Drinking a cup of coffee is a well-known way of boosting your energy levels at the start of the day.
But the caffeinated brew also has a range of surprising health benefits.
It has been shown to be good for your heart and even reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes, according to experts.
Here, MailOnline reveals seven potential health perks from drinking coffee.
Drinking coffee in moderation could be good for you, according to researchers. the caffeinated drink has been linked to reducing your risk of type-2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart disease and liver disease. It also can help you stay slim, help you exercise and lower your risk of depression
Lowers risk of depression
As well as getting you up in the morning, coffee could also make you feel happier, research suggests.
In fact, drinking at least four cups of coffee a day has been linked with a lower risk of depression, compared to just drinking one.
That is according to a Spanish study of 14,413 university graduates in 2018.
Researchers at the National Coffee Association believe one reason why coffee could lower our risk of depression is because caffeine blocks mood-depressing chemicals in the brain.
Just like caffeine stops you from falling asleep, the stimulant also blocks receptors in the brain from binding with adenosine, a chemical that causes not just fatigue but a depressed mood as well.
Supports liver health
Coffee could keep your liver healthy and protect the organ against disease.
New research suggests there is a link between coffee consumption and the risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease – a range of liver diseases that can lead to fibrosis, cirrhosis and cancer.
The 2023 study by the University of Coimbra in Portugal, supported by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee, quizzed 156 middle-aged borderline-obese participants, most of whom had type 2 diabetes.
It found that those who drank more coffee had healthier livers.
But, it’s not just due to the caffeine.
Both decaf and caffeinated beans had this positive effect on the liver.
While those who drank regular coffee were less likely to have liver fibrosis, consuming higher levels of deaf coffee was significantly associated with reduced fatty liver levels.
Other factors could be at play, though.
Drinking three to five cups of coffee a day has been shown to positive effects on your health. Some researchers say drinking four cups of coffee can reduce your risk of depression. Other studies have also shown both decaf and caffeinated beans can protect your liver against disease
It helps you lose weight
Your morning fix could help you maintain a healthy weight.
Researchers say this could be because your morning brew boosts your metabolic rate — the number of calories your body uses per day — and burns fat.
Just 100mg of caffeine, about the amount in your average cup of coffee, was found to increase the resting metabolic rate of participants in a study in 1989.
The study by King’s College London, found the energy expenditure of the participants increased by about 10 per cent when they were given 100mg of caffeine at 2-hour intervals throughout the day.
Because of these findings, researchers have speculated that caffeine could help weight loss in obesity treatment, but more research is needed.
A more recent study in 2004, found that drinking coffee doubled the amount of fat burned and increased energy expenditure by 13 per cent.
But, the research was backed by coffee producers Nestle.
Another US study published in The Journal of Nutrition in 2020, suggests women who drink more coffee have less body fat.
It’s good for your heart
If you drink too much caffeine it can put strain on your heart and make you feel jittery.
But in moderate amounts, coffee has been shown to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
In fact, drinking three to five cups of coffee a day could be the perfect amount to keep your heart healthy.
By drinking three cups a day you could reduce your risk of hypertension, cardiovascular disease and atrial fibrillation, according to an Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC) review in 2022.
‘Drinking moderate amounts of coffee is not only associated with a lower risk of heart disease but also with living longer,’ says Professor Kjeld Hermansen, department of clinical medicine at Aarhus University and ISIC coffee expert.
Professor Hermansen told MailOnline: ‘These trends hold true for both people with and without cardiovascular disease. Coffee beans have over 100 biologically active compounds.
‘These substances may help reduce oxidative stress, inflammation and improve insulin sensitivity and metabolism. The exact mechanisms of action in relation to CVD is, however, still not clarified.’
Drinking three to five cups of coffee a day could be the perfect amount to keep your heart healthy. It has been suggested to reduce your risk of hypertension, cardiovascular disease and atrial fibrillation
Helps athletic performance
Coffee not only gets you up in the morning — it can also help you out in the gym.
Drinking caffeine has been shown to improve endurance as well as high-intensity and resistance exercise, according to experts.
The brew can also help your athletic performance in sports such as tennis and football, says Dr Neil Clarke, a sports and exercise nutrition lecturer at Coventry University and ISIC expert.
He told MailOnline: ‘Cognitive function, including attention and vigilance have also been shown to be improved following caffeine ingestion.
‘These beneficial effects are generally independent of training status, habitual caffeine intake and sex.’
But, he also believes simply drinking coffee is better than getting a caffeine fix from powder or tablets.
He said: ‘There is growing evidence that coffee is an equally effective alternative to caffeine powder or tablets for improving exercise performance.’
It’s good for your brain
Drinking coffee reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, according to researchers.
A 2016 review of 11 observational studies in more than 29,000 people found that the more coffee people consumed, the lower their risk of the memory-robbing condition.
But, the researchers highlighted that more studies are needed to find the reason for this link.
On top of this, studies also suggest that coffee reduces your risk of developing Parkinson’s.
Another review of 13 studies, published in Nutrients in 2020, suggested caffeine consumption slowed the progression of this neurological condition.
Coffee could be beneficial for the brain due to its anti-neuroinflammatory effects, according to Professor Giuseppe Grosso, from the department of biomedical and biotechnological sciences at University of Catania and ISIC expert.
Professor Grosso told MailOnline: ‘There is evidence that coffee polyphenols may pass the blood-brain barrier, exert anti-neuroinflammatory effects and even promote neurogenesis, hence resulting in decreased risk of both cognitive and affective disorders.’
A recent study found that caffeine may not only stop you from getting fat, but it could also cut your risk of getting type 2 diabetes
Reduces risk of type 2 diabetes
A recent study found that caffeine may not only stop you from getting fat, but it could also cut your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
The study, published in the journal BMJ Medicine, looked at genes which determine how fast people process caffeine to estimate the likely caffeine levels of almost 800,000 people over a lifetime.
Researchers found those who broke down caffeine more slowly, so were likely to have a higher level of it in their blood, had a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
However, half of the people’s reduced risk of type 2 diabetes could be explained by them having a lower BMI.
That is because being thinner reduces the risk of developing the condition, which affects one in 10 people over the age of 40.
But drinking black coffee is more likely to reduce your risk of the disease over drinking sugary coffees containing syrups.
Dr Dipender Gill, senior author of the study, from Imperial College London, said: ‘These results suggest caffeine may be linked to a lower body mass index, lower body fat and a reduced likelihood of developing type-2 diabetes.
‘It may improve people’s metabolism, although this doesn’t mean people should go out and drink lots of high-calorie caffeinated drinks like chai lattes.
‘If there is more evidence from larger trials in the future, it may suggest that people should consider drinking espressos or black coffee to reduce their risk of type-2 diabetes.’