If you can’t quite get your day started without a steaming cup of joe, you’re not alone. Research indicates that more Americans are drinking at least one cup of coffee a day — some 67% of us, in fact. That’s up from 62% a year ago, and is the highest percentage of java junkies since 2012.

The benefits of coffee are pretty well known. Not only does it taste delicious, but it also offers us a nearly instant boost of energy. Many people rely on a steady stream of the stuff to get them through their daily tasks, as well.

Beyond that, you might not be aware of what coffee does to your body. Join us as we take a look at America’s favorite morning brew!

The Benefits of Coffee on Your Health

Believe it or not, coffee has been linked to lowered risks of developing diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular issues, and diabetes.

Last year, two studies published in the Annals of Internal Medicine discovered that those who drank any kind of coffee, including decaffeinated, were less likely to die an early death.

Researchers from the National Cancer Institute, the University of Southern California, and the University of Hawaii looked at over 180,000 Americans. The findings? Individuals who drank upwards of two cups of coffee daily were 18% less likely to die than their non-coffee-consuming counterparts. The risk of heart disease, kidney disease, cancer and having a stroke were all lowered.

Another study, this one involving 500,000 European people in 10 different countries, had a similar outcome. People who drank the most coffee demonstrated a lower rate of early death — even when factoring in variables such as smoking habits and family history.

Such findings are pretty amazing, but they’re only the latest discoveries in a long line of coffee-related revelations. A few of the high points:

  • Coffee increases not just alertness but also attention span
  • Coffee can boost your mood
  • Caffeine consumption may improve memory
  • Coffee can help build and strengthen social bonds, leading people to evaluate their peers more positively
  • Coffee can improve athletic performance
  • Caffeine can help enhance the effects of some medications, notably the pain reliever acetaminophen

In some ways, we are only just discovering the extent of what coffee does to your body.

What About the Downsides?

Of course, it’s necessary to look at the total picture, not just pick and choose the research that makes coffee look like a miracle drug. After all, while it is definitely a pick-me-up, it’s not a panacea.

What are some of the drawbacks associated with that daily latte habit? Well, for starters, caffeine is notorious for being a double-edged sword.

If you’re sensitive to it, if you continue to consume coffee into the afternoon and evening, or even if the barista accidentally adds two extra shots of espresso instead of one, you’ll feel the effects for hours on end. You may have trouble sleeping. Your heart may race. You could feel jittery or nervous.

The half-life of coffee, it turns out, is about five or six hours. That means you’ll still be feeling about the effects of that 4 p.m. coffee break at 10 p.m., just as you’re getting ready to turn in for the night.

Another adverse effect is that coffee contributes to stomach acid. This is bad news for anyone who’s already prone to heartburn, acid reflux, or stomach ulcers.

Additionally, high doses of caffeine have been linked to anxiety and panic attacks. Drinking a cup of coffee can also stimulate hormonal responses, such as a surge in adrenaline. It can cause the heart rate to spike and may have an adverse effect on some people’s blood pressure.

Others, however, show no issues with high blood pressure or heart rate. So the jury is still out on that one. And you know your body best; if that fourth or fifth cup sets your nerves to jangling, it’s time to curtail your coffee intake.

What Coffee Does to Your Body Over Time

Do you regularly depend on coffee to wake you up in the morning, or to keep you going through an afternoon slump? If so, it should come as no surprise to learn that you are addicted to caffeine.

Certainly, of all the addictions that are out there, coffee is one of the most benign. Nevertheless, it’s important to understand just what that cycle of addiction is doing to your body.

Some researchers have posited that the perceived benefits of coffee aren’t as beneficial as they might seem. When people experience, say, a boost of energy and attentiveness after a cup of coffee, what they are actually feeling is the short-term relief from caffeine withdrawal symptoms.

If you are concerned about being addicted to coffee or other caffeinated beverages, experts say to dial back your consumption gradually. Replace regular high-test brew with half- or all decaf. Or skip a cup or two each day instead.

It’s never a bad idea to do your own research and get more info, as well, so you can make an informed decision.

Lastly, don’t reach for your mug first thing upon waking. Instead, wait about an hour before you have your coffee. That can help maximize its energy-lifting properties, and make you a little less likely to go through withdrawal each morning.

Final Thoughts

It sometimes seems that science doesn’t know what to make of everyday substances in our food and drink, like caffeine. One day the news is good, telling us that coffee can help us live longer. The next day, we learn that it’s actually not so hot.

What’s the takeaway from all these studies and research that examine what coffee does to your body? It all boils down to moderation, experts tell us. If you enjoy coffee and find that it benefits you, then, by all means, enjoy a few cups. Just make sure not to overdo it, or to indulge too late in the day.

For more informative, useful health tips, bookmark our blog and check back often for new content!

You May Also Like
Read More

6 Most Useful Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

Starting a business – and being successful at it – requires the right amount of talent, knowledge and skills. You must have the knowledge about your industry, about general business principles, as well as about the laws and regulations that affect your operation.

Additionally, you must have nerves of steel and a heavy dose of patience to take chances and navigate the ups and downs that come with any new venture.

Although success often requires you to have ambition and clear goals, it also requires a certain set of personal skills. Here you will read about six useful skills that entrepreneurs need on their way to success.

1. Ability to listen

Great communicators make great businesspeople. In the business world, you must establish rapport with partners and suppliers. You also need to be there for your employees.

Of course, in order to succeed, you need to commit to customer service excellence, which involves hearing what your customers have to say. All these types of interaction involve one common skill – the ability to listen.

Without the capacity to interact with other people, you will have difficulty getting your new business off the ground. If you have little practice with interpersonal relationships, don’t lose hope.

By learning how to listen, you take one of the best shortcuts available on the path to becoming a great communicator.

When people have something to say, never interrupt them. People often have feelings, opinions, and interests that differ from yours, but if you learn to hear them out, you can quickly win people over.

As you listen attentively, notice the non-verbal cues that contribute to the conversation. When you intentionally communicate with customers and other people through listening, you gain their trust, loyalty, and admiration.

2. Assertiveness and confidence

Though listening skills are undeniably important, that doesn’t mean you have to keep quiet. Quite the contrary, being a good businessperson implies believing in yourself and being able to speak your mind with confidence. After all, communication goes two ways.

As an aspiring entrepreneur, you will often find yourself in situations that require assertiveness. Whether you are dealing with a pushy business partner or a demanding employee, you should never let others dictate your actions.

So, when you need to express your opinion – even if it includes disagreeing with the other party – try to do it assertively and confidently.

Take a deep breath, and articulate your thoughts. Sometimes it might seem overwhelming, as if you are on the verge of a conflict, but eventually you will learn to relax and project self-assurance. You will also gain the trust and respect of those around you.

3. Willingness to Learn

Being a businessperson requires an ongoing willingness to learn. Even after building a successful business, you have not finished your job. In fact, when it comes to learning and improving, you are never quite finished.

Continuous learning will help you evolve both personally and professionally. An insatiable appetite for learning through the Internet, books, documentaries, and seminars will deepen your knowledge and help you maintain your creative edge.

You should also remember to stay up-to-date with all the relevant development in your industry. Pay attention to trends and issues that affect your line of business and learn from the people who have already succeeded in businesses similar to yours.

Talk to industry leaders to get their advice, and apply their insight to your own business. Whatever you do, make learning an ongoing process both in your personal and professional life.

4. Creativity 

When it comes to keeping your business fresh and competitive, creativity is an essential skill. To innovate, you need to be creative. Being creative means doing things differently and thinking not only outside the box but also without that box!

This goes for both your personal life and business. In fact, those two are interconnected – when you spark creativity in your personal life, it will inevitably reflect on your business. So, what can you do?

What you can do is shake up your routine by trying new ways of doing things. Even small changes such as rearranging your office, driving home via a new route, ordering an unusual meal and talking to strangers can help you develop habits that can lead to innovation.

You should also attempt to think about things from new perspectives and apply new ways of solving problems. A little bit of creativity can go a long way in terms of your business growth, so do everything you can not to stifle it with convention and routine.

5. Courage and risk taking 

Entrepreneurs take risks, and you will surely find yourself in situations that require quick and risky decision making. You should never act recklessly, but you should always have the courage to try new ideas and to take little risks. If you don’t try, you will not succeed – it is that simple.

People are often held back by the fear of failure. Rather than fearing failure, embrace it. Sometimes the best experiences in business come from ideas that didn’t work.

Follow your creativity by implementing new ideas and making bold decisions even when you lack clear direction. As an entrepreneur, you should have the guts to take chances and have faith. As John Burroughs once said, “Leap, and the net will appear.”

6. Perseverance 

Last but not least, entrepreneurs must never give up. Remember this – never give up! There will be numerous obstacles and challenges along your way, but if you persevere in spite of them, you will reap success.

Sometimes this means having to accept failure. Even when your failures are expensive and embarrassing, they can still lead to success. Forgive yourself when you make mistakes and look for lessons you can learn from every seemingly negative experience.

As a business owner, you must also develop patience. Success usually does not come overnight, and setbacks do not magically resolve themselves. In the face of adversity, maintain optimism. When you believe in yourself and persevere, you become a prime candidate for success.

Difficulties along the road to entrepreneurial success can seem discouraging. However, if you regard every situation as a learning experience, you can develop the much needed personal skills that will help you build a successful business when you combine them with your expert knowledge.

Begin with the six useful skills listed here, and look for other tips for personal and professional growth along your pathway to success. Most importantly, remember to always improve and challenge yourself – there is no success for those who stand still.

Author bio: Natalie Smith, a freelance writer from Seattle, follows topics related to entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing, social media, and business in general. You can reach her @Natalie Smith

Let's block ads! (Why?)