Coffee has been on the rise in popularity ever since it was introduced to Europe and North America in the 17th century. It’s considered one of the most popular drinks in the world, with billions of cups consumed every day worldwide. It’s also one of the most controversial, with many medical experts warning that consuming too much can have negative side effects on your health. Whether you think coffee’s great or horrible, these 5 reasons will help make your case!
1) Coffee Gives You Energy
For many people, it’s a necessary pick-me-up to get them through an afternoon slump or an early morning meeting. A few cups of coffee and you feel ready to conquer anything. Have some decaf on hand if you have a hard time sleeping, but try not to rely on caffeine as your only source of energy throughout your day. When used sparingly, however, coffee can be quite effective at helping you start off your day feeling energized and focused.
2) Coffee Keeps Your Brain Sharp
The caffeine in coffee has actually been shown to boost cognitive function, which may help prevent memory loss as we age. There’s even speculation that coffee can protect against Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Most adults need about 400 milligrams of caffeine a day to reap these benefits—about two cups of brewed coffee or an energy drink. If you want to make it easier on yourself, consider investing in a drip coffeemaker or a single-serve brewer; many have timer settings so you can wake up to fresh-brewed java. And remember: decaf doesn’t count!
3) Caffeine Doesn’t Cause Weight Gain
One of coffee’s biggest health benefits might be that it can actually help you lose weight. A 2011 study found that drinking four cups of coffee per day helped reduce belly fat, a type of fat that even regular exercise and cutting calories can’t get rid of. Another study from 2010 showed that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee helped adults shed an average 10 pounds over 12 weeks. No doubt about it: If you want to lose weight, your best friend is your morning cup (or three) of joe.
4) Boost Your Immune System
Drinking coffee everyday boosts your immune system. A 2003 study found that people who drank 2-3 cups of coffee a day were 45% less likely to catch a cold than those who abstained from java altogether. The more you drink, however, there's evidence that your body may build up a tolerance for caffeine, making it less effective at fighting off illness (and eventually, other caffeinated products). The best way to ensure continued benefits? Take some time off. At least once a month should do it; otherwise you could end up with decaffeinated immune cells.
5) It Gives You a Hand-to-Face Connection
The first time I tasted coffee, I was only four years old. I had never drunk anything before and didn’t know what to expect. But when that warm brown liquid touched my lips for that first time, it was love at first sip. There’s a reason we often put hands up to our face when we’re drinking coffee; it almost feels like you are kissing your drink.
If you are tired and would like a way to get a nice boost, try adding a small amount of half-and-half to your coffee instead of drinking an energy drink. Although they don’t taste as good, they will help you feel better throughout your day. The best part about drinking half-and-half is that it won’t make you crash later on like an energy drink can. If you enjoy your coffee with cream or milk, try adding half and half for a much healthier option. Not only does it taste good, but it will help wake you up and keep you awake until lunch time!
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