Whether you like it black, or make-it-venti-half-sweet-two-pumps-non-fat-and-extra-foamy, many of us can’t imagine facing the day without our favourite liquid wake up call. While preventing an impromptu nap session at your desk is a definite pro, it turns out there are other noteworthy perks to counting yourself among the tumbler-toting, Starbucks-queuing, café© connoisseurs of the world. So grab a mug and read on to find out how your morning java not only keeps you juiced, but may actually make you healthier too. Who knew?
1. A+ in Antioxidants
Before they make it to your cup, coffee beans begin as the seeds of a bright, red berry (commonly known as a coffee cherry), and much like fruit or vegetables, these seeds are bursting with good-for-you vitamins, minerals, flavanoids and a generous helping of antioxidants. Scientists have found close to one thousand antioxidants in unprocessed coffee beans, and hundreds more develop once they’re roasted. So what does this mean? Just one cup of coffee can pack a pretty powerful, health-preserving punch—beating out both green tea and cocoa.
2. Disease Defense
Those super-powered nutrients and antioxidants found in your daily brew help play a protective role in your health by working to reduce inflammation, regulating blood sugar, neutralizing free radicals and preventing tissue damage. Numerous studies have linked regular coffee drinking to lowered risks of a variety of ailments and diseases, such as arthritis, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and certain types of cancers—including skin, liver, colon, breast, rectal, prostate and endometrial cancer.
3. Metabolism Booster
Sure, one single shot of espresso can take you from sleepy to sharp in seconds, but it turns out that your brain isn’t the only thing buzzing. By increasing your heart rate and breathing, caffeine can kickstart your metabolism and fat burning power for up to three hours after your daily fix. As a bonus, sipping pre-workout can increase your endurance and up your pound-dropping potential—what’s more, it can also reduce pain to help you go that extra mile.
4. Brain Gains
Recent studies show that the caffeine in your a.m. cuppa can enhance areas of your brain connected to memory and concentration, boosting both your long-term and short-term memory. In fact, it’s been found that the caffeine in coffee can enhance certain memories for up to twenty-four hours after you drink up. No wonder late night lattes and studying go so well together.
5. Improved Mood
While just cupping a warm mug of java can help make Mondays bearable, studies show that your a.m. indulgence may actually improve your mood and even curb clinical depression. How? The caffeine in your cup stimulates your nevous system and helps your body produce more serotonin and dopamine, gifting you the same feel-good effects you get from munching on dark chocolate. Having an extra bad day? Better make yours a mocha.
Note: Just like everything in life, to fully reap the benefits and avoid any of the cons, moderation is key. Try to stick to around 300 mg of caffeine or less a day (roughly three average sized—not venti—cups of coffee). Overdoing it and walking around too wired can lead to jittery irritability, disrupt your beauty sleep, give you headaches, upset your stomach, make you dehydrated and give you heart palpitations.