Fun Fact: Did you know that coffee is the 3rd most consumed beverage in the world? (narrowly trailing water and tea)
Coffee beans are produced in over 70 countries across the globe. As a drink, coffee is mostly enjoyed hot, but its iced version is also very popular, especially in the summer. Thanks to its high levels of antioxidants and beneficial nutrients, it also appears to be relatively healthy.
Let’s face it – many of us kickstart our day with this ubiquitous drink first thing in the morning, and we usually don’t stop at just one cup. Many people do drink it with caution due to the potential ill-effects of caffeine, however, this is only true if you consume the substance in excessive amount (more than 4 cups a day consistently). If taken in moderation, research has shown that coffee will do you more good than harm.
In commemoration of International Coffee Day (celebrated annually on the 1st of October), here are eight great reasons why we should all drink some coffee at work:
1. Caffeine improves memory and cognition
In a study published by Journal of Nutrition, the caffeine in coffee can potentially improve the long-term effects of your thinking and cognitive skills. Caffeine is a brain stimulant and blocks receptors for a chemical called adenosine, which normally prevents the release of excitatory brain chemicals (the chemicals responsible to provide energy).
However, it’s important to note that research shows that the benefit of caffeine on memory may be state dependent. Hence, caffeine only improves memory if it is consumed both at the time the information is consumed and at the time of recalling the information.
2. Coffee’s aroma helps to reduce sleep-deprived stress
Due to the increasing demands and commitment of a high-paying corporate job, the vast majority of us will probably suffer from lack of sleep. However, the great news is that the mere aroma of coffee has been showed to reduce stress levels caused by sleep deprivation to a great extent.
This was shown in a study conducted at Seoul National University involving the expression of genes and proteins in rat brains. The experiment showed those exposed to the coffee odour presented proteins with healthy antioxidant properties, which protect nerve cells from sleep-deprived stress.
3. Coffee is a great social tool
Regardless of which company or industry that you are working, the vast majority of your colleagues and bosses would probably be coffee drinkers. While some drink to stay awake or improve alertness, others just enjoy the short break away from work to socialize and catch up with their peers with a cup of coffee. (Pro-tip: If your manager or supervisor is a coffee lover, it never hurts to grab them a cup the next time you head down to the café).
4. Coffee can reduce work-induced pain for desk workers
Most of us have corporate desk jobs that require us to sit at a single place and focus for hours. One doesn’t need to have graduated from medical school to know that staying in the same position for long hours can lead to unwanted muscle pain. When compared to non-coffee drinkers, many studies have shown that drinking coffee can reduce pain development caused by sitting for long hours due to caffeine acting as a pain moderator.
5. Caffeine raises your metabolism and helps to burn fat
Many studies have shown that consumption of caffeine will lead to a spike in metabolism. When you have increased metabolic rate, you will burn fat at a faster rate and thus maintain a healthier body overall. This happens because caffeine stimulates your nervous system, causing it to send signals to your fat cells to break down body fat. While the metabolic impact of caffeine on its own may not be enough to transform your body physique entirely, it doesn’t hurt to give your body an extra boost it needs, given our sedentary lifestyle.
6. Coffee breaks can improve productivity and maintain alertness
Interestingly, the coffee break was only introduced in the 20th century and became more prevalent among the working population following the World War II. The positive benefits were reinforced when an MIT research showed that employees who take regular breaks are much more alert, efficient, and productive at work – ultimately resulting in a life in overall performance.
7. Coffee can make you smarter (no, seriously)
As mentioned earlier, caffeine is able to positively stimulate your central nervous system. As such, when we drink coffee, the caffeine will enhance the firing of neurons in the brain to increase the overall energy metabolism as well. So the next time you are preparing for a huge meeting with your boss or client, don’t hesitate to grab a cup of coffee beforehand for a little extra mental edge.
8. Caffeine may lower your risk of being depressed
Unfortunately, in modern society, depression is a chronic (and increasingly common) psychological disorder that affects both men and women, although studies have shown that the latter gets affected twice as much. Depression can lead to severe symptoms that affect how you think, feel, and even deal with your day-to-day activities, including sleeping, eating, socializing, and working. Fortunately, it has been discovered that increased caffeine consumption can help to decrease the risk of depression.
Do you know of any other great benefits of drinking coffee? Please share with us in the comments below!