Did you know that Caffeine is the most consumed "drug" on the planet? Caffeine exists in all sorts of consumables, but we're coffee die-hards here. You could say that the world runs on coffee. It wakes you up, increases blood circulation, revs up your heart rate, etc. It's no wonder why people love this stuff to get them up and going for the day! But how does "coffee" work? What is it about a simple beverage, made from a bean that can super-charge your day?
Caffeine is the magic stuff that makes turns a drink into something naturally stimulating!
"Caffeine (C8H10N4O2) is the common name for trimethylxanthine (systematic name is 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine or 3,7-dihydro-1,3,7-trimethyl-1H-purine-2,6-dione). The chemical is also known as coffeine, theine, mateine, guaranine, or methyltheobromine."
Caffeine naturally exists in many plants actually! Yerba mate, guarana berries, holly leaves and many other kinds of teas contain it! (plenty of energy drinks too, but those have all sorts of other possibly not-good stuff in them) -- Let's focus on the caffeine in coffee, though. When you take a swig of coffee, the caffeine goes into your stomach to be digested/absorbed into the bloodstream. Affecting neurotransmitters; caffeine mostly impacts the brain. But what kind of benefits does this natural pleasantry yield? Coffee can aide in focus, energy and overall well-being. (There may even be evidence it helps you live longer.
There's nothing worse than having a fog-like feeling on your brain. You know you're awake, and you know what you need to do, but it just feels like your brain is saying "Nope! Not today!" One of the best things about coffee is it's delicious AND it helps with focus and concentration! That sounds like a fantastic reason to pour yourself a second cup.
ENERGY - We plug in our phones, our tablets, our ear-buds, heck, we even plug our cars into electricity! Wouldn't that be nice if we could get a little charge too? While that's not likely, what is a sure thing is caffeine and our trusty cup of coffee provide a nice little energy boost.
"Caffeine, partly due to its stimulant effect on the central nervous system, both raises metabolism and increases the oxidation of fatty acids . It can also improve athletic performance in several ways, including by mobilizing fatty acids from the fat tissues In two separate meta-analyses, caffeine was found to increase exercise performance by 11–12%, on average."
A quick boost in metabolism? Assistance in potential weight-loss? Added performance for exercise? All three of those things sound good. Today's age is a hustle & bustle time! Everyone is always on the go, which means having some added energy is not only appreciated but for some required!
WELL-BEING - How is it a drink can make someone feel good or even happier?
"Two reasons: Scientists have known for many years that coffee stimulates the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine produces the euphoria and pleasant feelings that people often associate with their first cup of coffee in the morning. Many drugs that produce euphoria, such as cocaine, amphetamine and ecstasy, act upon dopamine in the brain. This action by coffee has always been an adequate explanation for why caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world. "
If something as simple as a cup of coffee could help you feel happier, it sure doesn't hurt to try a cup or two.
There have also been more recent studies on another amazing benefit of coffee.
LONGEVITY - Humans are finite. That is an undisputed fact of nature. However, humankind has tried to stretch out their lives since the dawn of time! Anything to keep on going, right? We are now receiving some excellent insights on how coffee might just be helping us live longer!
The National Geographic Magazine states, "The study, thought to be the largest of its kind, followed more than 500,000 people in 10 European countries over the course of 16 years. It found that compared with those who don’t drink coffee, those who do show signs of having healthier livers and circulatory systems, as well as lower levels of inflammation, says epidemiologist and study leader Marc Gunter. The findings also indicated that “higher coffee consumption was associated with a reduced risk of death from any cause,” including circulatory diseases and digestive diseases, says Gunter, who heads the nutrition and metabolism section of the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France"
Now to outright say "coffee will make you live longer" is a bit of a stretch, but if coffee can help your liver, fight inflammation and aides in circulation, that all sounds like a check-mark on a reason to drink our favorite beverage. However, too much of anything can't be a good thing, so be mindful and practice moderation because too much caffeine can also have a negative effect on many people.
There are actually quite a few more compelling arguments to the benefits of coffee. So go on! Pour yourself another cup. Cheers to your health!