Is Coffee Actually Good For You? An RN Weighs In

For the majority of the country, it’s sweltering hot right now, the type of hot that causes a pool of sweat to form under your boobs while you wait in-line for your to-go order. Considering that temperatures are likely to remain high until Christmas for some countries like Malaysia and Singapore, staying properly hydrated is very important right now, right up there with wearing your mask and washing your hands. While there’s no substitute for good ol’ H20, many of us keep a pretty consistent glass of iced coffee on a coaster right between our palms.

Coffee is one of the most commonly consumed beverages in the world. Consequently, even it’s effect on your health could be important on a population scale. Research has shown there have been mixed conclusions as to whether coffee consumption is beneficial or harmful to health. This comes down to how many cups you sip a day and what kind of coffee you consume. According to nutritionists, drinking up to 2 - 3 cups of black coffee a day is okay, in fact, it could give you some health benefits compared to drinking no coffee at all. Here are some benefits that you could gain from having coffee.

  • Boost Energy level

  • Yep, it’s true - coffee could make us feel more energised for the day and night, and we’ve got caffeine to thank for that. Caffeine is found in a range of plants that are used to produce coffee, black and green tea, and cocoa. It’s also found in many cola soft drinks and energy drinks, but it’s best not to get your caffeine buzz from these products as the often very high sugar content outweighs any other benefits.

    Caffeine is a mild stimulant that speeds up the messages between our brain and body. In small doses, and as part of a healthy diet it can make us feel more awake and alert. It is recommended to include 1-2 small coffees (200-250ml) as part of a healthy daily meal plan for the average adult.

  • Improve Physical Performance

  • When we get tired, a chemical called adenosine binds to its receptors in the brain. The chemical structure of caffeine is similar to that of adenosine, and when ingested, it competes with adenosine for these receptors – which tell our brains how fatigued we are. Researchers once thought the effects of caffeine would be reduced in people who regularly drink a lot of coffee, but studies have shown that caffeine has performance-enhancing effects regardless of habits.

  • Reduces Risk of Heart Problems

  • Coffee is an excellent source of antioxidants, which may help protect cells from damage. Higher consumption of coffee – caffeinated and decaf alike – was associated with a lower risk of total mortality, including deaths attributed to heart disease and nervous system diseases. More specifically, habitual coffee drinking has been linked to a lower risk of coronary heart disease in women. For health-conscious coffee lovers then, the most important question isn’t, “Is it good for you?” but rather, “How do you take it?”

    If you dress your coffee up too much with cream and sugar, you risk negating the health benefits. Hence, we recommend to consume coffee as a classic black coffee or with some milk to make a latte or cappuccino, for those who prefer to opt for lactose-free milk, you can choose plant based milk such as oat milk or soy milk.

  • Reduce Risk of Cirrhosis

  • Cirrhosis, also known as liver cirrhosis or hepatic cirrhosis, is a condition in which the liver does not function properly due to long-term damage. The damages may result from alcohol abuse, fatty liver or infections. A research showed an analyzed data from nine previously published studies with a total of more than 430,000 participants and found that drinking two additional cups of coffee a day was linked to a 44% lower risk of developing liver cirrhosis.

  • Help In Weight Management 

  • There’s not a clear yes or no on whether coffee helps or hurts weight loss—or affects it at all. There have been studies supporting the idea that drinking coffee stimulates weight loss, but not enough of 'em to make it a commonly agreed upon scientific fact. 

    Caffeine may stimulate brown adipose tissue, or the fat in your body that burns calories, per a 2019 study in Scientific Reports. Essentially, researchers discovered that drinking one cup of coffee increases your metabolic rate to the point that brown adipose tissue activity occurs, leading to fat-burning and weight loss.

    People who drank four cups of caffeinated coffee per day saw a 4 percent decrease in body fat, according to 2020 findings by Harvard public health researchers that were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study’s authors suspect this is because drinking coffee increases a person’s metabolic rate (which can cause an increase in the number of calories burned).

    Caffeinated mate tea extract was found to reduce the incidence of weight gain and body fat accumulation in a 2020 study in rats in the Journal of Functional Foods. The same results weren’t seen with decaffeinated extract (suggesting it’s the caffeine in mate, at least, that promotes weight loss). 

    In conclusion, you can bless your morning with a cup of joe. As long as you’re not pouring in tons of creamer, sugar, and sweetened flavorings, most diets allow you to keep your coffee—and it even gets to be your favorite brand or variety—no diet versions or “light” substitutions required. Remember to do things in moderation!


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