The Health Benefits of Coffee

If you’re shopping for office coffee, chances are one of your major concerns is for the health and productivity of your employees. At Ultimate Perks, we love coffee… but we love it even more knowing that, for most people, its health effects are almost entirely positive.

Read on to learn about how coffee can affect your health.

Coffee as a Stimulant

Coffee is a drink that stimulates the nervous system, which is why many people consider it a morning beverage. People on the job also take this caffeinated drink when they want to stay alert, and students take it when they need to stay up at night to cram for tests. But it isn’t just the caffeine in coffee that stimulates– research shows that there are chemical agents in coffee that rev-up the adrenaline and cortisone in the body. These are hormones that encourage activity and quick response when needed.

The Benefits of Coffee

Yes, for people with high blood pressure and heart problems, the caffeine in coffee can pose a risk– which is why our office coffee service offers a full range of decaf options. But there are also a lot of positives that come along with your daily cup of Joe.

Disease Prevention and Reduction

Reduction of Diabetes Symptoms. Studies have shown that it is possible for coffee intake to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus as much as 50%. While this was first evident in patients drinking significant amounts of coffee –on average of 7 cups a day– it was later discovered that this relationship was linear (according to Salazar-Martinez 2004) and could be seen in smaller consumption quantities, as well.

Decreased Liver Problems. Coffee is also known to decrease the chances of cirrhosis of the liver, as well as prevent cancer in the bladder and colon. Coffee can also reduce the threat of hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of liver cancer.

Heart Disease. In some cases, coffee has also been seen to reduce heart disease cases. There is some debate over this, however, because it is not known whether this effect is a result of the coffee ridding excess fat from the blood, or simply due to coffee’s stimulant effect.

Other Coffee Health Benefits. Coffee can also decrease asthma symptoms in some people as well as increase the efficacy of pain killers — especially migraine medications. Some of the benefits of coffee may be limited to one gender: for instance, it has been proven to reduce the occurrence of gallbladder disease and gallstones in men.

General Health Benefits to Coffee

A Source of Antioxidants. On August 28, 2005, at the annual gathering of the American Chemical Society in Washington, Chemist – Joe Vinson of Scranton University revealed his detailed analysis demonstrating that Americans who do not typically consume large amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, actually benefit from the dominant source of positive antioxidants in the diet produced from coffee.

This is definitely something to keep in mind if your also provide your employees and/or customers with unhealthy snacks along with your office coffee.

Digestive Benefits. Coffee also jump-starts the activity of the intestines, thus preventing constipation in some people. Coffee also serves as a diuretic, which can be a positive thing in some cases, but also means coffee drinkers should be sure to drink plenty of water.

Metabolism Increase. The caffeine in coffee also gently changes people’s metabolisms, making their bodies burn more lipids when compared with carbohydrates. This can also help prevent muscle fatigue in athletes.

Productivity. Many people drink coffee due to its ability to improve short-term recall and augment IQ in some cases– for most habitual coffee drinkers, performance is greatly enhanced with coffee.

Does Coffee Really do All This?

Studies show that amounts as low as four cups of coffee a day (24 U.S. fl oz or 700 mL) can garner some of the health benefits outlined above. Other positive side effects require drinking 5 or more cups a day (32 U.S. fl oz or 0.95 L). But do all of these benefits actually come from the coffee itself?

Yes and no. Right now, there is some controversy over the cause of these effects, since – by its nature – the consumption of coffee is attributed other behavioral co-factors. It has alternately been speculated that the mind altering effects are exclusive to withdrawal, and are limited to those who have not developed a tolerance for caffeine or are caffeine deficient.

Taking the “Caf” out of Coffee

Of course, there are times when you want the flavor of a cup of coffee without all the caffeine. For these occasions, coffee that has been decaffeinated, or “Decaf,” is preferred. It’s easy to find and brew this sort of coffee, as the decaffeinating process is both simple and common.

When creating decaf coffee, the caffeine may have been removed in one of several ways. There’s a swiss water process whereby the raw beans are soaked. There’s also a chemical process which uses a “tri” solvent, or the caffeine can be extracted with supercritical carbon dioxide.

Caffeine Withdrawal and Dependence

Caffeine dependence is widespread and withdrawal symptoms are real, so coffee drinkers may prefer to switch to alternatives without caffeine. Decaffeinated coffee usually has less flavor and is more bitter than normal coffee. Similarly, herbal teas or tisanes resemble coffee but do not contain any caffeine.

Ultimate Perks provides decaffeinated coffees, as well as teas, hot chocolate, and other no- or low-caffeine options.

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