Let’s grab a cup of coffee. We all have fallen for this most favorite drink at any point of time through the day. Its silky black depths provide a boost of energy to help you wake up, endure those endless afternoon meetings, and finishes off a fine meal.
But what about its effects on your health? Does coffee provide any benefits? What about negative side effects? What is even IN coffee? We’ve brought together everything you need to know about coffee in one simple stop.
First off, let’s start with some simple ordering tips for the new people who are yet to summon this delightful, mood lifting drink. After all, not everybody knows what a triple-Venti-half sweet-non-fat-caramel macchiato actually contains.
What Are The Different Types Of Coffee?
Are you often standing in line to order your coffee and wonder what everybody else is sipping? Here’s the basic to help get you started on the different types of coffee:
Black, Regular or Light.
When ordering your morning cup at a local coffee shop or fast-food restaurant, you may still ask for the traditional cup of regular brew that does not use the hissing espresso machines found at those fancy 6 bucks a cup shops. Made out of hot water passed through ground coffee beans and a paper filter, add some sugar for the perfect pick-me-up!
Americano or Long Black: If you are aiming for an ordinary cup of Joe, the Americano or Long Black is a cup of hot water with a shot of espresso introduced into the cup. Add your own sugar or milk for a familiar restorative cup.
Café Latte: For a creamy treat, the Café Latte starts with a shot of deep, dark espresso and then mix in steamed milk for a smoother, slightly sweet treat. Many baristas top it off with foam finished in a heart, cat, or your name.
Cappuccino: Dial back the foam on top of your latte and add shaved chocolate or cinnamon on top and discover the perfect balance of a Cappuccino.
Espresso: Of course, every great cup of coffee starts with espresso. Coffee beans are ground fresh and then hot water and steam is passed through the grounds to create an intense, dark coffee drink. If you want even more energy, ask for a Double.
Mocha: This is where coffee and chocolate meet for perfection in a cup. Hot cocoa powder is introduced into a shot of espresso and then steamed milk is added. It’s chocolate. It’s coffee. It is divine.
Macchiato: If you enjoy the shot of energy you find in espresso, but don’t like the bold, bitter flavor, try dialling it back with a Machiato that includes just a dash of steamed milk to even out the flavour.
Now that you can place an order and not sound totally lost, you are probably wondering what is actually in coffee and if it has any nutritional value. What about caffeine? How much can I actually drink? We’ve got the answers to that, too.
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What Is In My Coffee?
This is one of the beauties of your favorite morning pick-me-up. When you order an espresso or black coffee, there are no hidden additives or ingredients.
Coffee is 100% coffee beans, which are grown on bushes that generally grow in highland areas of South America, Africa, and India.
However, you may wish to check on whether your beans are grown organically or on a farm that promotes sustainable agriculture.
You may wish to ask your local barista about the beans that are used in their shop to learn more about the coffee you are drinking.
1.1 What Is The Nutritional Information For Coffee?
There’s all sorts of good news if you are wondering what the nutrition label on your cup of black coffee might include.
Counting calories? Eight ounces of black coffee (no milk or sugar!) only has about 2.5 calories, making it a YES if you are counting calories. It has no fat or sugar, so it doesn’t interfere with your low-carb program.
It’s actually fairly high in vitamin B12, with 11% of your daily fancy $6 a cup shops value in every cup. Beyond that, it only has trace amounts of protein, potassium, manganese and magnesium.
If you think about vitamins content then it is far away from that, but at the same time it doesn’t contain much of the compounds that are typically associated with junk foods.
This makes this fast food one of the healthier options when you are on the run and need a boost to make it through the day.
1.2 How Much Caffeine Is In A Cup Of Coffee?
Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant that is found in coffee beans. Unlike soda, coffee doesn’t have caffeine added during its manufacturing process.
The amount of caffeine found in your morning cup is determined by the kind of coffee you are drinking and where the coffee beans are grown.
A good average for the amount of caffeine included in your coffee brewed at home is about 95 mg.
If you make a habit of stopping at the fancy chain coffee shop, your extra-large double espresso can contain up to 500mg of caffeine as they may source more intense coffee beans.
1.3 How Much Coffee Is Safe
Wondering whether there are side effects to drinking too much coffee, you aren’t the only one.
Both the medical industry and the coffee industry are constantly completing research to determine just how much is okay. Generally, it is accepted that most individuals can tolerate about four to six cups of coffee a day.
However, caffeine has been known to be associated with insomnia, heart palpitations and an increased level of anxiety. If you think the effects of coffee are keeping you up at night, you might want to cut back.
We’ve determined that coffee in itself contains no artificial ingredients, has a surprising amount of good nutrients in every cup, and how much caffeine it contains.
So, that leaves us wondering what kind of positive side effects and benefits we can enjoy while sipping on one of the most divine drinks in the world.
We’ve collected some benefits and how they can help you live a better life.
Benefits Of Drinking Coffee
Great news! New research is coming out every day that verifies that drinking coffee can actually promote good health. Let’s check out all the wonderful things those tiny beans can do for you!
1. Makes Your Aspirin Work Better
If you ever wondered why certain brands of painkillers like Excedrin work so well for migraines, it’s the caffeine!
So when you drink a cup of coffee while you take your medication for joint or muscle pain, the caffeine in the coffee helps to accelerate the healing effects of the medicine.
Of course, always check with your doctor, but when you need that headache to go away fast, sip some Joe with it.
2. Your Liver Stays Healthier
The power antioxidants in coffee have been found to promote the ability to heal from injury.
Your liver is one organ that can heal itself and the benefits of coffee enable it to reduce the chances of cirrhosis, liver cancer, and other serious ailments associated with liver disease.
3. Less Likely To Develop Type 2 Diabetes
Research has shown that coffee drinkers are less likely to experience the negative effects of Type 2 Diabetes.
It may be due to the fact that coffee drinkers tend to opt for lower sugar/carb snacks when compared to people who opt for soda or juice as their afternoon energy drink.
Whatever the reason, it is certainly a great reason to fill your cup up again with some strong black coffee.
4. Contains Antioxidants
Who needs gogi berries or other ingredients to increase your daily intake of anti-oxidants when coffee is jam packed with them?
Antioxidants help to maintain cellular health throughout your body, slowing the aging process and helping you maintain that youthful feeling and appearance.
No wonder coffee makes you feel so good. It really is a fountain of youth.
5. Helps Relieve Constipation
Not only does the natural stimulant improve your brain function and focus, it also helps your body maintain a healthy digestion.
While it does not contain any dietary fiber, it does help to stimulate your lower digestive track and help you to avoid feelings of constipation.
There might be a reason coffee has been included in after-dinner social hours, beyond providing something yummy to sip.
6. Pumps Up Your Game
When you are an athlete, you are always looking for that little extra boost of energy before the big race.
By drinking a cup of coffee right before the gun goes off, your body experiences increased pulse rate and improves overall oxygenation, allowing your muscles to move faster. Better yet, nobody has banned coffee from competition!
7. The Smell Lowers Your Stress
Who doesn’t like the aroma of coffee? I can swim through the room full of coffee beans, haha.
There’s nothing like settling in for a good cup of coffee. Ever wonder why you always draw a deep breath, taking in the intoxicating aroma of your coffee before drinking it?
The scent can actually lower your blood pressure and respiration rate as your body associates drinking coffee with relaxation and a sense of calm.
8. You Really Do Think Better and Makes you more Intelligent
This falls into the ‘I Knew It Was True’ category. That cup of coffee really does improve focus, attention and even helps with short-term memory retrieval.
So, sipping a cup of coffee before you sit down to that big exam is totally called for when you want to ace it.
Here’s another bonus for all those who are on the job — your boss will certainly appreciate your ability to participate in the mid-afternoon meeting, as well.
Coffee drinkers have been found to have a higher intelligence when compared to people who opt for a different beverage.
Is this because you are able to remain focused when researching the next great industry paper? Could be. Or it may that those with superior taste also were born with a higher functioning mind.
Whatever the reason, if you love coffee, you will find that other great minds do, too.
9. You Might Lose Some Weight
Sipping coffee as a beverage offers two benefits to your weight-loss regimen.
- It contains very few calories without introducing fake sugars and ingredients into your body
- At the same time it also helps to raise your metabolism, increasing your body’s ability to build lean muscle and reduce extra fat without adding any extra useless calories.
10. Get Fewer Cavities
There you get another bonus - Coffee gives great smile.
Once again, there’s that low sugar bonus as a benefit when drinking black coffee or espresso. Coffee contains no sugars which are a major contributor to the breakdown of the enamel.
When you consume large amounts of sugar-laden drinks like sodas and juices, you are much more likely to develop cavities which can lead to periodontal disease and tooth loss.
11. Slows Retinal Damage
Coffee has been found to have high levels of chlorogenic acid (CLA), with each cup containing 10% of your daily recommended intake of this antioxidant.
CLA was found to significantly slow retinal decay in laboratory mice over an extended time, making one more bonus for drinking more coffee.
12. Super-Strong DNA
This is the kind of information that encourages you to order that Tall Latte with an extra shot of espresso.
Since coffee is so high in a variety of antioxidants, it can actually help protect cellular decay, protecting your DNA from mutations as you age.
It’s like freezing your body at the age of 29, at least that what some research has come to find.
13. Helps Ladies Avoid Skin Cancer
This is one of those studies where there is a difference between the sexes. In this case, women who regularly drank coffee were less likely to develop skin cancers when compared to women who didn’t.
It was inconclusive for the men, but no reason was given for the difference. Still, score one for the ladies! Sunscreen and a cappuccino, please.
14. Lowered Risk Of Alzheimer’s
It’s simply a correlation among coffee drinkers, but a study found that those who regularly visited the coffee pot were less likely to have Alzheimer’s disease develop as they aged.
As more research is conducted into this debilitating and ultimately deadly disease, perhaps we will find out exactly how the lowly coffee bean helps. For now, don’t hesitate to order yours with or without cream.
15. Less Likely To Get Kidney Stones
Research has found that coffee and tea drinkers have a lower amount of uric acid in their systems.
Excess uric acid has been linked to the development of kidney stones, which can be extremely painful and in rare cases require surgery to relieve.
While sipping on your cup of coffee won’t cure a kidney stone, it sure is nice to know that it could help you avoid experiencing the discomfort associated with them.
16. Avoid Colorectal Cancers
Those antioxidants found in coffee offer even more benefits when you start looking at reducing the risk of cancer.
In a recent study, it was found that chronic coffee drinkers actually decreased their risk of colorectal cancer by as much as 26%.
That’s right, the more you drink, the more protection against this disease you can develop. How awesome is that?
17. Might Prevent Parkinsons Disease
In this case, it really is the coffee and not the caffeine that is the superhero.
An extended clinical study found that long-term drinkers of coffee, not tea and not other caffeinated beverages, experienced a significantly lower occurrence of Parkinson’s Disease compared to the standard population.
More research is needed to find the actual compound that blocks the disease, but it is good news on its own.
18. Loaded With Essential Nutrients
While every cup of coffee is just loaded with vitamin B12, there are host of other packed nutrients for you into every cup. These include potassium, boron, selenium, and manganese.
Each element works with your body to help promote strong cell development and reduce cellular decay as you age. Who needs those chemically engineered super drinks when you have coffee.
19. Avoid Developing Gout
It has been found that coffee, not tea, helps to control the level of uric acid in your body.
If your uric acid levels rise too much, you can develop inflammatory arthritis known as gout. Painful and debilitating, gout can cause pain and weakness in your joints.
Once again, researchers found the correlation with coffee, but are not sure how the super drink works to control uric acid levels.
20. Live Longer!
That’s right, studies have found that coffee drinkers tend to live longer.
Is it because your morning cup of coffee provides enough energy to keep you moving, helping to maintain muscle and bone health?
Or is it providing some kind of protection for your heart against disease? Doctors are working hard to uncover the mystery, but meanwhile, just keep drinking coffee.
21. Avoid Heart Disease
If you drink coffee, there’s a better chance you will avoid dying of cardiac arrest.
Whether it’s the caffeine or some of the unknown properties of your favorite morning drink, but you are more likely to have a healthy heart for longer when you consume up to two cups of coffee per day.
22. Burn More Fat
As your metabolism gets a boost from your morning intake of coffee, your body starts to burn calories more efficiently.
Once you are up and running out the door, your body will work on burning all those fat calories you consumed with breakfast while your muscles get stronger and leaner. It’s a total win-win.
23. Have More Fun In Bed
All that caffeine found in coffee helps to extend the duration of any adrenaline rush, including that associated with vigorous sexual activity.
So, drink a cup of coffee and be able to exercise for a longer period of time, whether you are at the gym or enjoying the evening in your bedroom.
24. Build New Friendships
Since sipping coffee has firmly induced into our daily culture, you can find it easier to work through those awkward introductions at corporate functions and dinner parties.
Strangers see you holding a familiar cup of coffee and instantly feel that they can relate to you, since you both must love coffee. Right away you have a shared interest on which to build a lasting friendship.
25. Build Stronger Nails
All the ladies will read this dedicatedly, and why not? Nails over anything.
As those power antioxidants in coffee go to work, they help to slow the breakdown of cells like the ones that make up your long, beautiful fingernails.
Your manicure will last longer as your nails resist cracking and chipping. Hey! It might even save you that trip to the nail salon to touch up your tips.
26. Improves Your Mood
You know it’s true. Not only do the benefits of coffee include providing that rush of adrenaline, it helps to clear the cobwebs and banish the doldrums your often experience early in the morning or during low-energy periods during the day.
It’s like a smile is included with every visit to your favorite coffee shop, or even to the coffee maker in the break room.
Of course, now that we’ve got all that good mojo going, we must realize it can’t all be good news.
For decades, doctors have associated drinking coffee with a variety of negative side effects. Let’s keep it real and check out some of the harmful effects of coffee.
Harmful Effects Of Coffee
As with all things, moderation is essential for a long and healthy life. While there are numerous benefits to your favourite morning beverage, there are also some negatives associated with over consumption of the fragrant, dark brew.
It’s only wise to be informed on both the good and harmful effects.
1. Risk Of A Heart Attack Increases Amongst The Young
It’s becoming a popular activity among teenagers to drink huge quantities of coffee when studying for tests or playing games into the dawn hours.
Binge drinking caffeinated beverages has been shown to have a correlation with higher rate of heart attack in this age group by over stimulating the heart muscle.
2. Interferes With Glucose Metabolism In Diabetics
While coffee drinkers tend to develop Type 2 Diabetes less often, once they do have the disease, it has been shown that caffeine actually inhibits healthy glucose metabolism, further worsening the condition.
3. Higher Risk Of Miscarriage
Whether caffeine actually stimulates your body into beginning the early stages of labor, or other abusive behaviors are often associated with heavy coffee intake, statistics have shown there is a higher risk of miscarriage when consuming more than four cups a day.
4. Aggravates Symptoms Of Menopause
While completing a recent study of women struggling through peri-menopause symptoms, it was found that those women who consumed even a small amount of coffee each day were more likely to experience hot flashes, insomnia and headaches.
5. Keeps You Up At Night
While your morning cup of coffee can provide an extra surge of energy while running out the door, it can negatively affect your body’s ability to settle in for the night.
It takes about 8 hours for the caffeine in coffee to leave your body, so even your afternoon cup of joe can be keeping you awake at night.
6. It Can Cause Headaches
When you consume more than two cups of coffee in a short period, the overload of caffeine can raise your blood pressure, which is often associated with headaches and
On the other end, if you are cutting back your coffee intake, the withdrawal symptoms are often accompanied with a searing headache. For those susceptible, it’s better to avoid coffee altogether.
7. Drink Too Much And Increase Your Mortality Rate
But the effects of knocking back more than four cups of a coffee a day are not limited to the very young.
Across the entire population, heavy coffee drinkers are found to have a mortality rate much higher when compared to moderate drinkers or even those who abstain from drinking coffee.
It is not clear if it is due to a chemical alteration of the body or other behaviours associated with heavy caffeine abuse.
8. Provides False Sense Of Focus When You Are Exhausted
If you think you just need a cup to get home after an all-night party, you won’t actually be better able to focus or think. It’s better to just take a nap.
Scientists discovered that people who have been sleep deprived over several days receive no benefit from an extra cup of coffee.
9. Can Accelerate Osteoporosis
The details of cause and effect have not been determined, but studies have found that middle-aged to elderly individuals who drank more than two cups of coffee a day were more likely to have brittle bones and suffer broken bones.
It is thought that the caffeine in coffee accelerates bone loss and reduces bone density.
10. It May Add More Wrinkles To Your Skin
It has been found that caffeine reduces the amount of collagen that your body produces, which is the key element needed to maintain the elasticity of your skin.
As you age and continue to consume caffeine, you may get a morning rush of energy but at the expense of developing more wrinkles throughout your body.
11. Is Often Associated With Anxiety And Depression
Scientists have determined that those who are depressed or experience a high level of anxiety often drink more than four cups of coffee a day.
It is doubted that the coffee actually causes depression, but taking a variety of substances ‘to feel better’ is one way that those suffering attempt to self-medicate. It is an association, not a cause.
12. It Is Possible To Overdose On Caffeine
While the caffeine in coffee is generally thought of as a mild stimulant, in a large enough quantity it can cause heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and high blood pressure which can result in a heart arrhythmia and even death.
13. Binging May Lead To An Attack Of Gout
Like headaches, while drinking a moderate amount of coffee each day seems to support a healthy uric acid in your body, overloading with pots of coffee can throw your chemistry off resulting in an attack of gout.
An inflammation of the joints, it is extremely painful and difficult to treat quickly, so always drink in moderation.
14. Reduces Hydrochloric Acid In Your Stomach
Hydrochloric acid helps to break down proteins in your stomach, enabling your body to make complete use of the food that you eat.
Coffee appears to lower the production of hydrochloric acid, which results in undigested foods passing through your body, reducing the amount of nutrition received through normal meals.
The more cups that are consumed, the less time the body has to produce sufficient HCL acid to maintain your health.
15. You Will Drink More Sugary Beverages
As coffee shops find more ways to introduce sweet flavors to your morning cup with sprinkles, syrups and icy blends, those who crave caffeine have been found to be drinking even more sugar than ever before.
You all must check out the topic on The bitter truth of Sweet Sugar on our page to learn the effects of sugar in your body.
16. Raises Your Blood Pressure
Even though that morning cup of coffee does provide a boost of energy and focus, it accomplishes this feat by stimulating your entire body, including your heart rate and increasing your blood pressure.
For those whose doctors recommend lowering their systolic numbers, a great place to start is by reducing the amount of coffee they drink every day.
17. The Darker The Brew The Higher Risk Of Cancer
While your common morning cup brewed out of your typical can of coffee has been found to reduce a number of cancer risks, dark brews have been found to have an opposite correlation.
It is thought that the roasting process that produces these nearly black coffee beans may be adding carcinogens to the usually healthy super food.
18. Accentuates Mood Swings
Drinkers find that after they come down from a caffeine high, they tend to develop headaches and are more easily affected the actions of others.
As your body comes to rely on that extra cup of coffee to banish the early morning grumbles, the sensation of happiness or irritation can become over-emphasized as time goes on.
19. Causes Heart Palpitations
A sudden surge of caffeine has been found to cause sudden and severe heart palpitations in some individuals.
While often they are little more than alarming, in some instances people who drink more than six cups of coffee a day have experienced a surge in blood pressure which can result in hospitalization and require medication to prevent a recurrence.
23. Over Stimulates Your Digestion
Not only do heavy coffee drinkers experience indigestion and acid reflux more often than moderate or light drinkers, they may suffer from diarrhea on occasion.
The lower digestive tract responds to the extra boost of energy and signals that it’s time to visit the bathroom, sometimes with little warning.
While some dieters use caffeine as a laxative for purges, the process is not recommended by the medical profession as safe or healthy.
The Last Cup Of Coffee
In the end, coffee is delicious whether you like to take your espresso straight-up or perfectly blended with steamed milk. It contains a myriad of surprisingly healthy benefits, but still can have a few drawbacks when you drink too much.
Best of all, it’s so simple to make that you can enjoy it any time of the day or night.
Now that you are one cup wiser with the knowledge of both good and bad effects of drinking coffee, just remember, anything that passes the limit of consumption has its adverse effects in the long-short run.