9 Impressive Benefits of Coffee

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

The most impressive health benefits of coffee include its ability to improve cognition, aid in weight loss, boost energy, lower the risk of diabetes, maximize fitness efforts, and increase liver protection. Research also indicates that it may help in the prevention of certain types of cancer. Moreover, coffee aids in boosting metabolism and protecting the cardiovascular system against damage.

What is Coffee?

Coffee is a brewed beverage prepared from the roasted beans of its plant. This plant is native to Ethiopia and Sudan in Africa and also stretches its origin in regions like Madagascar, Mauritius, and Comoros.

Coffea arabica is the most commonly used bean, but there are different varieties depending on the region of the world you are drinking java in or the region you are importing the beans from.

A cup of fresh cappucino beside a bag of coffee beans on a wood surface

Coffee is more than just a drink: It’s a culture, an economy, an art, a science. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Nutrition Facts

Beverages, coffee, brewed, prepared with tap water
Serving Size :
Water [g]99.39
Energy 1
Energy [kJ]2
Protein [g]0.12
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.02
Ash [g]0.35
Calcium, Ca [mg]2
Iron, Fe [mg]0.01
Magnesium, Mg [mg]3
Phosphorus, P [mg]3
Potassium, K [mg]49
Sodium, Na [mg]2
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.02
Copper, Cu [mg]0
Manganese, Mn [mg]0.02
Fluoride, F [µg]90.7
Thiamin [mg]0.01
Riboflavin [mg]0.08
Niacin [mg]0.19
Pantothenic acid [mg]0.25
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0
Folate, total [µg]2
Folate, food [µg]2
Folate, DFE [µg]2
Choline, total [mg]2.6
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0.01
Tocopherol, gamma [mg]0.01
Tocotrienol, alpha [mg]0.02
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]0.1
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0
16:0 [g]0
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.02
18:1 c [g]0.02
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0
18:2 [g]0
Threonine [g]0
Isoleucine [g]0
Leucine [g]0.01
Lysine [g]0
Cystine [g]0
Phenylalanine [g]0
Tyrosine [g]0
Valine [g]0
Arginine [g]0
Histidine [g]0
Alanine [g]0
Aspartic acid [g]0.01
Glutamic acid [g]0.02
Glycine [g]0
Proline [g]0
Serine [g]0
Caffeine [mg]40
Sources include : USDA [1]

Coffee Nutrition Facts

Coffee beans have important nutrients like the B-family vitamins, including riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and niacin, as well as other nutrients like potassium, manganese, and magnesium. Perhaps most importantly, they contain antioxidants and caffeine, which have a wide range of health benefits when consumed in moderation and at right times during the day. [2] [3] [4]

Health Benefits of Coffee

This beverage has surprising benefits, many of which are due to its chemical composition and nutrients. Let’s discuss the commonly known benefits in detail.

Boosts Energy

The caffeine in coffee acts as a stimulant and instantly increases your energy levels. It blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitters in the brain, which is actually the reason behind this stimulant effect.

Improves Cognition

It is widely known that coffee helps sharpen your mental focus and increase concentration by stimulating the brain with caffeine. While this can sometimes result in a mental crash if too much is consumed, a regular process of drinking it has been shown to protect the cognitive health and prevent mental degradation as we age. [5]

Alzheimer’s & Dementia

According to a study published by L. Maia, Faculty of Medicine of Lisbon, Portugal, caffeine has shown to have a significant impact on lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s. Studies have shown that elderly people who consume coffee on a regular and moderate basis are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s and dementia. Keeping those synapses firing with some caffeine isn’t a bad idea! [6] [7]

Prevents Parkinson’s

Regular consumption of coffee helps lower your chances of getting affected by Parkinson’s disease. Research says that caffeine has a protective effect on the nervous system, which eventually helps in preventing the disease. [8] [9]

Coffee for Weight Loss

Coffee energizes people to move around, get active, and burn calories faster. The stimulant nature of caffeine speeds up the body’s metabolism almost by 11% and increases calorie-burning. Furthermore, it acts as an appetite suppressant, so you can calm your cravings and remain firm in your dieting goals with a cup of joe on your side! [10]

Maximizes Fitness Goals

People who regularly workout drink coffee half an hour before for a burst of energy so they can get the most of their exercise. The burst of caffeine increases epinephrine levels in the blood, which makes the body ready for any physical exertion. This allows people to push themselves longer and harder to begin seeing immediate results from their exercise regimen. [11]

Improves Heart Health

Research has revealed that regular coffee drinkers can reduce their risk of having a stroke. In women, it seems to lower the risk of heart diseases. It may increase your blood pressure temporarily, but that does not mean a stroke or heart disease is inevitable. It can often work to clear out the system and keep your heart functioning at an optimal level. A study also shows that coffee helps cure arrhythmias, which is abnormal heart rhythms. [12] [13]

Reduces Risk of Diabetes

Studies have shown that people who regularly consume coffee have a 23-50% lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes. The nutrients in it help lower the blood sugar levels, thereby keeping you healthy. [14]

Increases Metabolism

The significant levels of B-vitamins in coffee mean that it helps us optimize our metabolic efficiency, maintain balanced hormone levels, and keep the body running smoothly. [15]

Protects Liver

Coffee consumption has been linked to improved liver health, particularly in the prevention of cirrhosis, hepatitis, and fatty liver disease. One study showed that regular consumption resulted in an 80% reduced chance of developing cirrhosis of the liver. [16] [17]

Anticancer Potential

According to a 2009 study published in the journal Cancer Letters, coffee has been linked to a lower risk of many types of cancers like liver, kidney, premenopausal breast, and colorectal cancers. [18]

The findings of research led by Susanna C. Larsson, Ph.D., The National Institute of Environmental Medicine, Stockholm, Sweden suggest that coffee consumption may help in reducing the risk of liver cancer. [19]

Also, studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on the effect of coffee on colorectal cancer suggest that it can help but more promising research is still awaited. [20]

Reduces Depression 

The natural effects of coffee can do wonders for someone suffering from depression. It has even been connected to a reduced occurrence of suicidal tendencies. It lights up the mood and relieves stress, thereby making improving your quality of life. [21]

Antioxidant Properties

Coffee is rich in antioxidants and is thus considered a healthy beverage in diets around the world. Studies have also shown it to contain more antioxidants than both fruits and vegetables combined. [22]

Reduces Mortality

Coffee is largely linked to longevity as it has the capability of reducing the risk of many coronary diseases. It protects against cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and many serious problems. [23]

Prevents Multiple Sclerosis

Regularly consuming coffee helps protect you against the development of multiple sclerosis. Studies say that it prevents or inhibits neural inflammation, which is a major cause of the occurrence of MS. [24]

Eye Care

The chlorogenic acid (CLA) in coffee helps prevent retinal damage. It acts as an antioxidant and reduces the oxidative stress that affects the functioning of the eye. [25]

How much Coffee is safe to consume?

An 8 ounce of coffee contains 100mg caffeine approximately. Studies suggest that an average adult can consume up to 400 mg of caffeine, which means up to 4 cups of the beverage. Also, do not forget that there are other sources of caffeine like tea, energy drinks, chocolates, etc. So monitor your intake and stay healthy! [26]

Side Effects

There are some side effects of drinking it in excess amounts. They are as follows:

  • Caffeine addiction: Too much of caffeine can be taxing as it burns out the adrenal glands and causes changes in your appetite. And in absence of the caffeine ‘fix’, people tend to face headaches, anxiety, fatigue and have trouble concentrating.
  • Thyroid & Hormonal Issues: Drinking coffee while you are struggling with thyroid, adrenal or hormonal issues can actually exacerbate the problem.
  • Pregnant Women: It can increase the risk of miscarriage and low birth weight in the child. [27]
  • Daily Clock: Drinking it in the evening or late at night can keep you awake for hours and play with your sleep time.


Historically, it was first recorded as a drink just over 500 years ago, beginning on the Arabian peninsula, but there is speculation that its use as a stimulating beverage stretches back more than 1,000 years in various ancient and indigenous cultures. Now, it is consumed in nearly every country of the world, and almost daily, even 5-6 times a day. While offices have larger machines, at home people often have single-serve coffee makers which work best for the small requirements. [28]

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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