Health Benefits of Coffee - Ticket to the Fountain of Youth?

Hey, Arrowhead Coffee Family!  It’s Sara, coming at you again from Garrison Petawawa.  Is it just me, or does it seem like there is a new product every day that claims to cure every ailment under the sun? (*cough* crystals and essential oils *cough*) Meanwhile, there may be something we are already doing that has a load of health benefits - DRINKING COFFEE.  So please pull up a chair while I dazzle you with the benefits of coffee.

Coffee has been around since at least the 15th century (thank you Wikipedia), the origin is largely contested.  There is one story from the 9th century where an Ethiopian goat-herder noticed his goats were energized after they ate these red berries from a certain bush.  He brought these berries back to the monks, but they did not approve of these berries and threw these berries into a fire. 

Health Benefits of Coffee - Ticket to the Fountain of Youth?

Once the berries were in the fire, that delicious coffee aroma.  The monks were intrigued and put the roasted mystery into the water - which is thought to be the first cup of coffee.  Although it is not proven, it still makes for excellent folklore.  Clearly there must be benefits of coffee for it to have been around for at least 600 years (potentially even over 1,000 years).  I mean, besides the fact that it is mighty tasty. 

Health Benefits Of Coffee

If you go on to the internet and search for the benefits of coffee, there are hundreds of results that come back. Here are some of the main benefits I found that were supported by science:

  1. One cup of coffee before a workout can increase blood flow, which can help improve endurance. Coffee also increases the amount of adrenaline in the blood. Coffee also helps you to not only train longer but also with more effort/exertion. Translation: better workouts and more gains.
  1. Two to three cups of coffee may assist with brain activity by increasing blood flow. It can also assist in relaxing the nervous system.  Also, thanks to caffeine, it blocks the adenosine receptors, which makes you tired.  Caffeine also assists with the processing of information at faster rates. While this likely won’t turn you into Albert Einstein, it will likely help you to put the milk back in the fridge rather than the cupboard. 
  1. It also contains magnesium and potassium, which can help decrease cravings for foods packed with sugar. Magnesium is also one of those nutrients that are largely missing from the soil, so an increase in magnesium would do the body good.  Magnesium has been shown to lower blood pressure; reduce insulin resistance; prevent migraines, and assist in the fight against depression.

Health Benefits of Coffee - Arrowhead Coffee Company

  1. As a result of the magnesium and potassium assisting with the regulation of insulin levels, it can help decrease a person's risk for type II diabetes. A Harvard study actually showed that those people who decrease their intake of coffee by one cup a day are at an increased risk of developing type II diabetes. Although there are some studies that show coffee may not give the same benefits to those people who have been diagnosed with type II diabetes.  As with anything, consult your primary care physician if you have any questions.
  1. Daily consumption of coffee may protect against liver fibrosis; cirrhosis of the liver; and decrease the risk of various liver diseases, including liver and uterine cancers. This is because coffee may help to break down the stored fat in the cells of the liver.
  1. Harvard Health Blog published a post stating that coffee may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as reducing the risk of heart attack, heart failure and stroke.


Ticket To The Fountain of Youth?

Some studies have also indicated that another benefit of coffee is it may decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's disease.  This is due to the fact that caffeine in combination with some of the fatty acids found in coffee has shown to decrease levels of alpha-synuclein clumps (signs of Parkinson’s disease); decrease inflammation, and protect neurones.

Health Benefits of Coffee

So while coffee won’t give you an everlasting youth, it is rich in antioxidants…which basically means that coffee is a superfood…basically.  According to Healthline, antioxidants are molecules that neutralize free radicals, unstable molecules that can cause the body harm - in laymen terms the antioxidant is like a special forces operator neutralizing a terrorist (the free radical cells), making the world a better place.


What About Decaf? 

While a large amount of research saw a positive link between the caffeine and fatty acids in a cup of coffee, there are still benefits to drinking decaffeinated coffee.  Decaffeinated coffee is still a source of antioxidants and fatty acids.  It also, to a certain extent, provide the mental alertness benefits even without the punch of caffeine. Decaffeinated coffee may also lower the risk of developing certain diseases like type II diabetes.

Benefits of Decaf Coffee - Arrowhead Coffee Company

Coffee has some real benefits supported by science, unlike essential oils.  In the case of essential oils, there is some evidence that they can do more harm than good to the body.  Coffee has real benefits without a greasy snake oil salesperson.

What I can say for certain is that a cup of coffee before my workout is far superior to any pre-workout I’ve ever taken.  It is delicious and there are no added chemicals or “proprietary blends,” like in pre-workout supplements.  Seriously, the supplement industry is largely unregulated.

You will never completely know what is in the supplement you are ingesting and any potential negative impact it will have on the body.  When you drink Canadian coffee, you can be assured that you’re drinking a quality cup of joe.  Medium, dark, decaf - all made to the same high standard.  Drink coffee, workout, get stronger.

Have a favourite Arrowhead Coffee blend and want it delivered on a regular basis?  You’re in luck!  You can get a subscription.  Check out the post on the Arrowhead Coffee subscription service for more information.

There are clearly so many potential benefits of coffee, so what is stopping you? Go have a cup!