Coffee is a lot of things: comforting, energizing, tasty, even trendy. But did you know it also has an abundance of health benefits? If you love coffee as much as we do, this might be the best news you’ve heard in a while.
We’re specifically talking about the black coffee drink that so many of us have come to know and love over the years. When filtered properly – via drip machine, Chemex, or other pour over method – black coffee contains the natural stimulant that keeps us alert and on top of our stuff. It also contains rich antioxidants that benefit us health-wise in numerous ways.
On Deck (Table of Contents)
- The Health Benefits of Your Black Coffee Drink
- Are there any disadvantages of black coffee?
- How much coffee is too much?
- Order Your Fresh Black Coffee Drink at Fathom
The Health Benefits of Your Black Coffee Drink
Here are eight of the top health benefits you may experience from drinking plain black coffee – with research to back each one of them.
1. Higher Energy Levels
Energy may be the most apparent benefit of drinking a cup of joe to start the day. The caffeine in your black coffee drink stimulates your central nervous system to combat fatigue and boost energy. We won’t get too into the nitty-gritty here, but studies show that caffeine affects our levels of dopamine (a “feel-good hormone”). Just don’t overdose on your caffeine or you might catch the jitters or become “over-energized” to the point of anxiety.
2. Liver Health Support
Consuming coffee is linked to improvement in liver enzymes in people at risk for liver disease. A study showed that individuals with preexisting liver disease who drink more than two cups of coffee per day have:
- Lower hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) rates
- Lower liver scarring incidence (fibrosis and cirrhosis)
- Decreased mortality
3. Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Regular black coffee consumption may also be linked to a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Evidence suggests that coffee consumption may be inversely associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes, possibly due to the drink’s antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects. Coffee may also help your body process sugar (glucose) better.
In a collection of studies included in an analysis, researchers found that the risk of type 2 diabetes decreased by 6% for every “cup-per-day increase in coffee consumption” (PubMed.gov). Interestingly, the results were similar for both decaffeinated and caffeinated coffee consumers.
4. Weight Management
Coffee may influence body fat levels in men and women. Research shows that coffee and tea can promote health and prevent or mitigate various disorders, partially due to the caffeine.
Coffee and tea plant molecules may effectively prevent or treat metabolic conditions like cardiovascular disease, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. By suppressing adipocyte (major energy storage sites in our bodies) functions, coffee can reduce fat storage in the body. It can also support gut health, which may affect your ability to lose weight.
5. Lower Risk of Depression
Did you know that coffee and caffeine may also be linked to your risk for depression? In one analysis, observers found an association between coffee consumption and depression, with the risk of depression decreasing by 8% for every cup that participants drank in a day. They uncovered another association where the risk of depression decreased faster when participants consumed between 68 and 509 mg of caffeine per day.
In another study, participants who drank four cups of coffee or more in a day showed a much lower risk of depression than those who drank less than a cup.
6. Increased Heart Health
Drinking a cup or two of coffee per day may help prevent heart failure – a condition where the heart doesn’t pump enough oxygenated blood through the body. Researchers have linked coffee consumption to a lower risk of stroke and heart disease in various studies.
Here are three specific discoveries researchers have made about the connection between heart health and coffee:
- Drinking 2-3 cups per day is linked with a 21% reduced risk of heart disease.
- Drinking four or more cups per day is associated with a 20% lower risk of stroke.
- Consuming 3-5 cups of coffee a day is related to a 15% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
7. Lower Risk of Parkinson’s Disease
Low dopamine levels are the primary cause of Parkinson’s disease (Harvard). Significantly, caffeine protects brain cells that produce dopamine. According to various studies, higher caffeine consumption is linked to a lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease (PD).
Here are some additional findings related to the PD-coffee connection:
- A higher intake of caffeinated coffee is linked to a 25% lower risk of developing PD.
- In one study, participants with known risks of PD who drank at least 10 cups of coffee per day had a much lower risk of developing PD than non-coffee drinkers.
- Men who drank the most caffeine (six cups or more per day) over many years had a 58% lower risk of PD than the men who drank no coffee. For women, those who consumed 1-3 cups of coffee daily showed the lowest risk of PD.
8. Increased Longevity
This last one may be our favorite. Studies now show that coffee can extend your life. If you’re an avid coffee drinker, you could be less likely to develop diseases like cancer or die from coronary heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and stroke. Additionally, dark roast coffee may decrease DNA breakage (which can lead to tumors and cancer).
Here are a couple of studies conducted over the years:
- In an extensive 10-year study of more than 500,000 people, researchers found a link between drinking higher amounts of coffee and lower death rates from all causes.
- In an analysis of more than 200,000 participants studied over 30 years, researchers found an association between a lower risk of early death and drinking moderate amounts of coffee (3-5 cups per day). Authors suggested that the bioactive compounds found in coffee may interfere with disease development by reducing inflammation and insulin resistance.
Are there any disadvantages of black coffee?
Experiencing the Java Jitters
Coffee may cause adverse reactions like anxiety, jitters, trouble sleeping, and stomach irritation in some people. Individuals sensitive to caffeine may experience heart palpitations from drinking coffee.
Improper Coffee Filtration
Everyone should be careful about filtering their coffee correctly to avoid consuming substances called diterpenes. These chemical compounds can “raise bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides” (Harvard). Fortunately, drip coffees that go through paper filters contain almost no diterpenes. Some other brewing methods – like plunger pots, boiled coffees, and Turkish and Greek coffees – may not filter your coffee as well.
Adding Stuff to Your Black Coffee Drink
If you’re not taking your coffee black but adding extra sugar, cream, and calories, you could offset the health effects we covered throughout this article. Drinking beverages with added sugar frequently is associated with type 2 diabetes, weight gain, obesity, cavities, gout, liver disease, heart disease, and kidney disease.
How much coffee is too much?
With recent evidence focusing on all the health benefits of coffee, the next question is, is there a healthy limit to how much coffee we should be consuming regularly? How much can someone safely consume? According to Frank Hu, chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan, “Coffee has been more healthful than harmful.” He goes on to say that most people can incorporate a moderate amount (2-5 cups a day) of coffee into a healthy diet.
Coffee, of course, isn’t for everyone. Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, have underlying health conditions, or are too young to drink coffee in the first place (children, adolescents, and some young adults) may need to limit their coffee consumption or avoid the beverage altogether. Avoiding coffee or opting for decaf may be a good option based on your own personal health needs.
Order Your Fresh Black Coffee Drink at Fathom
We have over 20 quality coffees on tap here at Fathom Coffee. If you’ve been searching for amazing craft coffee and you live near Virginia Beach, we’d love to welcome you into our shop! If you’re not in the area, feel free to browse our complete collection of specialty beans on our website. Either way, we can’t wait to serve you!