Black coffee: a staple of the American diet for centuries! Millions of Americans drink coffee every single morning, so it’s no wonder there are health claims floating around about this delicious, caffeinated beverage all over the internet. But are these positive health claims true, or are those addicted to caffeine just justifying their vice?
Actually, over the past few decades, there has been substantial research on coffee and its effects on our brain function and physical health. Let’s take a look at some of these research-backed claims to see just how healthy black coffee is!
The 8 Health Benefits of Black Coffee:
1. It Improves Mental Acuity
Caffeine, the stimulant in coffee, has an overwhelmingly positive effect on our brain activity.
According to this research article published by Dr. Ruxton, a certified dietitian, caffeine in doses up to 450mg, the equivalent of between four and five cups of regular strength coffee, improves cognitive function, focus, and overall mental acuity. If you’re looking for a quick boost to alertness and your ability to think and reason, a cup of black coffee could be the perfect fix!
2. It’s Very Low in Calories
Many people load up their coffee with cream, sugar, whole milk, or creamers that have artificial sweeteners. Coffee has numerous health benefits, but adding flavorings with such high fat and sugar content means you may as well be having a scoop of ice cream for breakfast. However, black coffee is free of calories and contains no fat and no sugar!
You can guiltlessly add black coffee to any meal of the day and not worry about how it affects your overall diet. In fact, it’s more or less the same, nutritionally speaking, as water — it doesn’t offer calories or any significant nutrients.
3. It Can Help You Lose Weight
The absence of calories isn’t the only factor that makes black coffee a great choice. It won’t make you gain weight, and it might actually help you lose weight.
That’s right! This article from Healthline.com explains how black coffee can boost your metabolism, help your body break down fat stored in your cells, and ultimately use that fat pulled from cells as energy. It certainly won’t be a quick fix for weight loss, but regular consumption of black coffee can lead to additional fat burning and weight loss — good news for coffee drinkers looking to shed a few pounds!
4. It May Boost Your Mood
The National Coffee Association maintains that coffee is a routine that more than 60% of Americans look forward to every single morning, but there’s more to a positive coffee experience than the comfort of a morning routine.
This article published in Psychology Today explains that caffeine naturally increases dopamine and limits adenosine build up in our bodies. The result of these changes is a more wakeful, motivated, and cheerful mind. A surplus of the neurotransmitter, dopamine, makes us feel good both physically and mentally. Additionally, caffeine blocks adenosine receptors which allows for more energy and positive feelings of motivation.
5. It Could Give You More Physical Energy
Most people are acutely aware that their morning cup of coffee makes them feel more energized. What they may not know is the scientific reason behind this benefit.
Research published in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise journal notes that caffeine naturally boosts epinephrine and norepinephrine — better known as adrenaline and noradrenaline — levels in humans. An increased level of these hormones improves physical ability and performance. In fact, black coffee is often used by athletes as a “pre-workout” to boost performance safely and naturally.
6. It Decreases Your Risk of Diabetes
Type-2 diabetes is a serious medical affliction often associated with obesity, and it can lead to numerous additional health problems. A research paper published in the Archives of Internal Medicine journal states that those who drink coffee regularly reduce their risk of being diagnosed with type-2 diabetes by 7%.
Coffee, in general, can help reduce your risk of diabetes, but black coffee in particular is beneficial. As we mentioned earlier, black coffee contains no calories, no fat, and no sugar, and since high fat and sugar consumption have been linked with obesity, which in turn has been linked with type-2 diabetes, regular black coffee consumption is strictly beneficial for reducing your risk of this disease.
7. It Lowers Your Risk of Neurological Disorders
It’s amazing to hear that black coffee can reduce your risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s, but extensive research backs up these claims!
This article published on the Wiley Online Library of scientific research notes that caffeine can reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease by upwards of 30%. With about 95-120mg of caffeine per cup, coffee can help avoid this neurodegenerative disease.
Additionally, medical researchers found during a 2002 study that coffee drinkers are up to 65% less likely to contract Alzheimer’s, and since this disease often leads to dementia, coffee can reduce your risk of both neurological disorders.
8. It Improves Your Liver Health
The liver is a bit of a miracle organ that aids in numerous essential processes in the body including filtering your blood, aiding in digestion, and storing energy. With such a heavy workload, there are a lot of potential problems you can have with your liver, including cirrhosis.
Another article published on PubMed states that black coffee consumption can lead to a significantly smaller risk of liver cirrhosis. Regular coffee drinkers are up to 80% less likely to experience cirrhosis of the liver and the numerous associated health problems.
Are There Downsides to Drinking Black Coffee?
As with all foods and beverages, there are some downsides to drinking black coffee.
Black coffee is rather acidic, so those who are sensitive to acidic foods and beverages or those who have ulcers or other stomach issues may want to steer clear of consuming coffee.
Black coffee can also increase blood pressure. Health authorities at the Mayo Clinic explain that, although the reason is unclear, caffeine causes a sudden spike in blood pressure, especially for new and infrequent coffee drinkers. They do go on to explain that most people who drink coffee regularly do build up a tolerance to the stimulant and are far less affected by it. However, those with high blood pressure should still be cautious and consult a doctor before drinking coffee.
The Bottom Line
Black coffee is a zero-calorie drink that boasts numerous health benefits including promoting weight loss, boosting mood and energy levels, and protecting against serious health issues like cirrhosis of the liver, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. Because it contains no fat, no sugar, and no calories, it’s generally safe for consumption and even largely beneficial.
For those with stomach sensitivity, ulcers, or naturally high blood pressure, black coffee may present some problems, but it can abundantly improve mental and physical health for most people.
Table of Contents
- The 8 Health Benefits of Black Coffee:
- Are There Downsides to Drinking Black Coffee?
- The Bottom Line