What Are the Health Benefits of Coffee?

All of us like a good cup of coffee and most of us have some idea that coffee is good for our health. Here, are more than a dozen health benefits of coffee, backed by scientific evidence.

Protection against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Dementia

Researchers have found that starting at just one cup of coffee a day your daily Java reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease. A cup a day reduces your risk by 15% and by the time you reach 5 cups a day that risk reduction goes to 32%. When researchers took smoking, drinking alcohol and other factors into consideration the risk reduction for Parkinson’s was a much as 60%.

Not only does coffee make you more alert as you drink it, coffee helps prevent memory loss over the long term. It does this by its protective effect against Alzheimer’s. The risk of getting this disease can be cut by two thirds if you drink three to five cups a day starting in midlife.

Cancer Risk Reduced by Coffee Consumption

We have written previously about coffee reducing your risk of colon cancer. Currently available evidence is that your risk goes down by a fourth with four to six cups a day and down by 15% with one to four cups a day.

The risk of women getting endometrial cancer goes down by 20% with a cup a day and by about 7% more with each additional cup.

Live cancer risk is reduced by almost half with 2 cups of coffee  a day and your risk of brain tumor goes down by 40% with five or more cups a day.

Living Longer

More than a year ago we wrote about a longer life with coffee. The evidence shows that the sum total of health benefits of coffee reduce your risk of dying (compared to non-coffee drinkers) by as much as 15% with 5 cups a day and by 6% with a cup a day. None of us live forever but reducing your risk of dying in the next 5 or 10 years is a good thing.

Athletic Performance

There is good evidence that athletic performance is helped by drinking coffee beforehand.

  • Via a series of chemical regulatory pathways in the human body the caffeine in coffee affects the regulation of glycogen, sugars and lipid metabolism and stimulates the release of adrenaline.
  • Coffee can be effective to enhance performance when ingested as close as fifteen minutes before exercise or competition although an hour before is ideal to insure complete absorption and initiation of the regulatory pathways the help coffee enhance athletic performance.
  • Coffee is effective in enhancing athletic performance in moderate amounts, three to six milligrams per kilogram of body weight and larger amounts do not appear to help.
  • An eight ounce cup of brewed coffee contains from 100 to 200 milligrams of caffeine.
  • A 154 pound runner weighs 70 kilograms.
  • Since three milligrams per kilogram times seventy kilograms comes to just over 210 milligrams it turns out that one stiff cup of coffee taken within an hour of performance will likely enhance athletic performance.
  • Two cups may be better but three will be a waste of time.


Type II diabetes is a major health issue for more than 20 million Americans. But if you drink coffee regularly you can reduce your risk of getting diabetes. The best results are from 4-6 cups a day when cuts your risk by more than half.

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