9 Benefits of Drinking Coffee

For people with sensitive nerves and stomachs, coffee can be an irritant. But for the 87 percent of Americans who drink coffee daily at an average of 8 ounces a day, there are many benefits. Here are nine of them: Weight loss. Coffee stimulates the metabolism, so it’s hardly surprising that a study at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston found that serious coffee drinkers gained less weight over 12 years than less-serious ones, all other things being equal.

Stronger workouts. A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology discovered that the muscles of cyclists who downed a caffeinated carbohydrate drink after a workout had 66 percent more glycogen. This store of energy let them do much more exercise during their next exercise session.

Refreshment following sleep. Since caffeine takes a half-hour to kick in, drinking coffee just before a 20- to 30-minute catnap can provide a big boost. This is from research by the Sleep Research Centre, Loughborough University in Leicestershire, England.

Illness prevention. Coffee’s antioxidants are the probable reason for experimental findings that the drink lowers the risk for liver cancer and heart disease. Researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Medicine in Stockholm, Sweden, found that two cups of coffee a day reduced people’s liver cancer risk by 43 percent. Other scientists at the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis found that women coffee drinkers lowered their heart disease risk by 24 percent.

Relief from muscle cramps. A study at the University of Georgia in Athens showed that women who took the caffeine of two cups of coffee had 48 percent less leg pain within an hour after having their leg muscle stimulated.

Relief from aerobics’ pain. A study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign revealed that women who took two cups of coffee worth of caffeine one hour before cycling experienced 40 percent less pain than those who took none.

Easier negotiating. When talking about a difficult topic, doing it over a cup of coffee can promote a good outcome, a study in the European Journal of Social Psychology found. This may be because it improves cognitive function, allowing people to be more open to a good argument.

Breast cancer prevention. Research in the Journal of Nutrition discovered that young women who drank four or more cups of coffee a day had 40 percent less breast cancer risk than non-drinkers. Even two daily cups of coffee provided a benefit.

Better recall. Researchers at the Medical University of Innsbruck in Austria found that caffeine improves short-term memory. So drinking a cup before an important meeting could provide just the right edge.

 


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