Lately, I have taken an interest in coffee. I have always been a tea lover, but found myself adding coffee to my menu. My dad roasts and brews his own coffee, so I know how to handle that. What I want to know more about is why I should drink coffee. I have heard horror stories about drinkers becoming addicted. The last thing I need is caffeine, but I really enjoy the flavor. I take my coffee black, meaning no sugar, cream, or milk. I used to add hot chocolate mix to the coffee for a mocha-like taste, but the sweetness is too much in the morning. How do you all take your coffee? Or perhaps I should ask, what do you order from Starbucks, Caribou, Peets, or Dunkin’?
My recent interest in why we should drink coffee led me to reading many articles about this matter. I found more articles on why you should drink tea, though. If you didn’t know, tea is fantastic for you. Like my coffee, I prefer my tea plain and simple with just water and tea leaves, please. But, I am falling for coffee. (Especially after eating freshly baked cookies, with some coffee cake, or as a post-meal treat.) What are the benefits of drinking coffee, then? Below is a list I compiled that can be supported by articles I have read. I chose the top four reasons why to drink coffee based on my preferences and life.
1. Let it burn. Let it burn. Gotta let it burn!
As most of you know, coffee contains caffeine. This drug (not necessarily the bad kind, lol) is a stimulant that can help to boost your metabolism and increase fatty acid oxidation, according to a PopSci article I read. Basically, this means that caffeine can cause you to burn more calories and burn any free fatty acids in your body. While it is great… it is on a small scale. Caffeine is simply a supplement to your diet and exercise routine. If it was the “end all, be all” fat burning tool, there would be an insane number of skinny coffee drinkers. Don’t forget that adding cream and sugar will ruin all help caffeine has done for your body. It may be tough at first, as it was for me, but consider drinking your coffee black.
2. Dare we say coffee is… HEALTHY?
According to a Harvard School of Public Health article, research suggests that coffee consumption has led to protection against Parkinson’s disease, type II diabetes, and liver cancer. Again, this is not the “end all, be all” cure for health problems. Granted, there are some benefits, but drink coffee in moderation. I limit myself to 12 ounces (maybe 16 ounces) three or four times a week. This does not include a mocha frapp from Starbucks or a large, 350 calorie, butter pecan swirl iced coffee (with whipped cream) from Dunkin’ Donuts.
3. Drink coffee… your eyes will thank you later.
6 days ago, USA Today posted an article about coffee preventing deteriorating eyesight. Count this four-eyed girl in! Coffee contains 7% to 9% of chlorogenic acid, which is an antioxidant. This antioxidant has been found to prevent retinal degeneration in mice. That is enough for me to drink coffee! Ditch your glasses and join me in a hot cup of Joe (just kidding). I want to reiterate that you should drink coffee in moderation.
4. Don’t worry… be happy.
Forbes magazine posted an article including several studies linking coffee consumption and lower risks of depression/suicide. Caffeine does it again for us by boosting serotonin and dopamine levels. The boost may be small, but it’s appreciated nonetheless. The article reminds the readers that drinking coffee hours before bedtime can cause lack of sleep, which ultimately worsens your mood. Leave coffee for the morning or mid-afternoon.
There you have it, folks. Four reasons why drinking coffee is awesome (in moderation, of course). If you hate coffee, go ahead and drink tea. Like coffee, though, I would suggest cutting the cream, milk, and sugar. In my opinion, it tastes better naturally. Now, grab a good book, pour a cup of Joe, and reap the benefits! Enjoy your drinks and cheers!