Coffee is one of the great uniters in this country. And while we might disagree a bit on how to take our morning(ish) cup of joe, about two thirds of Americans drink it daily. That same study also showed that we might be choosing java in place of soda or high sugar juice, which would be a nice shift to see given the amount of sugar in the average glass of fruit juice. The benefits of drinking coffee likely go well beyond the fact that it’s simply not a sugar-laden drink, though. We’ll go over the top reasons why this longtime American favorite might be earning an even better reputation.
1. Protect Your Brain & Bod
You might have felt in recent years that there’s been mixed messaging on this topic. As with most things, there’s a little bit of good and a little bit of bad mixed in when it comes to coffee. The Mayo Clinic outlines some of the pros, namely that coffee can help protect against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and liver disease. Plus, they acknowledge that the boost we feel when we drink it is caused by better cognitive functioning according to some studies. It’s not all roses, with some links to higher cholesterol and heart disease in people with a certain genetic mutation. And, at the end of the day, it’s all about moderation.
2. Enhance Willpower
Well, if those health benefits are true then you may end up spending a little less time at the doctor’s office. There’s even been research on how drinking caffeine can help improve your willpower, which is perfect for saying no to a new pair of jeans you don’t need or an unhealthy lunch out.
3. Boost Your Mood
This is probably our favorite coffee fact: drinking some coffee before a group activity helps you participate more and be more confident. Whether that’s a family brunch, a meeting at work or school, or a potluck with friends, it’s nice to have a little bit extra in your back pocket.
4. Make Friends — Sans the Alcohol
Grabbing a cup of coffee with a friend is the new happy hour. With the younger generation getting less and less likely to want to indulge in a beer with pals on the weekends, a Saturday morning friend date at the corner coffee shop is a great alternative. Plus, you’re much less likely to overspend on coffee than you are with alcohol.
Oh, and let’s not forget that the coffee shop first date is popular for a reason (or several reasons). It’s a public place, it’s inexpensive and easy to grab what you like on your own, it can last for as long or as little as you’d like, and you can always choose a place you don’t usually go — just in case.
5. Using That Extra Brainpower
Now this is where coffee really stands out. That improved cognitive functioning we mentioned up top might just help you perform better at work. Drinking too much caffeine might not be a great idea (the jitters aren’t a good look for anyone, let’s be honest) but there’s been some research that drinking the right amount for you at the right time can be beneficial. Even smelling coffee can help students perform better on math tests!
You’ve likely overheard a professional meeting going on at a Starbucks before. Similar to a first date, this public locale is a convenient place to meet up for work-related business. Oh, and if you’re trying to get some work or studying done, it’s been shown that coffee shops are pretty much ideal for this.
6. Hit the Gym Harder
Interested in increasing your exercise performance by over 10 percent? Caffeinated coffee could help you do just that. You name it: more reps, a faster mile or one more lap in the pool. That added willpower we mentioned above can also help make sure you show up on the mat in the first place, too.
You heard us right! Who knew that running hot water through dessicated beans from halfway around the world could be so good for you. You’ll be sipping a variety of B vitamins as well as potassium and magnesium in the average cup
Kind of nice to know that not everything we hold dear has to be bad for us, eh? We’re not about to tell you to go willy-nilly and make yourself a few pots of coffee every day, but the next time someone tries to throw shade for your cup of joe, you can feel good about completely ignoring them.