Whether you like yours ice cold, piping hot, with a dash of cream, black and full bodied, or in latte, cappuccino, espresso, or even espresso martini form, coffee is one of those drinks that draws you in with its versatility and tantalising taste.
With over 166 million 60kg bags of coffee consumed around the world in 2020/2021 alone, it’s fair to say that the popularity of this brewed beverage is pretty high, thus making it one of the most widely consumed drinks in the world, trailing only behind water and tea.
Said to have originated in Ethiopia, this aromatic drink is the second most traded commodity in the world behind crude oil, with Brazil taking the lead as the biggest exporter of coffee by quite a stretch. Though the world collectively enjoys this drink, which is prepared using roasted coffee beans extracted from the berries of the coffea plant, it’s interesting to discover just how differently it is consumed in differing countries. In Mexico, coffee simmered with a cinnamon stick is popular, while in Portugal, an iced coffee beverage with lemon juice pleases the palate. Mixed with milk and sugar is a popular way to consume coffee in the US and UK, while in Finland hot coffee is poured over cheese curds and in Malaysia you can expect to sample a mix of both coffee and milk tea together.
Whichever way you enjoy this beverage, generally speaking, the collective reason why people consume coffee, in addition to its hearty taste, is the effect it has on us. Widely used as a pick-me-up at the beginning of the day, and throughout, the caffeine present in coffee can act as a performance and energy booster, but how good is coffee for you really? And how much should you be enjoying each day to reap any potential benefits before it gets too much? We take a look at the positive aspects of coffee drinking below, and for more in-depth information and discussion around coffee, head to the coffee lab q&a website where you find out more and chat all things coffee.
Increase in energy and performance
As mentioned above, one of the primary reasons people pick up a coffee is for a boost in alertness, and performance if they are desperate to get through the day in one piece. This is where caffeine comes into play with an average of 100mg in every mug providing that kick when you need it. It is said to fire up certain neurons when absorbed into the bloodstream that can improve memory, energy, mood and cognitive function.
Be sure to limit yourself to no more than four cups though, as the FDA has cited 400mg per day as the amount not generally associated with negative effects. It is worth noting that doesn’t include how much pregnant women should consume and also be aware that the effects of caffeine will differ from person to person, depending on their levels of sensitivity to it. If you love the taste but caffeine is having an adverse side effect on you then swap out for decaffeinated options, while still containing caffeine, the amount is lowered to around 7mg per cup.
A metabolism booster?
We all know the importance of a good metabolism in allowing us to lead healthy lifestyles, but research has suggested that caffeine could improve weight management through burning fat and boosting metabolic rate. Very promising for coffee lovers seeking treatment for obesity, and it explains why caffeine is present in almost every commercial fat burning supplement. Though more research is required to discover just how obesity can be treated through coffee.
Coffee contains essential nutrients
Due to the way coffee is prepared, many nutrients in coffee beans are still present in the resulting brewed cup you enjoy. These important nutrients include riboflavin (vitamin B2), which sees a sizeable 11% of the recommended daily intake, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), Manganese and potassium, and magnesium and niacin (vitamin B3).
In addition to this, it is believed that coffee is high in antioxidants and provides one of the best sources of this in your whole diet. That’s food for thought.
Coffee can lower the risk of certain illnesses
Many studies have been undertaken to prove the health benefits of coffee and its important caffeine element, and perhaps the most interesting results are those surrounding Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, type 2 diabetes, stroke, liver issues and depression. Said to prevent or lower the risk of the above, it’s certainly worth taking into consideration the benefits that a few cups of coffee each day can bring.