How Good is Coffee? - 4 More Reasons Why Coffee is Good for You
If you are already a java fan, then you must be familiar with the many benefits of drinking coffee. Recent studies have now given you four more reasons to rejoice and continue with your caffeine addiction!
How Good is Coffee?
Here are the list:
1. Coffee Reduce Risk of Skin Cancer
Based on the study by Jiali Han, Song F and Qureshi AA of Harvard School of Public Health and Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, an increased intake in caffeine will reduce the risk of basal cell carcinoma of the skin.
This is a common type of skin cancer that, although will not kill you, will cause disfigurement by invading the surrounding tissues.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) looks like open sores and are red patches with pink growths and scars. It is usually caused by long exposure to sunlight or other ultra violet radiations.
Usually Caused by Long Exposures to Sunlight such as in Sun Bathing
Hence, if you love sunbathing and do not have sufficient sunscreen protections, your chance of getting BCC is higher.
BCC is the most common form of skin cancer in countries where sunbathing is a religion and in the USA alone, about 2.8 million cases are diagnosed every year.
Although treatment is available in the form of surgery or radiation and photodynamic therapies, there is no harm in drinking more coffee as one form of prevention!
How Does Caffeine Protect You?
Based on the study, long exposure to ultraviolet lights can damage skin cells, which later can become tumors. Caffeine can eliminate these damaged cells and hence, reduce the chances of it becoming tumors. That's how good is coffee!
Nutrients in Your Coffee
Although not all the nutrients in the coffee beans will go into your cup of black unsweetened coffee, the followings are the nutrients that make it to the final drink:
- Niacin (B3)
- Vitamin E
- Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
2. Coffee Reduces Risk of Prostate Cancer
Caffeine must be a good cancer tumor buster! Besides reducing the risk of developing basal cell carcinoma and its effectiveness in combating liver cancer and colorectal cancer, new studies have now shown that it is equally effective in lowering the risk of prostate cancer.
As reported in the medical news today, research done at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle concluded that coffee could reduce the progression or recurrence of prostate cancer.
Although further research must be done to determine how this is possible, it is assumed that the phytochemical in coffee is responsible for the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in crushing the tumors.
These phytochemicals are caffeine, diterpenes cafestol, kahweol and chlorogenic acid, which are known to inhibit cell growth.
In another study conducted at Harvard School of Public Health, it also concluded that there is a link between drinking coffee and the reduction in prostate cancer progression.
The figure is very impressive. When compared to non-coffee drinkers, the risk of prostate cancer reduced by 29% amongst casual coffee drinkers. For heavy coffee drinkers of six or more cups a day, the risk was down by 60%.
It however, concluded that more studies must be carried out to determine the exact component that is responsible for this action.
Therefore, guys, continue to enjoy your daily cup of coffee knowing well that coffee is good for your prostate.
Smart Drinks to make You Smarter?
Do you know that now you can buy drinks that are claimed to improve your memory and make you smarter. In some countries you can buy these drinks from the retail shops. Read Smart Drinks to make You Smarter
3. Coffee Enhances Memory Power
Okay, we all know that caffeine will keep us awake and lift our level of alertness, but do you know that it will also boost your memory power? Is coffee that good?
In the studies done at The Johns Hopkins University, caffeine was seen to improve certain memories up to 24 hours after it was consumed.
The studies recruited volunteers who are not avid coffee drinkers and were given at least 200 mg. of caffeine (about the size of a small premium coffee; that is the amount required for it to effectively works on the memory) and found to have better recollection of test materials compared to volunteers who were given placebo.
How does this work?
As explained by Michael Yassa, Professor of Psychological, and Brain Sciences at The Johns Hopkins University:
"Caffeine will activate the sympathetic nervous system and stimulates the release of norepinephrine. This stress hormone will raise blood pressure and subsequently increases heart rate. The chemical sends a signal to the brain that something important is happening, and prompts the brain to store that information for future recall"
So, to boost the memory, when is the right time to drink coffee?
According to Michael Yasaa, drink 200mg of caffeine within 30 minutes before a meeting or right after it, will boost your memory for at least 24 hours.
Top Tips on Caffeine and Coffee
- Drink coffee 15-30 minutes before your workout to improve your performance
- To boost your memory, drink 200 mg. of coffee within 30 minutes before a meeting or right after it
4. Coffee Improves Your Workout and Sports Performance
Based on report published on the 27th of January 2010 edition of the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, drinking caffeine 15-30 minutes before a workout, will improve your performance.
It will boost endurance, muscle strength, and let you work out harder and longer. That's how good is coffee!
It also concluded that caffeine would benefit players of high-intensity sports such as soccer, rowing, hockey, etc. However, this is more pronounced for the conditioned athletes.
Caffeine will not only boost your sports performance, but will also enhance the fatigue recovery state, after your exercise.
You do not need a high dosage of caffeine to achieve all these; just a cup of your favorite coffee will do the trick.
How Much Caffeine is in My Cup of Coffee?
It depends on what type of coffee that you are drinking.
It also depends on how big is your cup, how it is brewed, type of coffee bean that was used, how many teaspoon of coffee you use to make your drink, how dark the roast, etc. Is it brewed coffee, instant coffee, or a cappuccino?
Wow, this is all very confusing.
As a general guideline, the following table might help.
Caffeine in Coffee
Type of Coffee
Amount of Caffeine
Caffeine per oz.
1 cup of instant coffee (8 oz.)
1 cup of filter coffee (8 oz.)
Starbucks Brewed Coffee (short 8 oz.)
Baskin Robbins Cappuccino Blast (24 oz.)
McDonald McCafe Brewed Coffee (medium 16 oz.)
Dunkin Donuts Brewed Coffee (medium 14 oz.)
How Good is Coffee - Its Other Health Benefits
There are several amazing health benefits of drinking coffee and these are already well documented. To recap, below is a brief summary for each of the benefits.
- Coffee will Reduce the Risk of Liver Cirrhosis
If you drink too much alcoholic drinks, your chance of developing liver cirrhosis is higher. Drinking caffeine will reduce this risk
- Coffee will Builds up Your Immune System
The high levels of antioxidants in coffee will boost the immune system and help you fight sickness
- Coffee Reduce Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
The very strong antioxidant capacity in coffee helps reduce tissue damage, and magnesium & chromium present in coffee, help the body to use insulin, which controls the blood sugar level in the body
- Coffee and Weight Loss
Caffeine will stimulate the central nervous system, which subsequently will increase the basal metabolic rate. This will then burn extra calories
- Coffee Can Lower the Risk of Liver Cancer
Coffee's favorable effect on diabetes, which is a known risk for liver cancer, and its ability to reduce the risk on cirrhosis and liver enzymes, are factors that contribute to coffee's ability to lower risk on liver cancer
- Coffee can Prevent Recurrence of Breast Cancer
Patients that take the drug Tamoxifen together with coffee, will reduce the chances of breast cancer recurring. The studies at Lund University in Sweden suggested that caffeine interact with Tamoxifen to make it work more efficiently
- Coffee helps Delay Parkinson's and Alzheimer’s disease
Caffeine will stop the production of beta-amyloid, a protein that accumulate in the brain and allows the body to metabolize all of the available protein. When there is no 'left-over' of this protein in the brain, the dementia problem diminished.
Caffeine will also block the malfunctioning brain signal in Parkinson's disease and hence, will reduce tremor experienced in Parkinson's
- Coffee can Fight Depression, Make You Happier & Reduce Chances of Suicide
The high levels of antioxidant in coffee is responsible in lifting your happy mood. Caffeine will also stimulate the central nervous system and increase production of 'feel good' neurotransmitters in the brain
Problems and Side Effects of Drinking too Much Coffee
All good things have its fair share of problems.
Caffeine, unfortunately do have its problems. It can create havoc to the body’s central nervous system and metabolism, when taken in large quantity of more than 500 to 600 mg. a day.
However, different people will react differently to the amount consumed, depending on how much caffeine you used to drink.
Among the problems that you might experience are as follows:
- Caffeine is a diuretic that removes fluids from the body
- Hence, it can cause dehydration. Therefore, for every cup of coffee that you drink, drink another cup of plain water
- As it will make your more alert, you may have problems falling to sleep. So stop drinking caffeine at least five hours before bedtime
- Can cause headache and dizziness when the body is tired, but you are unable to rest as the caffeine had given you that extra boost of energy
- This will also make you shaky and jittery
- It can also make your heart beat faster and increase the blood pressure
Who Should Avoid Drinking Coffee?
You must limit or stop taking caffeine if you are:
- Nursing a baby
- Taking medications that may have adverse interaction with caffeine
- Suffering from heart related problems
- Have high blood pressure
- Have Anxiety Disorder or Insomnia
- For children under the age of 10
Is the World's Biggest Coffee Drinker Healthy?
UPDATE: Based on Worldatlas.com article on Top 10 Coffee Consuming Nations (March 17, 2015), The Netherlands have now dropped to #3 at 6.7 kg/capita or 1.84 cups per day. Norway is now #2 at 7.2 kg per capita i.e.1.98 cups per day. The number one slot is now passed to Finland at 9.6 kg per capita at an amazing 2.64 cups/day!
Based on the 2011 study as reported in the New York Times, The Netherlands is the world's biggest coffee drinker.
Their per-capita consumption of 2.4 cups a day is the same as those consumed in the US, Spain, the UK, and France combined.
Therefore, if they are heavy coffee and caffeine drinkers, how do they fare in terms of the above health benefits and diseases that were mentioned earlier?
- Suicide Rate: Ranked #93 in the world
- Prostate Cancer: Ranked #62 in the world
- Life Expectancy: Average age 81.2. Hence, world life expectancy ranking #17
- Stroke: Ranked #183 in the world
- Alzheimer's/Dementia: Ranked #5 in the world
- Parkinson Disease: Ranked #12 in the world
- Breast Cancer: Ranked #12 in the world
- Diabetes: Ranked #161 in the world
- Coronary Heart Disease: Ranked #187 in the world
- Liver Disease: Ranked #178 in the world
- Hypertension: Ranked #189 in the world
With the exception of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson disease and breast cancer, The Netherlands seems to be doing very well in their healthy lifestyle segment.
Okay, I agree that these are not solely due to coffee and caffeine consumption. Other factors do come into play such as the environment, political, social, and economic issues.
However, for the purpose of this article, this simple desktop study can reply to How Good is Coffee? by pointing to The Netherlands, the land of coffee drinkers.
© 2014 Mazlan
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