Coffee is one of the most popular infusions in the world: 2.25 billion cups are consumed per day worldwide, according to estimates by the National Coffee Association of the United States. This level of consumption makes coffee the most consumed beverage along with water.
In addition to caffeine, coffee contains minerals: magnesium (helpful for healthy bones and muscle function), potassium (which plays a role in blood pressure), and vitamin B3 (needed for energy release from food and a healthy nervous system) .
Numerous studies have shown a beneficial effect of regular and moderate coffee consumption on the functioning of the nervous, digestive and cardiovascular systems, as well as on kidney function. Here’s a review of five main qualities.
1 – Energizing
Each cup of coffee contains approximately 100 mg of caffeine, a sufficient measure to increase alertness. Caffeine temporarily blocks the action of adenosine, a chemical that signals the body to feel sleepy.
Many people cannot start their day without a hot cup of coffee, because this habit helps them wake up: this is due to the energizing power of caffeine.
Each organism is different and metabolizes food in different ways, but in general, the effect of caffeine begins as soon as it is taken, about 10 to 15 minutes after ingestion, and reaches its maximum point after 45 minutes.
2 – Enhance alertness
Some of the benefits that have been attributed to moderate caffeine intake include increased attention, alertness, mood elevation, increased cognitive function, and fewer cognitive failures and fewer depressive symptoms.
“In moderate amounts, coffee -a drink that contains caffeine- stimulates the central nervous system, helps us reduce fatigue, increases alertness and concentration. In addition, it has antioxidant properties ”, the nutrition graduate (MN 7722) Romina Pereiro explained to Infobae.
3- Helps weight loss
Coffee contains caffeine, which has been linked to weight loss. Although several scientific reports agree on the benefits to control the mechanisms of hunger and satiety, other reports found that caffeine can cause weight gain and fluid retention, especially when overweight people ingest large amounts.
Scientists at the University of Nottingham, in Great Britain, discovered that drinking a cup of coffee a day can stimulate brown fat, which is responsible for controlling fats and is essential for preventing obesity and diabetes. This was explained in a study published in the journal Scientific Reports.
The researchers explained that “brown fat works differently from other fats in the body and produces heat by burning sugar and fat, often in response to cold. Increasing your activity improves control of your blood sugar and lipid levels, and the extra calories burned help with weight loss,” she added.
Although the effects of caffeine depend on each organism, several studies carried out in different parts of the world assure that those who consume about three cups a day (about 270 mg of caffeine a day) can burn up to 100 extra calories.
4 – Sharpens attention
Coffee contains antioxidants and other nutrients that have been linked to better brain function. Several studies have found that drinking coffee every day can help protect the brain against age-related decline.
Among the tasks with the greatest benefit are those that require maintaining attention and concentration for a long time or those that must be solved quickly.
In other words, caffeine improves visual attention and decreases reaction time at low and moderate doses, both in regular and non-regular consumers.
Doctor Uma Naidoo, a psychiatrist at Harvard University and author of the book “This is your brain on food” highlighted, in a column for CNBC, the benefits of coffee: they contain trigonelline that activates antioxidants that protect the blood vessels of the brain, helps prevent tissue damage from free radicals to which the body is exposed every day. In addition, it increases serotonin and acetylcholine, which stimulates the brain.
5 – Protect the heart
Although for many years coffee was considered to be of little benefit to people with heart disease, recent studies have changed that perception.
Coffee could protect the heart by lowering blood pressure. In this sense, Dr. Fernando de Valais, a cardiologist specializing in arrhythmias and electrophysiology, Fundación Arrhythmia Alliance Argentina, dismissed these claims and recalled the results of the latest scientific research: “At the annual congress of the American College of Cardiology, which took place in Washington, Dr. Peter M. Kistler and colleagues from Melbourne, Australia, presented the results of an extensive database and concluded that the intake of 2 to 3 cups of coffee per day decreases between 8 and 15% , in 10 years, the risk of death and cardiovascular events, without increasing the incidence of arrhythmias”, stated the specialist.
Another recent study found that people who drank coffee had lower blood pressure than those who drank decaf coffee. Additionally, a review of clinical studies found that drinking coffee might confer protection against coronary artery disease. “Moderate and regular coffee consumption (1 to 3 cups daily) can reduce blood pressure and the risk of developing hypertension, as well as the risk of death from any cause,” the researchers from the Medical University of Katowice, Poland, noted.