The Benefits of Coffee: The Deliverer of Caffeine….and Happiness
Samantha Wilkinson, MS, RDN, LD, Dolce Dietitian
There’s almost nothing better than waking up to a freshly brewed pot of coffee. Just the aroma sends a positive greeting for the rest of the day. Hot or cold, most people you come across LOVE coffee and often state they NEED it to start their day. Luckily, this bold beverage actually has some great health benefits. Below we will list out all its positive contributions:
Acts as an Antioxidant
According to Annia Galano and Jorge Rafael León-Carmona, co-authors of “Is Caffeine a Good Scavenger of Oxygenated Free Radicals” from the Journal of Physical Chemistry B, there is potential positive net effects of caffeine in the prevention of Alzheimer’s and other chronic diseases.
In pilot testing, results showed an antioxidant effect on subjects susceptible to the development of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, and other diseases/conditions brought on by oxidative stress. They have theorized specific calculations in relation to caffeine’s uptake and destruction of free radicals (molecules that cause damage, or oxidative stress, to the body’s systems).
Like any research experiment, further testing is always warranted, and the properties and effects of caffeine are especially unknown to many scientists currently. However, the future of caffeine as an antioxidant seems promising.
May Help Increase Longevity
In a study from the Current Opinion on Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism Care by SK Bhatti, JH O’Keefe, CJ Lavie, routine coffee intake was linked to decreased mortality for cardiovascular deaths and deaths by other causes.
In addition, coffee intake was related to risks of heart failure, stroke, diabetes mellitus and some cancers. In this study, coffee was associated with neutral-to-reduced risks for atrial and ventricular arrhythmias. (Note: caffeine at high doses can possibly intensify anxiety, insomnia, calcium loss and possibly the risk of fractures).
These findings are similar to many other studies of its kind, helping show that coffee/caffeine can possibly aid in longevity by helping to decrease the major causes of death in the U.S.
May Help with Athletic Performance
Caffeine is often referred to as an ergogenic aid. Caffeine is quickly absorbed from the stomach and reaches its peak in the blood in 1-2 hours. Caffeine is absorbed by most tissues in the body, therefore it has the potential to effect most areas of the body.
Any unused/excess caffeine is broken down in the liver and the by-products are excreted in urine. Research has shown that caffeine has the greatest effect on short-duration exercise, such as 800m to 1-mile run, or any exercise lasting about 5 minutes at 90-100 percent of maximal exerted effort.
The possible explanation for the improvement may be a direct effect of caffeine on muscle anaerobic energy contraction (non-oxygen related activity – body building, sprinting, etc.) or a central nervous system component related to the sensation of exertion.
Just remember that everyone is different and reacts differently to caffeine. Keep in mind, caffeine is currently on the 2013-2014 NCAA list of banned substances if urine output levels are greater than 15 micrograms/ml. However, caffeine is not on the 2013-2014 World Anti-Doping Agency list of banned substances.
Over the years, research has brought to light the many positive effects of coffee that were once undiscovered. So have fun with your morning drink and reap all the delicious benefits!
Now everyone may have their own preference on brand and manufacturer. However, here at the Dolce Diet, we love us some Caveman Coffee! (Use promo code DOLCE to save 10% off your purchase!)
They offer several blends and varieties, and their website – CavemanCoffeeCo.com – offers great recipes. Their beans are also protected by the Rainforest Alliance, which helps to preserve the environment, protect wildlife and prevent poverty. And remember, Caveman Coffee is part of the grand prize package for our Instagram contest!