While drinking too much coffee could have negative health effects such as insomnia and anxiety, many studies found strong associations between moderate intake and protective effects for various parts of the body. For instance, this year, researchers suggested a few cups of coffee could improve heart function.
Here are some of the other protective effects of the beverage, as found in studies over recent years:
1. Improved life expectancy for people with kidney disease
Consuming more caffeine may help reduce the risk of death for people with chronic kidney disease. Newly published findings shed light on this link after analyzing data on more than 4,000 American people who were observed over a decade.
“Our study showed a protective effect of caffeine consumption among patients with chronic kidney disease,” said lead author Miguel Bigotte Vieira, noting how the reduction in mortality was present even after considering other factors. “These results suggest that advising patients with kidney disease to drink more caffeine may reduce their mortality.”
2. Lower risk of type 2 diabetes, with or without caffeine
Long-term studies have found an association between drinking coffee and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. While caffeine was initially speculated to play a role, researchers could not explain why this association persisted even when study subjects consumed decaffeinated coffee.
According to findings from a 2015 study featuring rat cells, cafestol and caffeic acid may be driving this protective effect against diabetes. Both components, found in coffee with or without caffeine, appeared to increase insulin secretion.
3. Delayed onset or reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease
Older adults who drink coffee are less likely to see their mild cognitive impairment progress into dementia.
“Moderate daily consumption of caffeinated coffee appears to be the best dietary option for long-term protection against Alzheimer’s memory loss,” said Dr. Gary Arendash, who co-authored a study linking high blood caffeine levels to an avoided or delayed onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
As for the science behind it? That may have to do with an anti-inflammatory impact on the brain, suggested medical experts from the University of Illinois. Their animal research, published in 2012, explored how caffeine could slow down the chain reaction which caused cognitive decline.
4. Decrease of soreness, pain felt during physical activity
“Drinking coffee before exercising, increases compliance with an exercise program as well as maximizes your strength during the activity, decreases perceived pain during exercise, and decreases post-exercise muscular soreness,” explained Dr. Seth J. Marquit, the medical director at Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami, Florida.
And it’s not just your workouts that benefit from this protection against pain. Norwegian researchers observed office workers, noting reduced pain development in body parts like the neck, shoulders, etc. among employees who consumed coffee when compared with those who did not.