Most people who drink espresso probably do it both for the energy boost from the caffeine and because it’s downright delicious! Espresso is the caffeinated ingredient in most of the coffee concoctions Americans love, like lattes, cappuccinos, and mochas.
Perhaps the best part about drinking espresso is the slew of health benefits the drink secretly packs in while we’re sipping our way to morning bliss. We’re going to discuss eight science-backed health benefits of drinking espresso so you can guiltlessly head out for another shot or two.
The 8 Health Benefits of Drinking Espresso:
1. It Aids in Your Weight Loss Journey
This will be the best news some readers hear all day: espresso, that drink you love so dearly, can actually help you shed pounds!
Health experts at Healthline.com explain that the caffeine in espresso triggers a spike in epinephrine and norepinephrine, two hormones that alert your cells that it’s time to break down fat for energy. They also explain that even normal doses of caffeine like you’d find in a shot of espresso can boost your metabolism and keep it elevated long after you finish your drink.
That’s not where the weight-loss magic ends for espresso drinkers though! According to the Mayo Clinic, caffeine also acts as a natural appetite suppressant, which means you’ll have fewer and less intense urges to eat while the caffeine is still in your system.
2. It Improves Your Mood and Makes You Feel Better
Most espresso drinkers will report that they feel more positive and motivated after indulging in a few shots in the morning, and these mental benefits are backed by extensive research as well.
Psychology Today explains that the caffeine in espresso can help fight depression and boost your mood. Caffeine molecules bind to dopamine receptors in your brain, making them more effective. Since dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with generally good feelings and rewards, caffeine naturally gives you feelings of motivation and positivity. The source goes so far as to say that caffeine can actually help fight depression because of these same effects.
3. It Boosts Your Focus and Attention
If you’re an espresso drinker, you probably notice that you feel more awake and aware after your favorite espresso drink. This is due to how caffeine interacts with your body and affects your hormone levels.
Caffeine is a stimulant, which means it increases brain activity to some degree. This research article, published in the Wiley Online Library of scientific research, describes why coffee wakes us up and makes us more attentive. A buildup of the neurotransmitter, adenosine, in the body is often one trigger of drowsiness and sleepiness, and caffeine naturally blocks the effects of this neurotransmitter. This inhibition leads to feelings of wakefulness, can increase your ability to focus and concentrate, and helps you to be more attentive.
4. It Can Reduce the Risk of Diabetes
Among the many benefits of caffeine, one of the most compelling is its ability to reduce your risk of major diseases, one of which is type-2 diabetes.
A research study published in the medical journal, Diabetologia, notes that those who consume caffeine on a daily basis are up to 40% less likely to be diagnosed with type-2 diabetes. The reasoning is unclear, but the correlation is strong enough to make the connection between caffeine consumption and a reduced risk of this disease, and that’s good enough for us!
5. It Provides Healthy Antioxidants
“Antioxidants” has been a buzzword in the health community for many years given the associated health benefits, and espresso drinkers enjoy a large dose of these compounds with each shot.
Health authorities at the Mayo Clinic explain that, as a part of our diet — especially as a part of a standard western diet — and daily metabolic processes, free radicals build up naturally in our bodies. They note that these free radicals have been associated closely with numerous health concerns, including cancer. They also explain that antioxidants help eliminate free radicals, and since espresso is a great source of antioxidants, enjoying espresso or espresso drinks on a daily basis can help you lower your risk of the ailments associated with these compounds!
6. It Could Extend Your Life
That’s right: drinking espresso can lead to a longer life! This may surprise you, especially because of some health claims made decades ago about how caffeine can increase blood pressure and cholesterol, but more recent research suggests that espresso drinkers often live longer lives than those who don’t consume caffeine at all.
In fact, this article from Healthline.com suggests that drinking espresso on a daily basis can help extend your life by 12-15%! This is probably in part due to the other positive health effects that caffeine has on your body, but no matter the reason, we’re in for a shot or two a day to add years to our lives.
7. It Benefits Your Physical Performance
You’ve likely noticed the positive mental effects espresso can have, but what about the physical effects? There’s a reason athletes drink black coffee before workouts: it safely increases their performance.
This research article, found in the National Library of Medicine, re-enforces the fact that caffeine boosts adrenaline and noradrenaline secretion in your body, and these two hormones have been linked to increased endurance, increased heart rate, and increased alertness, all of which can aid in physical exertion. This all goes without saying that the previously discussed mental benefits will also help you focus more on your physical task at hand.
8. It May Reduce the Risk of Mental Disease
There’s no doubt by now that caffeine has a positive effect on your mental well-being in the short term – it can boost your mood, feelings of motivation and positivity, and increases focus and concentration. There are also numerous long-term effects as well.
Research studies over long periods of time have shown that those who regularly drink espresso and other caffeinated drinks are at a significantly lower risk of being afflicted by Alzheimer’s, dementia, and even Parkinson’s disease. Just in case you needed another reason to indulge in espresso, it can also keep you sharp and mentally healthy as you grow older.
Are There Disadvantages to Drinking Espresso?
We’d be remiss if we talked about all of these amazing health benefits and didn’t mention some of the drawbacks of regular espresso consumption.
Firstly, drinking espresso can lead to an increase in LDL cholesterol because of two compounds found in espresso, cafestol, and kahweol. Health experts at Healthline.com explain that these two compounds can cause an increase in cholesterol levels. It may not be a very large increase, but those with already high cholesterol may want to cease their espresso intake entirely or at least decrease it.
Additionally, while espresso is very low in calories and contains no fat or sugar, many espresso drinks like lattes, cafe au laits, and cappuccinos are made with full-fat milk or even cream, both of which can add quite a lot of fat to your morning espresso fix. Depending on your taste, you may also add sugar to your drink which adds additional calories, and this can lead to weight gain and related complications.
The Bottom Line
Espresso has a long list of short-term health benefits that affect both your mind and body. These include increased mental acuity, increased physical performance, and elevated mood. It can also have long-term effects like a reduced risk of health problems such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease.
There are some health detriments associated with espresso consumption as well, and these include risk of increased cholesterol and weight gain (depending on how you drink your espresso), but most espresso drinkers will happily find that consuming espresso on a daily basis is largely beneficial to their health!
NOTE: Have you tried bulletproof & keto coffee? Read about the surprising health benefits!
Table of Contents
- The 8 Health Benefits of Drinking Espresso:
- 1. It Aids in Your Weight Loss Journey
- 2. It Improves Your Mood and Makes You Feel Better
- 3. It Boosts Your Focus and Attention
- 4. It Can Reduce the Risk of Diabetes
- 5. It Provides Healthy Antioxidants
- 6. It Could Extend Your Life
- 7. It Benefits Your Physical Performance
- 8. It May Reduce the Risk of Mental Disease
- Are There Disadvantages to Drinking Espresso?
- The Bottom Line