Coffee is often demonized when it comes to healthy eating, but given the long work hours of Modern Australians, let’s be honest, it is pretty much a staple of our everyday lives. We always say everything in moderation, and even with The Man Shake meal plan we tell you that you can lose the beer gut without losing all the beers, and we mean it.
Coffee is completely fine in moderation and in fact, it’s actually got quite a few health benefits to help you get through the day.
Coffee doesn’t just keep you awake — it may also make you smarter. The active ingredient in coffee is caffeine, which is a stimulant and the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world. Caffeine works in your brain by blocking the effects of an inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine.
By blocking the inhibitory effects of adenosine, caffeine actually increases neuronal firing in the brain and the release of other neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine. Many controlled studies have examined the effects of caffeine on the brain, demonstrating that caffeine can temporarily improve mood, reaction time, memory, vigilance, and general brain function.
There’s a good reason why you will find caffeine in most commercial fat-burning supplements. Caffeine, partly due to its stimulant effect on the central nervous system, both raises metabolism and increases the oxidation of fatty acids.
It can also improve athletic performance in several ways, including by mobilizing fatty acids from the fat tissues. In two separate tests, caffeine was found to increase exercise performance by 11–12%, on average.
Many people still seem to think that coffee is unhealthy.
This isn’t surprising since it is common for conventional wisdom to be at odds with what studies say. But coffee may actually help you live longer.
In a large prospective, observational study, drinking coffee was associated with a lower risk of death by all causes. This effect is particularly profound in people with type 2 diabetes. One study showed that coffee drinkers had a 30% lower risk of death during a 20-year period.
Even though moderate amounts of coffee are good for you, drinking way too much of it can still be harmful.
Also, keep in mind that some of the evidence is not strong. Many of the above studies were observational in nature. Such studies can only show an association, but cannot prove that coffee caused the benefits. If you want to ensure the potential health benefits of coffee, avoid adding sugar.
And if drinking coffee tends to affect your sleep, don’t drink it after two in the afternoon.
But in the end, one thing holds true: coffee may just be the healthiest beverage on the planet. Just avoid the sugar.