There are many reasons to drink coffee — it’s good for you!
People look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them that they should be drinking more coffee — not less.
It’s kind of like chocolate.
They tell us that chocolate isn’t good for us, and then we find out that actually is pretty good for you.
Ice cream is good for you.
Coke is good for you.
Sugar is good for you.
Just because something is fun to eat doesn’t mean that it’s unhealthy.
So, it’s the same with coffee.
And there are many, many positive health benefits of coffee.
Remember coffee is more than just caffeine.
Coffee has magnesium, niacin, caffeic acid and probably a thousand different compounds.
We have a limited understanding of many of these compounds other than caffeine.
But luckily for us, researchers love to research their coffee.
Before I get to the coffee part, I want to talk about the anticholinergic part.
Anticholinergic means that it blocks the brain’s ability to use the neurochemical acetylcholine.
This chemical helps the brain regulate involuntary movements, such as breathing.
Some medications block this chemical on purpose to treat things like asthma.
But you really don’t want to take anything anticholinergic if you can help it.
And many medications today are anticholinergic.
These medications include common antihistamines.
Studies link them to cognitive decline.
More than likely they’ll be taken off the market shortly.
There are a ton of anticholinergic medications.
Keep in mind that these are very common medications.
But the cognitive decline they cause is quite pronounced.
In other words, the medications that they give you to help you are hurting you.
So in this study of 152 older folks, researchers found something interesting about coffee drinkers.
First, they found that the brain slowed down and cognitive decline was written really evident in people taking anticholinergics.
However, this was true only for persons whose recent caffeine intake was low.
Those who drank a lot of coffee suffered less decline from anticholinergic medications!
The coffee acted to protect the brain.
Caffeine through coffee intake was highly protective against the anticholinergic medications.
And this isn’t the only study to show the relationship between coffee and brain health.
This study looked at men over a ten-year period as they aged.
Men who did not consume coffee experienced a cognitive decline of about 10% of their mental acuity.
Drinking coffee reduced this loss of mental acuity to only 4% over ten years.
Consuming coffee reduces cognitive decline in elderly men.
The study seems to show that 3 cups a day is protective.
It is quite possible that 10 or 20 cups a day or even more protective.
Maybe drinking more coffee each day is good for increasing brain power — who knows?
One thing that you have to do with coffee is you need to get used to it.
You can’t suddenly increase your coffee consumption because the body requires some time to adapt.
Also coffee can increase stress hormones.
Especially if you take it on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning, or without adequate food.
It takes the body about an hour to digest food enough to boost glycogen blood levels.
So if you wake up on an empty stomach and you drink coffee right away you are going to increase stress hormones.
But if you eat breakfast first and then have your coffee an hour later you should be fine.
I always drink coffee after food rather than before food.
The more coffee, the better in my opinion.
Although the study seems to suggest the benefits peak at 3 cups a day.
It is quite possible that men who consume 10 or 15 cups a day of coffee have other unhealthy habits.
But if you supply your body with good nutrition and drink plenty of coffee — it would seem like you are aces all around.
List of anticholinergic medications
Coffee consumption is inversely associated with cognitive decline in elderly European men: the FINE Study