Morning Coffee May Your Smartest Health Move
If you love your morning cup of coffee, science has been using your heart for a ping-pong ball over the last 20 years. First one study says coffee is awful. Two weeks later, another says its manna from heaven.
So who do you believe?
At least to a degree, it matters how much coffee you drink. Drink the right amount and coffee has some amazing health benefits. Here’s a run-down of some important discoveries about coffee that have come out in just the last few months.
Stay Stronger Longer
As you get older, you lose muscle mass. Less muscle equals less strength. And anything that adds to muscle power will help you maintain your balance and power.
We’ve known for quite a while that caffeine boosts performance in younger people. But researchers at Coventry University have now shown it may work for mature adults, too.
They gave caffeine to mice at different ages. Caffeine gave younger mice extra muscle power, just as they expected. But they found it had the same effect though not as strong on older mice.1
This suggests that moderate intake of caffeinated coffee may help you get more power out of your muscles, even as you get older.
Keep Your Eyes Well Lubricated
Dry eyes may not sound like a big deal. But try going without tears for a few hours. Your eyes will be in agony. That’s why drug companies market expensive products designed to stimulate tearing.
But why spend a fortune if you don’t have to? And research from Tokyo, Japan says you may not have to.
When the Japanese team gave caffeine to volunteers, their tear volume increased. They gave a look-alike placebo to a second group. This group didn’t generate more tears.
Then the team switched groups. The caffeine group became the non-caffeine group, and vice versa. The results were the same. The volunteers receiving caffeine saw an increase in tear volume.2
You won’t get the same amount of caffeine out of a couple of cups of coffee. But I see no reason why you wouldn’t get a smaller, but similar, result.
Boost Heart Health
Some people complain about caffeine making their heart race. But a moderate amount of caffeine appears to be good for your heart. Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center put it all in perspective recently.
They reviewed several large studies and tracked coffee consumption vs. one of the most common heart problems. What they found was encouraging.
Among 140,000 people, moderate coffee drinkers had the lowest risk of this heart trouble. Non-drinkers had a higher risk than coffee drinkers, up to five cups a day. After five cups, the risk increased. The lowest risk was among those who drank two cups per day.
And in this one case, it didn’t matter if the coffee contained caffeine or not.
Live a Long, Happy Life
Several studies have shown that people who don’t drink coffee live longer than those who do. That’s what a recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine found, too.
Until they accounted for smoking.
You see, smoking and coffee often go together. Smokers are simply more likely to drink coffee than non-smokers.
So when researchers adjusted the numbers for smoking, a completely different picture emerged. Coffee drinkers who donâ€™t smoke have a slight edge over non-drinkers.
Using these numbers, drinking coffee can lower your risk by up to 12%. Or, in simple terms, moderate coffee drinkers tend to live longer.
People who drank the 2 – 3 cups a day received the biggest benefit. After 5 cups a day, coffee drinkers increased their risk over non-drinkers.
So, if you drink coffee, don’t worry. Just keep your intake down to a moderate level. No more than 2 – 3 cups a day. At that level, it just may give your health a boost.
Yours in continued good health,
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
1 “Caffeine boosts power for elderly muscles,” Society for Experimental Biology. Jun 28, 2012.
2 Arita, R., et al, “Caffeine increases tear volume depending on polymorphisms within the adenosine A2a receptor gene and cytochrome P450 1A2,” Ophthalmology. May 2012; 119(5): 972-978.
3 “Moderate Coffee Consumption Offers Protection Against Heart Failure,” Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Jun 26, 2012.
4 Freedman, N.D., et al, “Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality,” N Engl J Med. 201