There are many advantages to working at Bohío; the main benefit being the convenient access to the best coffee! There are some days I question my coffee intake, which led me to research the composition of this widely consumed beverage. What I found was rather helpful; I will never question my intake again, if anything I will drink more! Here are 5 reasons why you should continue drinking coffee, or start!
1. Coffee is energizing
Studies have shown that caffeinated coffee has a beneficial effect on alertness and improves overall performance based on the time of day that the coffee is consumed. (1)
Why is this?
The caffeine from the coffee is absorbed into the bloodstream, and then travels to the brain. Once the caffeine reaches the brain, it blocks the neurotransmitter Adenosine. Adenosine is believed to promote sleep. When Adenosine is blocked, the caffeine then activates noradrenaline neurons, also known as norepinephrine. In the brain, norepinephrine increases alertness, enhances memory, promotes vigilance, and allows one to focus their attention. (2)
Photographed by Nickolas Saraceni
2. Coffee contains vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to health
Vitamin B-2 (riboflavin)
Helps to carry out a number of chemical reactions that assist in the breakdown of nutrients. If you are lacking in Vitamin B-2, your lips and skin can become scaly and start to peel. Consuming coffee can help prevent this deficiency. (3)
Vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid)
Helps maintain the health of your digestive tract, supports the function of your adrenal glands, helps produce red blood cells, and helps promote wound healing. (3)
Assists in nerve cell signaling and contributes to the mineralized tissue in the bone. Without calcium, there is an increased risk of osteoporosis and kidney failure.
Helps support the functioning of your heart, aids in muscle contraction, is a component of your teeth and bones, and contributes to the production of energy in your cells. (3)
Photographed by Nickolas Saraceni
3. Coffee is packed with important antioxidants
Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by dangerous molecules known as free radicals. Experts believe that the damage that free radicals cause is a major factor in the development of blood vessel disease and cancer. Antioxidants play a role in managing and preventing some cancers, macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, and some arthritis-related conditions. (4) A study was conducted to show which foods provide the most antioxidants. The average consumption of antioxidants daily was ~17 mmol/d with β-carotene, α-tocopherol, and vitamin C contributing <10%. The intake of coffee contributed ~11.1 mmol, fruits ~1.8 mmol, tea ~1.4 mmol, wine 0.8 mmol, all grain containing foods ~0.8 mmol, and vegetables ~0.4 mmol. (5)
Coffee being the single highest contributor to the total daily antioxidant intake!
4. Drinking coffee makes you happier
Coffee stimulates the release of dopamine. Dopamine is a compound present in the body as a neurotransmitter. The brain includes several dopamine pathways, one of which plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior. Examples of the reward-motivated system include: motivation, associated learning or positive reinforcement, and positive emotions. In other words, coffee releases dopamine which produces happy feelings and a state of euphoria. (6)
5. Just smelling coffee can cause one to become less stressed
A study was conducted on sleep-deprived, stressed, lab rats. Some of the lab rats were exposed to the scent of coffee. The researchers compared the expression of certain genes and proteins in the subject’s brains. Some of the genes expressed proteins that have healthful antioxidant properties that are known to protect nerve cells from stress-related damage. The subjects that were not exposed to the scent of coffee didn’t show these gene expressions. (7)
Simply, inhaling the aroma of coffee can relieve stress if the stress is caused by lack of sleep.
To summarize, keep drinking coffee!