6 Reasons Not to Feel Guilty About Drinking Coffee

posted: 09/29/15
by: Mara Betsch

It's national coffee day, which, in addition to getting free coffee from Dunkin' Donuts, Wawa, and plenty of other chains (plus coffee at Whole Foods is just 25 cents!), is an excuse to indulge in a super healthy beverage. Though coffee has gotten a bag rap over the years (no, it doesn't stunt your growth), the most recent research shows that it's actually pretty great for you. Here's a few reasons why you shouldn't feel guilty about filling up your mug. (editor's note: we're talking about black coffee here -- not sugar-filled coffee drinks)

It helps your heart

Drinking three to five cups of coffee a day lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease by 21 percent!

It prevents diabetes

A 2014 study found that those who drank more than a cup of coffee over four years reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes while those who drank less coffee saw an increase in their risk of diabetes. But remember, that's plain coffee -- not caramel lattes!

It age-proofs your brain

Filled with antioxidants, caffeine has been proven to protect your brain from Parkinson's disease, dementia and Alzheimer's.

It may help you get to the gym

Getting a little buzz before you work out can be just the jolt you need. Caffeine increases fatty acids in the bloodstream, which our muscles can absorb and burn, saving the body's carbohydrates for the end of the workout. This can help you power through the end of a killer spin class.

It may prevent cancer

A 2011 study found that indulging in a cup (or two) of joe was associated with a reduced risk of bladder, breast, buccal and pharyngeal, colorectal, endometrial, esophageal, hepatocellular, leukemic, pancreatic, and prostate cancers.

It may make you seem smarter

Got a big meeting? Grab a large coffee this morning. Coffee blocks neurotransmitters that make you feel sleepy, literally giving your brain a wake-up call. It allows you to be more focused and boosts your attention span.