Coffee has gotten a bad rap over the years and recently had mixed reviews. Fortunately, for all of us who cannot imagine skipping that oh so fabulous cup of joe first thing in the morning, there are a variety of incredible perks to drinking coffee. From burning fat to enhancing cognitive function, the powerful qualities of coffee have been proven to improve our performance, body and mind!
3 Incredible Benefits of Drinking Coffee
Improves Cognitive Function
Is it possible for coffee to make us sharper? it sure feels like it when I sit down at my desk roaring to go after my first cup of coffee. It’s not just in our mind! There is a physical reaction happening that actually changes how our brain functions. After you drink coffee, the caffeine is absorbed in the bloodstream and then travels to the brain. The caffeine in the brain leads to the increase of neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine. Norepinephrine increases alertness, promotes vigilance, enhances memory, and focuses attention. Dopamine regulates mood, behavior, sleep and cognition. It also is associated with motivation, as well as assists in decision-making and creativity.
Lower Risk of Cancer
According to Harvard Health Publications (Harvard Medical School), coffee may have a profound and positive effect on reducing the risk of cancer. Researchers found that coffee drinkers were 50% less likely to get liver cancer than nondrinkers. A few studies have found ties to lower rates of colon, breast, and rectal cancers.
While black coffee has these incredible healing effects, the fake sugars we add to the cup can have reverse effects. Try to stick with natural sweeteners like stevia and raw honey. Avoid sweeteners that contain aspartame!
Speed Fat Burning
Some of the coffee drinks are loaded with sugar and do nothing good for our waistline. However, black coffee can have an incredible effect on the metabolic rate (energy expended while at rest). Several studies show that caffeine can boost the metabolic rate by 3-11%. Other studies show that caffeine can specifically increase the burning of fat, by as much as 10% in obese individuals and 29% in lean people.
A great way to enhance the fat burning power of your coffee is by blending in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. It may sound crazy to add fat to burn fat but the effects are astounding. Coconut oil contains special types of fatty acid chains called medium chain triglycerides or MCT’s. All fat cells are made up of triglycerides, and when there is no alternative source of energy (ie. Carbohydrates from breakfast), the body will resort to breaking down these triglyceride molecules in our fat cells.
When the body begins to metabolize the coconut oil, the MCT’s have a higher thermogenic effect than most other sources of fat. This thermogenic effect makes more heat within our bodies, which essentially boosts the metabolism. When the body starts to metabolize the oil, a byproduct of breaking down these triglycerides is ketone bodies. These ketone bodies are used for ketosis: the process of your body breaking down fat cells and using ketone bodies from the fat source as energy versus using carbohydrates as energy. Ketosis is highly effective when implemented first thing in the morning when your body is still fasting from the night before. With no other source of fuel, the coconut oil coffee will promote the body to break down fat cells and use them as energy for your morning activities. This not only aids in weight loss but also increased mental focus and cognitive function.