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May
1
What's the science behind coffee's benefits?

 

Coffee isn't just warm and energizing, it may also be extremely good for you. In recent years, scientists have studied the effects of coffee on various aspects of health and their results have been nothing short of amazing.

Here's why coffee may actually be one of the healthiest beverages on the planet. 

Coffee Can Make You Smarter

Coffee doesn't just keep you awake, it may literally make you smarter as well. The active ingredient in coffee is caffeine, which is a stimulant and the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world. Caffeine's primary mechanism in the brain is blocking the effects of an inhibitory neurotransmitter called Adenosine. By blocking the inhibitory effects of Adenosine, caffeine actually increases neuronal firing in the brain and the release of other neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine. Many controlled trials have examined the effects of caffeine on the brain, demonstrating that caffeine can improve mood, reaction time, memory, vigilance and general cognitive function.

Bottom Line: Caffeine potently blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, leading to a net stimulant effect. Controlled trials show that caffeine improves both mood and brain function. 

 

Coffee Can Help You Burn Fat and Improves Physical Performance

There's a good reason why you will find caffeine in most commercial fat burning supplements. Caffeine, partly due to its stimulant effect on the central nervous system, both raises metabolism and increases the oxidation of fatty acids. Caffeine can also improve athletic performance by several mechanisms, including by mobilizing fatty acids from the fat tissues. In two separate meta-analyses, caffeine was found to increase exercise performance by 11-12% on average.

Bottom Line: 

Caffeine raises the metabolic rate and helps to mobilize fatty acids from the fat tissues. It can also enhance physical performance. 

Coffee May be Extremely Good For Your Liver

The liver is a remarkable organ that carries out hundreds of vital functions in the body. It is very vulnerable to modern insults such as excess consumption of alcohol and fructose. Cirrhosis is the end stage of liver damage caused by diseases like alcoholism and hepatitis, where liver tissue has been largely replaced by scar tissue. Multiple studies have shown that coffee can lower the risk of cirrhosis by as much as 80%, the strongest effect for those who drank 4 or more cups per day . Coffee may also lower the risk of liver cancer by around 40% .

Bottom Line: Coffee appears to be protective against certain liver disorders, lowering the risk of liver cancer by 40% and cirrhosis by as much as 80%. 

 

 
Coffee is Loaded With Nutrients and Antioxidants

Coffee isn't just black water. Many of the nutrients in the coffee beans do make it into the final drink, which actually contains a decent amount of vitamins and minerals.

A cup of coffee contains :

  • 6% of the RDA for Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5).
  • 11% of the RDA for Riboflavin (Vitamin B2).
  • 2% of the RDA for Niacin (B3) and Thiamine (B1).
  • 3% of the RDA for Potassium and Manganese.

May not seem like much, but if you drink several cups of coffee per day then this quickly adds up. But this isn't all. Coffee also contains a massive amount of antioxidants. In fact, coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the western diet, outranking both fruits and vegetables combined.

Bottom Line:Coffee contains a decent amount of several vitamins and minerals. It is also the biggest source of antioxidants in the modern diet. 

 

source: Kris Gunnars- Lifehacker- 2/25/13 http://lifehacker.com/5986506/the-science-behind-coffee-and-why-its-actually-good-for-your-health


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