Caffeine and Its Benefits
A latte from a coffee shop on a table.

Caffeine and Its Benefits

pathmedical Health and Wellness

Everyday, millions of people wake up and rush for a cup of coffee. People need their caffeine to jump start their day.

Caffeine is a natural stimulant most commonly found in tea, coffee, and cacao plants. It works by stimulating the brain and central nervous system, helping you stay alert and prevent the onset of tiredness. Once consumed, caffeine is quickly absorbed from the gut into the bloodstream. From there, it travels to the liver and is broken down into compounds that can affect the function of various organs.

The amount of caffeine found in one cup of coffee can take as little as 20 minutes to reach the bloodstream and about 1 hour to reach full effectiveness (1).

Caffeine is often talked about for its negative effects on sleep and anxiety. However, studies also report that it has various health benefits.

Reduce the Risk of Brain Disease
Drinking between 3–5 cups of coffee per day or more than 3 cups of tea per day may also reduce the risk of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s by 28–60% (2).

May Boost Metabolism
Caffeine may boost metabolism and promote fat loss, but these effects are likely to remain small over the long term. (3)

Boost Exercise Performance
Consuming small amounts of caffeine about an hour before exercise is likely to improve exercise performance. (4)

May Protect Against Heart Disease and Diabetes
Caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea may reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, although this may depend on the individual. (5)

Liver protection
Coffee may reduce the risk of liver damage (cirrhosis) by as much as 84%. It may slow disease progression, improve treatment response, and lower the risk of premature death (6).

Decreased cancer risk
Drinking 2–4 cups of coffee per day may reduce liver cancer risk by up to 64% and colorectal cancer risk by up to 38% (6).

Skin protection
Consuming 4 or more cups of caffeinated coffee per day may lower the risk of skin cancer by 20% (7).

Caffeine isn’t as unhealthy as it was once believed. In fact, evidence shows that it may be just the opposite. Therefore, it’s safe to consider your daily cup of coffee or tea as an enjoyable way to promote good health.

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SOURCES
1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1750-3841.2010.01561.x
2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12603-014-0021-7
3. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1038/oby.2007.529
4. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1750-3841.2010.01561.x
5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0167527308008498
6. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/liv.12304
7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25604135/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-latest-scoop-on-the-health-benefits-of-coffee-2017092512429