30 Incredible Health Benefits Coming From Your Cup of Coffee
That hot cup isn't just saving your morning, it could be saving your life.
If you can't start your day without a cup of coffee, you're far from alone. According to the results of a survey presented at the National Coffee Association (NCA) annual meeting in 2018, 64 percent of people polled said they drank coffee in the past 24 hours, and 70 percent of coffee drinkers polled in a survey by Nestle said that coffee makes them a better person. However, it's not just warm fuzzy feelings you're bound to get from your daily hit of Kona or Sumatran roast. Read on to discover all the amazing health benefits packed into that tiny cup of coffee. And if you're concerned you might be overindulging, This Is Exactly How Much Coffee Is Safe to Drink Every Day, According to Science.
Coffee Could Help Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer's
Unfortunately, there's no cure for Alzheimer's, the disorder that slowly causes memory loss and mental decline. But coffee could help reduce the risk of developing it in the first place. A 2006 review of research published in Neurology Research found drinking high levels of coffee was associated with up to a 30 percent reduction in Alzheimer's risk.
Coffee Could Help Protect Against Dementia
Coffee is pretty powerful—especially when it comes to dementia. In a 2017 study published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers found 24 compounds that could possibly boost a brain enzyme that protects against dementia—and caffeine is one of them.
Coffee Can Give Your Memory a Boost
One of the best benefits of coffee? Its ability to give your memory a boost. In a small study from the Radiological Society of North America, researchers found two cups of coffee was able to boost participants' short-term memory skills because of caffeine's effect on higher brain function. And for more great information delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Coffee Could Help Decrease Mental Fatigue
After one too many long nights at the office, it's not uncommon to experience mental fatigue. If you want to get your mental health back on track to avoid more serious health problems, drink some coffee: A 2010 review in the journal Nutrition found caffeine can help decrease the exhaustion you're feeling by perking your body up.
Coffee Could Help Make You Smarter
In need of a brain boost? Grab some coffee. Thanks to the caffeine in your mug, you could experience an increase in mental performance, according to a 2016 review published in Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. Whether you're trying to learn something new or find a solution to a problem, sipping on your go-to brew will make a difference. And for more ways to put your mind to work, check out these 40 Brain-Boosting Habits to Take Up After 40.
Coffee Can Help Improve Your Reaction Time
Feeling a little slow lately? All it might take to get your body back to working at a normal pace is a little coffee. A 2005 study from the Radiological Society of North America found it doesn't take much—just a couple cups—to improve your reaction time, making you better at everything from noticing something scary like smoke in your home (and realizing you need to grab the fire extinguisher ASAP) to breaking your car for a stop sign.
Coffee Can Help Reduce Depression
If drinking a cup or two of coffee tends to make you feel good mentally, there's a reason for that: A 2014 study published in the World Journal of Biological Psychiatry found that coffee actually acts as a mild antidepressant by boosting feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain. After examining 44,000 men and 74,000 women, they found a few cups of brew even reduced the risk of suicide by 50 percent. Looking for more ways to get a mental boost? Start with these 14 Expert-Backed Ways to Improve Your Mental Health Every Day.
Coffee Can Help Boost Your Mood
Coffee not only works as a mild antidepressant in some people, but it also helps prevent mood swings, making you feel happier overall. A 10-year-long 2011 study published in JAMA found that coffee can have a serious mood-boosting effect in people with depression.
Coffee Could Help Improve Your Coordination
Being coordinated is a true blessing, and if you could use some help in that department, you're not alone. A 2010 review in the journal Nutrition found the caffeine in coffee can actually enhance neuromuscular coordination, making your brain send messages to your muscles faster. That helps with a lot of things, tripping on random cracks in the sidewalk included.
Coffee Could Reduce Your Risk of Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's slowly develops over the years, causing tremors, slow movements, speech problems, and other health issues—but drinking coffee could play a role in preventing it: A 2007 study published in Movement Disorders found those who drank coffee every day had a lower risk of developing the disease than non-drinkers.
Coffee Could Decrease Your Risk of Multiple Sclerosis
Don't feel bad about those days you drink a little too much coffee: A 2016 study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry found drinking a high consumption—we're talking more than four a day—can help reduce your risk of multiple sclerosis, a disease that causes the immune system to attack the protective covering of the nerves in the brain, spine, and eyes. And not just by a little—researchers found it could reduce your risk by 31 percent.
Coffee Could Help Get Rid of Headaches
While you've probably experienced a headache as a caffeine withdrawal (which are the worst, by the way), coffee can also help relieve them. According to the National Headache Foundation, caffeine contains properties that narrow the blood vessels and restrict blood flow, which in turn helps relieve the throbbing pain you're experiencing in your noggin. In fact, when you add an actual pain reliever into the mix, you can increase the pain relieving effect by 40 percent.
Coffee Could Help Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease—a disorder of the blood vessels that leads to heart attacks—causes more than 600,000 deaths in the U.S. every year. Luckily, coffee could help keep your ticker healthy. A 2017 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests drinking your favorite brew might even reduce your risk of dying from the disease.
Coffee Could Help Reduce Your Risk of Stroke
Strokes are scary business, and drinking coffee could help reduce your risk of having one. In a 2017 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers found those who love their daily brew had a reduced risk of death from many causes, strokes included.
Coffee Could Help Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes
A 2005 review published in JAMA suggests that those who enjoy drinking coffee every morning have a much lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. So pour yourself a cup—just make sure you nix the cream and sugar.
Coffee Could Help Reduce Your Risk of Digestive Diseases
In the aforementioned 2017 study of more than 521,000 people and 10 countries published in Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers found those who drink coffee had a decreased risk of dying from digestive diseases, which includes everything from Crohn's to celiac.
Coffee Could Help Reduce Gout
If you don't know what gout is, hopefully you never have to find out firsthand: it's the type of painful arthritis comes about when there's excess uric acid in the bloodstream. The good news? A 2007 study published in Arthritis and Rheumatology found long-term coffee consumption could help decrease your risk of gout because of its ability to lower uric acid levels.
Coffee Could Help Reverse Liver Damage from Drinking
If you've hurt your liver from years of drinking, coffee could be the superhero you've been hoping for. In a 2016 review published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, researchers found that people who drank two cups of coffee a day had a 44 percent lower chance of developing liver cirrhosis.
Coffee Could Help Reduce Your Risk of Liver Cancer
Hepatocellular cancer—which predominantly occurs in those who have chronic liver disease—is the most common form of liver cancer, and coffee can help reduce your risk of developing it. A 2017 study published in BMJ Open found it could be possible to see a 20 percent reduced risk by drinking one cup of coffee a day, a 35 percent risk reduction by drinking two, and 50 percent reduction in risk if you down five daily cups because of caffeine's ability to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells.
Coffee Could Reduce Your Risk of Colon Cancer
Coffee is known to help reduce the risk of cancer throughout the body—in fact, a 2016 study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention found drinking it could help cut your risk of colon cancer by a whopping 50 percent. So, how much is needed to reap the benefits? Researchers say one or two cups for a 26 percent reduced risk or more than 2.5 cups for a 50 percent risk reduction.
Coffee Could Lower Your Risk of Prostate Cancer
Listen up, boys: According to a 2011 study led by Harvard School of Public Health researchers and published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, regularly drinking coffee could lower your risk of developing prostate cancer because compounds found in that brew do everything from reducing inflammation to regulating insulin. And get this: decaffeinated coffee counts, too!
Coffee Could Reduce Your Risk of Melanoma
Sure, coffee isn't going to do as much good as sunscreen when it comes to protecting your skin, but it still has some benefits. A 2014 study published by the American Association for Cancer Research found drinking coffee can help reduce the risk of melanoma, which, according to the American Cancer Society, causes the majority of skin cancer-related deaths.
Coffee Could Help Lower Your Risk of Basal Cell Carcinoma
Coffee doesn't only help reduce the risk of developing melanoma—it does the same for basal cell carcinoma too, which affects millions of people every year. A 2012 study of 113,000 participants published by the American Association for Cancer Research found those who drank a minimum of three cups of coffee a day had a 20 percent lower risk of developing basal cell carcinoma than those who didn't.
Coffee Could Help Protect Against Breast Cancer
In a 2015 study published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research on breast cancer patients who had been treated with the drug tamoxifen, researchers found those who drank at least two cups of coffee every day had half the risk of reoccurrence compared to those who drank less or didn't drink coffee at all.
Coffee Could Help Prevent Cavities
Brushing isn't the only way to prevent cavities. While coffee is known to stain the teeth, it's also been found to protect them: A 2009 study published in the Journal of Conservative Dentistry found drinking coffee can help prevent cavities and tooth decay, but there's a catch—you have to drink it black. Unfortunately, coffee with sugar doesn't have many benefits for your teeth—or your overall health.
Coffee Could Help Prevent Gum Disease
Coffee doesn't just help protect against cavities and tooth decay. A 2014 study in the Journal of Periodontology found regular coffee consumption can benefit your gums too, helping prevent the serious infection periodontitis—AKA gum disease—which can result in tooth loss and other health issues.
Coffee Could Help With Erectile Dysfunction
Anyone who has had had problems in the bedroom can benefit from starting their day with coffee: A 2015 study published in the journal PLOS One found men who drank two to three cups a day are less likely to have erectile dysfunction.
Coffee Could Help Increase Libido in Women
Coffee doesn't just help men out in the bedroom—it's also great for women too. One of the benefits of coffee for the fairer sex? A 2005 study published in the journal Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior found caffeine can increase blood flow to the genitals, increasing the libido—but only for women who drink it once a week, max.
Coffee Could Help Reduce Chronic Pain
Does staring at a computer all day constantly make your neck and shoulders ache? It turns out coffee might help reduce that work-related chronic pain. A 2012 study published in BMC Research Notes found 40 percent of the participants who had a daily cup of coffee felt less intense pain than those who didn't drink coffee.
Coffee Could Help You Live Longer
OK, OK—so drinking coffee alone won't necessarily make you live longer. But researchers in a 2017 study published in Annals of Internal Medicine did find those who drink coffee appear to live longer than those who don't. In fact, one cup a day was associated with a 12 percent decreased risk of death while two or three cups reduced a person's mortality risk by 18 percent. And for more ways to increase your longevity, check out these 100 Ways to Live to 100.