Coffee is one hell of a drug. Every morning, you stumble down to the kitchen a bleary-eyed, bed-headed grump, but as soon as you chug some java, you’re ready to walk out your door with a big bounce in your step.
If you’re like 59 percent of Americans, you can’t get through your day without guzzling at least one cup of Joe. But beyond the obvious pick-me-up that coffee provides, you also see a slew of other health benefits every time you fill up your mug. Watch the video below to discover just a few of the surprising perks.
Here are great reasons to drink coffee. Just remember: As with anything else, be careful not to go overboard.
Enter coffee: Researchers from the Netherlands found that people who consumed one cup of caffeinated coffee in the middle of a 4-hour-long tedious driving task swerved less, maintained their speed better, and rated their driving as more responsible than those who sipped decaf.
Because of its caffeine content, coffee helps you pee more, which flushes your body of the excess calcium and sodium that can contribute to kidney stone formation, the researchers say.
Caffeine blocks the neurotransmitter adenosine, so it can’t inhibit another neurotransmitter called norepinephrine, which plays a crucial role in helping you retrieve a memory, the researchers say.
The researchers aren’t exactly sure why coffee may be so protective, but they believe it may be due to compounds inside the drink that lower liver enzymes and slow progression of liver disease.
What’s more, coffee has also been shown to reduce your chances of developing diabetes, which is a risk factor for liver cancer and other liver diseases.
The researchers believe the increase in performance is because caffeine prevents the compound adenosine in your body from binding to its receptors—which makes you feel higher levels of alertness and lower levels of exertion.
It’s possible that the chlorogenic acid in coffee can hamper the expression of an enzyme called COX-2, which occurs as result of exposure to UV rays. And this may help suppress the development of melanoma, the researchers believe.
What’s more, researchers from Harvard also discovered that people who had 2 to 3 cups a day of the beverage were 55 percent less likely to commit suicide than nondrinkers.
This might be because caffeine can act as a mild antidepressant by enhancing the transmission of mood-regulating dopamine, the researchers believe.
9. YOU’LL WARD OFF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
According to a study recently presented at the American Academy of Neurology meeting, coffee may reduce your risk of developing multiple sclerosis, a disabling neurological disease that hits most often between the ages of 20 and 40.
People who chugged 4 or more cups of Joe per day were 33 percent less likely to get the disease over the next year than those who didn’t drink any.
Credit the link to caffeine’s neuroprotective properties, which may be able to halt the production of inflammatory proteins behind the disease’s development.
The antioxidants in coffee may be able to mute your body’s own inflammatory process that would otherwise harm your gums and jawbone, says study author Raul Garcia, D.M.D.
The researchers aren’t sure how coffee may be so protective, but they point out that the beverage contains several biologically active compounds, such as caffeine, which have previously been linked to lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.