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Just Some of the Many Benefits of Coffee

Most designers or agency folk know the role coffee can play in the creative process and the workplace.  Sometimes a jolt of caffeine can spur that next great idea or cause you to look at a layout you have been staring at for hours a little differently.  Has anyone done a study where they replaced a creative agencies coffee with decaf for a week and then measured the teams output?  Personally I find coffee an important part of clearing my head, waking up in the morning, and keeping my momentum going late in the day.  I even subscribe to the theory a semi-famous French-American known to me as Le Cornbread who claims that the French drink coffee after dinner to aid the digestion process and lessen that “I’m stuffed to the max” feeling you get when you overeat.  Bottom line is, I like my java and I like it to pack a punch….fully caffeinated please!  Extra shot of espresso in there?  Sure, make it two.    While my reasons for liking coffee might not be based on pure science many studies have been done and here are just some of the many benefits of drinking coffee (like you needed any excuses right) whether you are a designer or not.

It may lower your risk of death.

We’re all going to die eventually, but coffee appears to lengthen the “when” for individuals with certain chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, according to a large 2012 study. In fact, the study found that the more coffee (three or more cups a day), the lower the risk of death regardless of whether participants drank caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee. Findings were similar to another large studypublished in 2008.

It helps make your reproductive systems happy.

Guys, if you’re looking for a drink to lower your risk of prostate cancer, and ladies lower your risk of endometrial cancer, then keep that coffee habit going! A 2011 studyfound that men consuming at least six or more cups a day reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 20 percent! Another study published in the Journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention found that women who drank more than four cups of coffee a day had a 25 percent lower risk of endometrial cancer.

It can help lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

A 2012 study found that a compound in coffee actually helped to block a substance in the body called human islet amyloid polypeptide that may play a role in the development of diabetes. Further studies have demonstrated that caffeinated coffee consumption is linked to decreased diabetes risk as well.

It helps protect your brain.

Coffee drinkers are more likely to resist development of dementia and Alzheimer’s later in life according to a 2009 study . Another study done on rats found that just the smell of coffee helped to reduce stress that was associated with loss of sleep. So, if you’re smiling next time you roll out of bed and walk toward the coffee pot, there may be a reason why!

Americans get more antioxidants from coffee than anything else.

According to a study done in 2005, “nothing else comes close” to providing as many antioxidants as coffee. While fruits and vegetables also have tons of antioxidants, the human body seems to absorb the most from coffee.

Coffee is great for your liver (especially if you drink alcohol).

A study published in 2006 that included 125,000 people over 22 years showed thatthose who drink at least one cup of coffee a day were 20 percent less to develop liver cirrhosis — an autoimmune disease caused by excessive alcohol consumption that could lead to liver failure and cancer. Arthur L Klatsky, the lead author of the study, told The Guardian, “Consuming coffee seems to have some protective benefits against alcoholic cirrhosis, and the more coffee a person consumes the less risk they seem to have of being hospitalised or dying of alcoholic cirrhosis.”

Studies have also shown that coffee can help prevent people from developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). An international team of researchers led by Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School revealed that drinking four or more cups of coffee or tea a day may be beneficial in preventing the progression of NAFLD.

Could make you a better athlete.

The New York Times reports, “Scientists and many athletes have known for years, of course, that a cup of coffee before a workout jolts athletic performance, especially in endurance sports like distance running and cycling.” Caffeine increases the number of fatty acids in the bloodstream, which allows athletes’ muscles to absorb and burn those fats for fuel, therefore saving the body’s small reserves of carbohydrates for later on in the exercise.

It could help you recover after colon surgery.

If you’ve ever had surgery, you know one big sign of recovery is the return of bowel function. One study found that coffee consumption helped to speed this recovery sign when compared to water drinkers.

It’s great for your skin.

Drinking coffee may help you to ward off the most diagnosed form of skin cancer! Astudy in the journal Cancer Research that looked specifically at the caffeine in coffee demonstrated that coffee drinkers had a lower risk of developing basal cell carcinoma.

It may help to reduce your risk of oral cancer.

Although studies on coffee consumption and decreased risk of cancer are limited, a recent large study found that individuals who drank four or more cups of coffee a day had a 50 percent lower risk of death from oral cancers in a 25-year time frame.

It may help you strengthen your muscles — and your DNA.

A study in the journal Cell Metabolism found that caffeine actually had a similar effect to our DNA molecules in our muscles as exercise (now, this does not mean you can stop exercising). The study looked specifically at DNA changes of muscles in sedentary individuals and found that positive effects from coffee were similar to effects derived from exercise. The most interesting factor in the study was the fact that these positive changes were seen rather quickly.

Earlier, I mentioned that consumption of loads of coffee is not recommended for everyone. While you may automatically think that patients with heart problems avoid the java, studies have actually been mixed. In fact, some studies actually show benefit of coffee consumption for heart patients. So who should lay off the beans? Individuals that are pregnant or going through IVF treatments should avoid consumption of coffee. Additionally, individuals struggling with insomnia or depression should also limit coffee intake. Last but not least, keep the coffee cup out of your children’s handsand let them experience the wonders of coffee when they get older.

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