Today’s topic is Nutrition! On Wednesdays, we seek to provide you with up-to-date conversations surrounding personal nutrition and dietary habits, as well as tips that we believe will boost your overall well-being! Today’s subject is black coffee!
If you’re a caffeine addict like me, you can’t start your day without a steaming hot cup of black coffee. But did you know that this little pick-me-up has some serious health benefits? And no, I’m not talking about your mocha-choco-BS from Starbucks, I’m talking about old reliable—a good old pot of black coffee!
First of all, let’s talk about the physical benefits of black coffee. It’s been shown to improve physical performance and increase endurance (Lieberman et al., 2008).
This is due to caffeine’s increasing the availability of fatty acids in the bloodstream, which can be used as fuel (Graham, 2001). It can also reduce muscle pain during exercise by inhibiting the production of a chemical called adenosine, which is involved in the sensation of pain (Graham, 2001). So next time you’re hitting the gym or going for a long run, consider having a cup of black coffee before you start. It may just give you the extra boost you need to power through your workout.
But it’s not just physical performance that black coffee can improve; it has the potential to play a role in recovery as well. Caffeine has been shown to improve blood flow to the muscles, which can help with muscle reparation and reduce the risk of injury (Shafiee, 2015).
Black coffee has also been shown to have cognitive benefits as well. A study by the National Institute on Aging found that caffeine can improve memory and cognitive function in older adults (Kendrick et al., 1994). This is because caffeine stimulates the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, which are involved in brain function (Smith, 2013).
Because caffeine is an adenosine inhibitor, it improves alertness and concentration (Haskell, 2007). So, if you’re feeling a little foggy in the brain, try having a cup of black coffee. It may just give you the mental clarity you need to tackle your tasks for the day. Furthermore, caffeine has been shown to have a protective effect on the brain. Some studies have suggested that regular caffeine consumption may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease (Maia, 2002; Eskelinen, 2009).
The benefits of black coffee don’t stop there. It’s also loaded with antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and improve overall health (Osorio & Velasco, 2019).
And let’s not forget about the weight loss benefits of black coffee. It’s been shown to increase metabolism and help with weight management (Chantre et al., 1999). Black coffee is low in calories and fat, containing about 2 calories and 0 grams of fat. Despite its low-calorie content, black coffee is actually a good source of essential nutrients like vitamins B2, B3, and B5, as well as manganese and potassium (Santos, 2015). So, if you’re trying to shed a few pounds, consider swapping out your sugary lattes for a plain old cup of black coffee.
But before you go chugging down multiple cups of coffee, it’s important to remember that moderation is key. Too much caffeine can lead to negative side effects such as insomnia, jitters, and increased heart rate (Sarris & LaPorte, 2015). So, make sure to keep your coffee intake in check and listen to your body.
In conclusion, black coffee has some serious health benefits. It can improve physical performance, cognitive function, and overall health.
Most importantly, it gives you a swift kick of energy to get you through the day! Just make sure to enjoy it in moderation and listen to your body. Until next time…
- Diepvens, K., Westerterp, K. R., & Westerterp-Plantenga, M. S. (2005). Obesity and thermogenesis related to the consumption of caffeine, ephedrine, capsaicin, and green tea. American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology, 288(3), R708-R715.
- Eskelinen, M. H., & Kivipelto, M. (2009). Midlife coffee and tea drinking and the risk of late-life dementia: a population-based CAIDE study. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 17(4), 873-880.
- Graham, T. E. (2001). Caffeine and exercise: metabolism, endurance, and performance. Journal of Applied Physiology, 89(3), 801-808.
- Haskell, C. F., Kennedy, D. O., Wesnes, K. A., & Scholey, A. B. (2007). Cognitive and mood improvements of caffeine in habitual consumers and habitual non-consumers of caffeine. Psychopharmacology, 190(1), 81-89.
- James, J. E. (2010). Caffeine: A review of its effects on cognitive function. Psychopharmacology, 211(1), 1-9.
- Maia, L., de Mendonça, A., & de Oliveira, C. (2002). Protective effects of caffeine against Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria, 24(suppl 1), S56-S61.
- Santos, C., de Sousa, D., Carvalho, A., & Faria, A. (2015). Nutritional and health benefits of coffee. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 55(6), 772-786.
- Smith, A. (2013). Caffeine and cognitive function. Nutrients, 5(1), 29-38.