Coffee Does What? Energy Fitness trainer tells you & doesn’t agree!

August 22, 2012by TonyaTittle

Do you love coffee?

Let me start out by saying that as a trainer with over 20 years of experience and my own professional opinion on caffeine that I advise my clients against consuming it if they really want to reach their goals.  I will not go into long detail on why.  I may do a separate blog post on that later.  Even though my way is to will individuals away from caffeine I like learning and sharing new scientific research.

If you are like most Americans then the answer is a resounding YES!

Did you know that over 50% of Americans drink three to four cups a day – totaling over 330 million cups of coffee consumed every… single… day!

We all someone that has that zombie-eye tired look that shows they are in need of something to pep them up. Coffee keeps them awake and clears the mental fog they might experience after waking up.  But now a new wave of research is giving us even more reasons to consider drinking coffee (even if it’s decaf).

Whip diabetes into shape: That’s right, it turns out that drinking at least 3 cups of coffee a day can help reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes. For example, one study found that every additional cup of coffee per day you drink lowers the risk of diabetes by 5 – 10%. [1] And a recent 2011 study in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease found that drinking coffee regularly can reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes by up to a whopping 67%! [2]

Fight the war against cancer: For men, coffee brings great news. In a study from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers found that men who drank over 6 cups of coffee a day lowered their risk of prostate cancer by 18% – and their risk of lethal prostate cancer by a big 40%. [3] There’s good news for women too… Breast Cancer Research reported in May 2011 that postmenopausal women who drink at least 5 cups of coffee a day lower their risk of breast cancer by 57%! [4]

Keep your heart happy: These days you hear a lot of talk about how inflammation is bad for the heart and how you need to boost your HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Well, guess what? A study in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology found that coffee addresses each of these concerns. It reduces arterial inflammation, boosts HDL cholesterol and can even decrease the presence of coronary calcification. [5]

Boost your brainpower: You already know that coffee can help you concentrate better and keep you focused and alert. But did you know that drinking 5 cups or more a day can reduce your risk of Parkinson’s disease by up to 60%? [6] Better yet, in animal model studies, drinking the equivalent of 5 cups of coffee daily began to REVERSE the damage to the brain created by Alzheimer’s disease in as little as 5 weeks. [7]

These are just a few of the health benefits both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee offer. There’s even more research that suggests it can also help protect your DNA, kidneys, and liver.

Bet you didn’t know all that about your morning cup of joe! But now you know…

Oh and before you go out and drink tons of coffee, remember that calories still matter – so if you can, drink your coffee black, or with just a splash of creamer. No point in using the health benefits as an excuse to needlessly drink tons of sugar that will only contribute to your waistline. =)

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[1] Zhang Y, Lee ET, Cowan LD, Fabsitz RR, Howard BV. Coffee consumption and the incidence of type 2 diabetes in men and women with normal glucose tolerance: The Strong Heart Study. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011 Jun;21(6):418-23.

[2] Huxley R, Lee CM, Barzi F, et al. Coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and tea consumption in relation to incident type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Arch Intern Med. 2009 Dec 14;169(22):2053-63.

[3] Wilson KM, Kasperzyk JL, Rider JR. Coffee consumption and prostate cancer risk and progression in the health professionals follow-up study. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2011 Jun 8;103(11):876-84.

[4] Li J, Seibold P, Chang-Claude J. Coffee consumption modifies risk of estrogen-receptor negative breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res. 2011 May 14;13(3):R49.

[5] van Woudenbergh GJ, Vliegenthart R, van Rooij FJ, et al. Coffee consumption and coronary calcification: the Rotterdam Coronary Calcification Study. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2008 May;28(5):1018-23.

[6] Hu G, Bidel S, Jousilahti P, Antikainen R, Tuomilehto J. Coffee and tea consumption and the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Mov Disord. 2007 Nov 15;22(15):2242-48.

[7] Arendash GW, Cao C. Caffeine and coffee as therapeutics against Alzheimer’s disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;20 Suppl 1:S117-26.