9 Reasons to Drink More Coffee!
Ask anyone who knows me: I am a certified java junkie. I'm naturally energetic to begin with, but I rely on my caffeine companion to power me through long days, tough workouts and piles of work. I can even have three cups a day—including a dose after dinner—and still sleep soundly all night. Lucky for me—and the 87 percent of Americans who consume caffeine daily, with the average java drinker gulping down 8 ounces a day—more research is proving that coffee is actually healthy for you. So go on, have that latte without guilt. As if you needed more inspiration, here are some brew benefits to prove that sipping is smart:
It helps you shed pounds
People who drank more metabolism-firing caffeine gained less weight over 12 years than those who cut back on the coffee, say researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.
It powers your workouts
Downing coffee and toast between back-to-back workouts can keep you humming, a study from the Journal of Applied Physiology reports. Athletes who drank a caffeinated carbohydrate beverage after cycling had 66 percent more glycogen (an energy reserve) in their muscles than those who had a caffeine-free version. Replenishing glycogen helps you go farther and faster in your next session. Do you run on caffeine?
It helps you wake up refreshed
Drinking a cup of coffee immediately before taking a 15- to 30-minute catnap can leave you alert and rested after waking up, according to research from The Sleep Research Centre, Loughborough University in Leicestershire, England. Caffeine takes a half hour to kick in, so it will rouse you after a short snooze. Try these tips to sleep your way gorgeous.
It can ward off illness
Increasing your coffee intake may prevent liver cancer, The National Institute of Environmental Medicine in Stockholm, Sweden, finds. Two cups of java daily lowered a person's risk by 43 percent on average. In another study from University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, women who drank coffee had a 24 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease and other inflammatory conditions. Antioxidants in coffee are likely behind the protective benefits.
It can ease muscle cramps
Women who had the caffeine equivalent of two cups of coffee the day after their quadriceps were stimulated (as if they'd done squats) felt 48 percent less leg pain within an hour, research from the University of Georgia in Athens reveals. Caffeine may block the body's receptors for the ouch-causing chemical adenosine, scientists speculate.
It makes cardio feel like a cinch
Women given the caffeine equivalent of about two cups of coffee an hour before cycling reported 40 percent less pain than those who went decaf, according to a study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Caffeine seems to block neurotransmitters that signal discomfort during exercise, researchers say.
It helps you get want you want
Dealing with a difficult person? Broach a tough topic over a cup of joe. Caffeine may make people more open to persuasion, the European Journal of Social Psychology notes. Researchers say it hones cognitive function, causing skeptics to be more receptive to a convincing case.
It may fight breast cancer
Young women drinking four or more cups of caffeinated coffee daily reduced their breast cancer risk by 40 percent compared with nondrinkers, a study in the Journal of Nutrition finds. The caffeine and polyphenols in regular coffee protect against cancer. Worried about getting the jitters? Even two cups every day can help. And try these risk-reducing recipes as well.
It improves recall!
Caffeine perks up short-term memory, a study from the Medical University of Innsbruck in Austria reveals. One cup of coffee may be all it takes; drink it before a big meeting to be your sharpest.