USA! We’re number one! What am I referring to? Coffee consumption of course!
The US is the world’s biggest consumer of the beverage with around 83 percent of adults drinking the stuff in 2013. That’s up from 78 percent a year earlier, according to the National Coffee Association’s online survey. They also discerned that your average Joe drinks up to three cups of joe a day. With so many people guzzling coffee, we decided to dive into the more nuanced and more surprising list of things that coffee can do to and for the human body.
by Grant Stoddard
LIFE IN HD
The caffeine in coffee will have your adrenal glands pumping out adrenaline. Within 20 minutes, your pupils will dilate as a result of this natural exciter. The upshot? You could temporarily enjoy sharper vision.
YOU LIVE LONGER
SLOW YOUR HEART RATE
Just 20 minutes after drinking a cup of coffee, you’ll begin to feel it’s stimulating effects. You can expect to experience a greater degree of alertness and be able to concentrate better on tasks.
FOR YOUR HEART
Harvard researchers found that coffee drinkers have a 10 percent decreased risk of death from heart disease. But a common java add-in may counteract the drink’s health-boosting effects: creamer. The traditional varieties are packed with trans-fats, often hiding under the guise of its lesser-known name: hydrogenated oil, which raises levels of cholesterol and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Yikes! Keep the creamer out of your cup to reap the heart-healthy benefits of your daily sip. Find out more of the 40 Habits That Make You Sick and Fat now!
THREE HOUR ENERGY DRINK
Coffee is best known for its ability to give drinkers some get up and go, but after three hours that borrowed energy has got up and gone. To keep the buzz going, you’ll need to drink more coffee. This tactic could eventually be a problem because drinking coffee too late in the day can disrupt the production of melatonin, the body’s primary sleep hormone. For more foods that can help kick your performance into high gear, click here for this list of the essential 40 Best Foods for Muscle and Strength!
PAIN BETTER AND FASTER
FOR UNBORN BABIES
A study published in 2008 in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and found that the risk of miscarriage among pregnant women is more than double in women who consume over 200 mg or more of caffeine per day. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also recommends an upper limit of 200 mg/day.
BURN CALORIES FASTER
Coffee is one of the best drinks for weight loss because it boosts your metabolism. The average metabolic rate of people who drank caffeinated coffee was 16 percent higher than that of those who drank decaf, according to a study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior. A cup of black coffee is a good choice for a pre-workout beverage, too: Researchers found that cyclists who took a caffeine supplement were able to ride about a mile farther than those who took a placebo. Make yours a venti and skip the sweeteners.
But don’t over do it. Have a few cups of coffee for a metabolism boost, but if you’re never seen without a mug at your lips, that could work against you, says nutritionist Amy Shapiro. Caffeine is a natural appetite suppressant. If you’re constantly consuming it, you may not eat much — or realize how hungry you are — until you get home for dinner. “Not eating enough throughout the day can make your metabolism sluggish,” she says. “By the time you eat dinner, instead of immediately using that food for energy, your body is aggressively storing it as fat, just in case it will be deprived again.”
COULD ALTER YOUR BRAIN
Sure, we all know that coffee can perk you up when you drink it but according to research, just huffing some roasted beans can have a profound and measurable effect on how the brain functions. At least, studies performed on the brains of stressed and non-stressed rats. The stressed rats showed different levels of activity in 17 genes in the brain and Levels of some brain proteins also changed in ways that could have a calming effect on stress or have an antioxidant function.
“Regular caffeine consumption leads to physical dependence on caffeine, which manifests as withdrawal symptoms when a caffeine user abruptly stops using caffeine,” says Laura M. Juliano, director of Behavioral Pharmacology and Health Promotion at American University, Washington, DC. “A diffuse throbbing headache is a hallmark feature of caffeine withdrawal. The reason for this is that one of the pharmacological effects of caffeine is a constriction of blood vessels in the brain.”
“There are certain headaches, called hypnic headaches, that can be prevented with caffeine,” says Dr. Kathleen Digre, fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and director of Headache and Neuro-ophthalmology Division at the University of Utah in Salt Lake/ Hypnic headaches are a rare headache seen in elderly individuals that starts after they fall asleep. Drinking a bit of coffee before you go to sleep can prevent hypnic headaches. Caffeine is also used in post-lumbar puncture headaches [which can occur after a person undergoes a spinal tap].” Have even more sweet dreams and see slim-down success with these 20 Ways to Lose Weight in Your Sleep!
IF YOU BINGE DRINK