April 1, 2014 4 minute read
So I’ve been travelling for 3 weeks straight now and it’s with confidence that I say I would not be functioning if it weren’t for my daily cup of joe. I’m not really sure when my obsession with coffee began – I think it started with Tim Horton’s Iced Caps and then just progressed from there – but I am not the same person without it. Sure, that sounds like an addiction, but it’s not…coffee is good for you! That flavor, that fragrance! OK so the caffeine content contributes some to the overall allure of that decadently black liquid, but having a morning cup of green tea just does not have the same effect. You know that commercial that says brilliant ideas happen over pizza, not halibut? Same thing here. Fortunately for this situation coffee actually has many health benefits, so it plays the role of fish and pizza. For your profit, and possibly my own self-assurance, I’ve researched and listed the top 5 reasons you should be drinking coffee too.
1. Coffee leads to improved cognitive function. A study in Nature Neuroscience revealed those who consumed coffee had superior memory recollection than those who did not. And another study at the University of Arizona revealed kids given coffee in the morning (as opposed to the afternoon) experienced enhanced memory. Sure, I’ll take some memory retention with my morning java.
2. Coffee makes you…erm…regular. It’s widely known that drinking coffee can stimulate the movement of the colonic muscles. This stimulation then promotes peristalsis (the coordinated contraction and relaxation of intestinal muscles that causes bowel movements). So naturally, this could decrease potential carcinogen exposure in the colonic epithelial cells. Plus, this benefit directly leads to the overall health of your skin, as regular toxin elimination is crucial for maintaining a clear complexion (I talk about detoxing here, and here). What does that all mean? Poop is good for your health people; a healthy colon makes for a healthy individual and happy skin. And that’s all I have to say about this topic for right now.
3. Coffee provides a major energy boost. We all know this happens, but why? This is thanks to the caffeine (1,3,7-trimethylxanthine), a purine alkaloid that occurs naturally in coffee beans. Here’s some chemistry talk: “caffeine is believed to work by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain and other organs. This reduces the ability of adenosine to bind to the receptors, which would slow down cellular activity. The stimulated nerve cells release the hormone epinephrine (adrenaline), which increases heart rate, blood pressure, and blood flow to muscles, decreases blood flow to the skin and organs, and causes the liver to release glucose. Caffeine also increases levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine.” (source)
4. Coffee is loaded with antioxidants. Actually, coffee is reportedly the number one antioxidant source for Americans. Which means the heart disease and cancer preventing benefits are all there in your cup. Essentially, antioxidants act to slow/prevent the effect of free radicals – free radicals can lead to the death of your cells through oxidation. If you take away one thing, it should be that antioxidants are good and free radicals are bad. This benefits your skin from the inside by protecting your cells from harm.
5) Coffee can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Researchers don’t understand why exactly, but it has something to do with the protein sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), which is responsible for controlling the body’s sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen). These hormones have been thought to play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes for quite a while. And coffee consumption, it turns out, increases plasma levels of SHBG.
Yes, drinking coffee has its own unique skin care bonuses (disclaimer: there are also those who believe coffee – caffeine specifically – aggravates acne, so if you find this to be true try decaf!), but topical products provide a multitude of benefits too. More on my favourite caffeine containing cosmetics coming soon to SS!
P.S. A drink consisting of ⅔ milk, ⅓ coffee and 5 tbsp of sugar does not qualify as “coffee”. Nor does a caramel macchiato or any of the 500 kcal Starbucks drinks (no offence to you Starbucks, I love you).
P.P.S. Continue to drink lots of water to stay hydrated!