Coffee: A Healthy Drink

Coffee Healthy? Studies Prove It

When you think of coffee, you probably think of it as a "pick-me-up" kind of drink.

But did you know that coffee has many health benefits? Studies have shown that coffee drinkers are less likely to develop Alzheimer's, colon cancer, and diabetes compared to non-drinkers, and they're also less apt to die from heart disease. Now don't run out and drink 10 cups of it. Coffee isn't for everyone: It's known to cause insomnia, anxiety, and irregular heartbeat in some people, and too much caffeine during pregnancy can increase miscarriage risk. Plus, many specialty coffee drinks (lattes, frappes, etc) are usually high in calories. But if coffee's your drink of choice, let's look at the many ways that coffee can boost your health.

Did you know consuming caffeinated coffee one hour before vigorous exercise can reduce workout pain? (according to a 2009 study of young men) An earlier study of young women found that using caffeine before exercise could cut post-workout pain by nearly 50 percent. The caffeine in coffee is believed to help by blocking the activity of a chemical called adenosine that activates pain receptors in cells.

Coffee has also been shown to help to keep memory sharp, according to a pair of studies from 2007. In thise study, older women who drank more than three cups of coffee a day experienced less decline over time on memory tests than those who drank one cup or less a day. Another study found that older men who consumed three cups of coffee a day had a slower rate of cognitive decline than those who drank either more or less than this amount.

There have been several studies linking coffee drinking with a lower risk of Parkinson's disease. A 2007 study revealed that people who drank one to four cups of coffee a day cut their chances of developing the neurodegenerative disorder by nearly half. Scientists believe the caffeine in coffee may help defend against Parkinson's by boosting levels of the brain chemical dopamine.

So drink up and enjoy your cuppa Joe!

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