More often than not, we tend to think of coffee as a less than healthy drink. This opinion is a more recent invention, however, as coffee has been used historically as a restorative drink with medicinal purposes. New research continues to agree with the thought of coffee as part of a healthy lifestyle. More than just a morning pick-me-up, coffee is a drink capable of energizing you while helping prevent disease and improving your cardiovascular system.

Coffee: The other black gold

When we talk about the healthy effects of coffee, it’s important to realize that this means coffee without loads of sugar or artificial sweeteners or creamers. Black coffee is the healthiest coffee. A small amount of sweetener or milk/cream for taste can be OK, but you’re not going to get any benefit from a drink covered in whipped cream and syrup. Also, when we talk about a serving of coffee, that 8 ounces. (A grande/medium size is often about 16 ounces).

Coffee and your heart

So how does coffee benefit your heart? Coffee, for one, is naturally loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants, as their name suggests, help our bodies prohibit the oxidization of molecules called free radicals.

Free radicals are molecules created as a natural byproduct of energy production in our body, although they can also be in some foods and other sources. Basically, the more free radicals, the greater your risk of cardiovascular problems. Antioxidants help lower this risk.

The truth, though, is that scientists have yet to fully understand what in coffee is so beneficial. Antioxidants are helpful, but coffee is a big mix of many different chemicals. What we do know, though, is that something about coffee certainly helps prevent heart disease, even death.

Coffee and health

A study out of Johns Hopkins and published in the American Journal of Epidemiology looked at data compiled from numerous studies to source a huge amount of information from which to draw conclusions. It found that coffee did indeed lower the risk of heart disease.

Subjects drinking 3 cups a day were 21% less likely to die from any type of cardiovascular problem, including heart disease and stroke. The study also found that people drinking 4 cups each day were 16% less likely to die from any cause compared with non-coffee drinkers.

Another study, this one out of Harvard, found that coffee was able to lower the risk of type-2 diabetes when subjects drank 3 cups a day.

Energy and exercise

Obviously, the most famous ingredient of coffee is caffeine. However, a lot of people fail to give caffeine the credit it deserves. Sure, if you drink coffee at night, it can keep you from falling asleep easily. However, more often than not, such as with energy drinks, the real problem is the sugar, not the caffeine.

Studies have found that caffeine can improve workout performance, such as this study published in the journal Sports Medicine. This includes, stamina, power and speed. The study also found that caffeine before exercise did not cause dehydration.

Caffeine’s not perfect of course. Too much can lower your Insulin Efficiency and can cause your body to build a tolerance over time.

Another cup?

Olumia Life supports drinking coffee every day, provided it’s not weighed down with sugar. Coffee is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and can help prevent numerous diseases. Drinking a couple cups a day can do more than just wake you up.

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