Strangely enough few people are aware of coffee&’s positive effects on health, though recent research indicates that coffee may not be as bad and it is loaded with antioxidants and beneficial nutrients that can improve your health.

It appears to offer some protection against conditions such as Parkinson&’s disease and Type 2 diabetes, although to substantially lower your risk especially for diabetes you may need to drink six cups of coffee every day.

 

Get a jolt. When you are sleep-deprived or groggy you reach out for a cup of coffee. It not only gives you that much-needed jolt, it also makes you sharper allowing your brain to work more efficiently. Moreover, everything from your reaction time, vigilance, attention, logical reasoning will improve.

A better athlete. Have a strong cup of coffee about half an hour before you head to the gym. It is believed that a cup of coffee before a workout jolts athletic performance, especially in endurance sports like distance running and cycling. Caffeine breaks down body fat, releasing it into the blood as free fatty acids and making it available as fuel; this saves the body&’s small reserves of carbohydrates for later use during exercise. Caffeine also increases Epinephrine (adrenaline) levels in the blood; this is the “fight or flight” hormone, designed to ready our bodies for intense physical exertion.

Coffee reduces depression. A study done by the National Institute of Health found that those who drink four or more cups of coffee were about 10pc less likely to be depressed than those who had never touched it. It&’s not because of the caffeine high, but as the study author said, the proposed reason coffee makes you feel good is because of all those antioxidants that it has.

Caffeine is dehydrating! You have heard it too often. It&’s true that coffee has a mild diuretic effect, but the water in caffeinated beverages more than makes up for the dehydrating effects of the caffeine itself though a recent study suggests that habitual coffee drinkers may build up some resistance to the potential dehydrating effects.

Decaf is caffeine free! It&’s usually believed that decaf is caffeine free, but various studies have shown that a cup of decaf can contain around 20 milligrams of caffeine — significantly less than a regular cup. (A typical cup has around 95 to 200 milligrams.) If someone drinks five to 10 cups of decaffeinated coffee, the dose of caffeine could easily reach the level present in a cup or two of caffeinated coffee.

The bottom line is that while drinking coffee in moderation is safe and may provide a myriad of health benefits and may have fewer risks compared with benefits, other beverages such as milk and some fruit juices contain nutrients that coffee does not. Also, adding cream and sugar to your coffee adds more fat and calories. Some coffee drinks contain more than 500 calories.

Also, if coffee troubles you with side-effects, you should not start or continue drinking it for its supposed health benefits.

By Rizwana Naqvi