5 healthy reasons to love coffee
It’s UK Coffee Week, so we’re celebrating this deliciously diverse drink. These days, coffee almost rivals tea as the nation’s favourite drink. And whether you prefer to neck a double espresso, drink a luxurious latte, or be choosy with a skinny cappuccino and a shot of caramel, your morning cup of joe contains several surprising health benefits. Here’s the skinny on how coffee can give you a boost in more ways than one:
1 It helps to keep us alert – but only if you drink it mid-morning
You may think waking up to a coffee with breakfast is the only thing to perk you up on a dark morning. But experts have found that it might actually be best to wait until 9.30am to drink your first coffee of the day. This is because the stress hormone cortisol peaks when you wake up, which is your body’s natural way of keeping you energised. Research suggests that if you drink coffee during this time, the energy-boosting effects will be a lot weaker than if you wait until your cortisol levels drop mid-morning. So to get the most energy out of your coffee breaks, best to schedule them according to the dips in cortisol – around 9.30am-11.30pm and 1.30-5pm.
2 It may help us to melt away fat
Coffee is thought to have properties that may genuinely help us to lose those pesky pounds. New research from North Western University revealed that coffee acts in the opposite way to cannabis, using the same system in the body. The “munchies” is when people who smoke cannabis suddenly crave food because the drug hits part of the brain linked to appetite. Results of the coffee study found that rather than increasing one’s appetite like cannabis might, it may actually make people less hungry, and therefore aid weight-loss.
3 It may be more effective than ibuprofen at soothing pain
In some cases, caffeine may be more effective than pain relief drugs like ibuprofen and even morphine. A 2017 study found that coffee can aid those suffering from pain when the person is sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation increases a person’s sensitivity to pain, but caffeine can help tackle this because it boosts the dopamine in the body – the brain’s pleasure chemical.
4 It can optimise our workouts
It’s thought that drinking coffee before a workout can help to energise you. But a study found that slurping coffee right before a workout may not only boost performance but also increase the amount of calories burned. Scientists gave athletes 400mg of caffeine (equivalent of four cups of coffee) before a workout, which found the athletes burned more calories during the workout. However, heed caution here, as up to 400mg of caffeine per day is understood to be the safe limit for an adult.
5 It contains essential nutrients
There is more to coffee than simply caffeine. A single cup of coffee contains these key nutrients:
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 11% of the RDA.
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5): 6% of the RDA.
Manganese and Potassium: 3% of the RDA.
Magnesium and Niacin (B3): 2% of the RDA.
Plus, there’s a new supercharged coffee on the block. In the wake of turmeric lattes and mushroom coffee comes protein coffee. We like Get Nourished, a new iced coffee with 25g protein – the equivalent amount to that found in a steak! Available in Holland & Barrett stores, it’s a convenient way to get all the goodness of coffee while keeping hunger at bay, and it tastes delish, too.