3 Health Benefits of Coffee, Based on Science
Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages.
Thanks to its high levels of antioxidants and beneficial nutrients, it also seems to be quite healthy.
Studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of several serious diseases.
Here are the top 13 health benefits of coffee.
1. Can Improve Energy Levels and Make You Smarter
Coffee can help people feel less tired and increase energy levels (1Trusted Source, 2).
That’s because it contains a stimulant called caffeine — the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world (3).
After you drink coffee, the caffeine is absorbed into your bloodstream. From there, it travels to your brain (4).
In the brain, caffeine blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine.
When this happens, the amount of other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine increases, leading to enhanced firing of neurons (5, 6Trusted Source).
Many controlled studies in humans show that coffee improves various aspects of brain function — including memory, mood, vigilance, energy levels, reaction times and general mental function (7, 8, 9).2.
2. Can Help You Burn Fat
Caffeine is found in almost every commercial fat-burning supplement — and for good reason. It’s one of the few natural substances proven to aid fat burning.
Several studies show that caffeine can boost your metabolic rate by 3–11% (10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).
Other studies indicate that caffeine can specifically increase fat burning by as much as 10% in obese individuals and 29% in lean people (12Trusted Source).
However, it’s possible that these effects diminish in long-term coffee drinkers.
3. Can Drastically Improve Physical Performance
Caffeine stimulates your nervous system, signaling fat cells to break down body fat (13Trusted Source, 14).
But it also increases epinephrine (adrenaline) levels in your blood (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).
This is the fight-or-flight hormone, which prepares your body for intense physical exertion.
Caffeine breaks down body fat, making free fatty acids available as fuel (17Trusted Source, 18).
Given these effects, it’s unsurprising that caffeine can improve physical performance by 11–12%, on average (20Trusted Source, 29).