more than that and you’re just jittery.
There are several health and exercise benefits to drinking coffee. The key is to not overdo it, as too much of anything can cause a negative reaction in the body. But if you’re looking to lose some weight, gain more energy, load up on antioxidants, decrease your risk of heart disease, or increase concentration, then definitely drink up.