Coffee Benefits: So Much More Than a Morning Jolt!

Written by: Erin Coleman,

B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Mother Project

Written by: Erin Coleman,

B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Mother Project

coffee benefits

If you're like most busy moms, you know all about coffee benefits. For many of us, it's the fuel that kicks off our day and keeps us moving through our hectic schedules.

But, is coffee good for you?

Besides the jolt of caffeine it provides, there are numerous coffee benefits.

But, do the advantages outweigh the potential concerns?

Knowing more about what coffee does to your body, what to put in your coffee, and how to best drink it is a must.

First and foremost, have a conversation with your doctor about how much caffeine is safe for you.

Also, be sure to drink caffeinated coffee in moderation to avoid possible side effects linked with excess caffeine consumption or caffeine withdrawal.

Let's dig deeper into coffee benefits and how to get the most out of that cup of joe!

Learn more about some AMAZING coffee benefits for women!

 

Coffee Benefits for Women

Some of the many coffee benefits you can expect when adding coffee to your meal plan include:

Healthy Weight Management

Coffee is by nature a very low-calorie drink, which is one reason it aids in healthy weight management for women.

In fact, black coffee contains just 5 calories per serving.

Caffeine in coffee also gives your metabolism a boost, making it easier to avoid weight gain or even lose weight if that's your goal.

Fat Burning Potential

Drinking caffeinated coffee can enhance your body's ability to burn fat, as studies show that higher caffeine intakes can reduce body weight, body mass index (BMI), and body fat.

But caffeine isn't the only reason for coffee's beneficial effects on body fat.

Studies have found that green coffee bean extract helps block fat accumulation, as well as improves glucose metabolism.

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Physical and Mental Energy

Having more energy is beneficial for women for many reasons.

It can help you focus better at work, have the energy to exercise or keep up with your kids, and avoid dozing off during a busy day or while driving.

Better Athletic Performance

You may have found out from past experiences that caffeine can improve your workouts.

The reason for this is that it increases energy levels and reduces perceived effort during exercise, making exercise seem easier.

Research studies confirm that caffeine improves athletic performance.

Disease-Fighting Antioxidants

Coffee is loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants, which may reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cancer, or other common chronic diseases.

Another reason for coffee's benefits for disease prevention has to do with its effects on healthy weight management.

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Reduced Depression

If you're prone to depression, drinking coffee may help improve your mood!

Studies show that drinking four cups of coffee daily reduces the risk of depression vs drinking less than one cup per day.

One reason for this phenomenon is the brain power-boosting antioxidants found in coffee, and another may have to do with the increased energy coffee provides.

Lower Risk of Stroke and Dementia

Believe it or not, drinking coffee appears to have beneficial effects on your brain's cognitive ability, lowering the risk of stroke, dementia, and post-stroke dementia.

Studies have found that drinking 2-3 cups of coffee daily reduces your risk of having a stroke by 32% and your risk of getting dementia by 28% compared with non-coffee drinkers.

Longer Life Expectancy

Drinking the right amount of coffee daily may help you stay healthier and live longer!

Studies have found that drinking moderate amounts (2-4 cups) of coffee daily is associated with lower rates of death from all causes compared to non-coffee drinkers.

Potential Drawbacks of Coffee

As with many foods and drinks, possible drawbacks exist for coffee.

If you do drink coffee, consume it in recommended amounts to reduce the risk of:

Caffeine Side Effects

Caffeine is an addictive substance, and too much of a good thing can cause negative effects.

Examples of common side effects from too much caffeine include:

  • Shakiness
  • Restlessness
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Dizziness
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • anxiety
  • Dehydration
  • Caffeine dependency

Caffeine withdrawal can lead to:

  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Nausea

Caffeine withdrawal symptoms often go away within a few days of not having caffeine.

If you choose to eliminate caffeine because of pregnancy or other reasons, slowly taper off your caffeine intake to reduce the severity of caffeine withdrawal symptoms.

Pregnancy/Breastfeeding Complications

Drinking too much caffeine while pregnant or breastfeeding can negatively affect your baby, which is why it's important to talk with your doctor about how much caffeine, if any, is a safe amount.

The American Pregnancy Association recommends most women limit caffeine to 200 milligrams daily, which is usually less than 2 cups of coffee.

Studies show that high coffee consumption can increase the risk of low birth weight, preterm birth, and pregnancy loss.

If you're pregnant or breastfeeding, talk with your doctor about the amount of caffeinated coffee that's safe for you and your baby.

Stained Teeth

Coffee, tea, soda, red wine, and even dark juices are known to stain teeth, so keep that in mind if you consume these drinks.

The good news is that there are ways to reduce teeth staining from coffee.

Brush your teeth after drinking coffee, chew on sugar-free whitening gum throughout the day, and whiten your teeth periodically to keep them bright.

Difficulty Sleeping

Drinking coffee usually doesn't interfere with sleep unless you drink it late in the day.

Caffeine reaches its peak level in your blood within an hour, and its effects can last for 4-6 hours.

Therefore, stick with drinking coffee in the morning or early afternoon to improve your chance of getting a good night's sleep.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Coffee tends to increase the release of acid in your stomach, especially if you drink a lot of coffee, which can cause stomach upset or heartburn.

Caffeinated coffee has the potential to cause laxative effects, meaning you could get diarrhea when drinking more than 2-3 cups of caffeinated coffee daily.

What to Put in Your Coffee

Black coffee offers numerous coffee benefits, but it might not taste as great for many women.

Rather than adding sugar, artificial sweeteners, or cream to your coffee, consider the following healthier alternatives!

Spices

Spice up your coffee to make it more palatable!

Spices and flavorings to consider adding to coffee include cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, vanilla extract, ginger, cloves, lavender, peppermint, pumpkin pie spice, or other favorites you may have.

Milk or Plant Milk

Milk, almond milk, soy milk, and other plant milk can enhance the taste of your morning coffee and add protein, vitamins, and minerals (particularly calcium) to it.

Consider adding flavored, unsweetened milk to warm coffee, or try coffee chilled with milk, ice, and spices or protein powder!

Ice

You can't go wrong when choosing iced coffee in place of hot coffee, especially during the warmer months.

Combine ice and coffee with milk or plant milk, plus your favorite spices if you'd like!

Protein Powder

Adding protein powder to coffee, or mixing coffee in your favorite protein shake, is something you might not have thought about doing.

However, it tastes delicious and can give your coffee a huge nutritional boost!

Add coffee to milk (or plant milk) and blend the mixture with ice and protein powder.

You might also add in some nut butter!

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Unsweet Cocoa Powder

Cocoa powder adds a delicious chocolate flavor to your coffee, as well as disease-fighting antioxidants without the extra calories.

A tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder contains just 10 calories and no added sugar.

Some Calorie-Free Sweeteners

Try to avoid artificial sweeteners when possible, as they can negatively affect good gut bacteria, induce cravings for sweet foods and drinks, and increase your risk of weight gain.

But if you like sweet-tasting coffee, use small amounts of stevia, erythritol, or monk fruit.

Nut Butter

You might not have considered adding nut butter to coffee, but it's an excellent way to increase its nutritional content and flavor!

Add almond butter, peanut butter, cashew butter, or even coconut butter to blended coffee drinks or protein smoothies containing coffee!

Coffee Recipes

Consider the following delicious coffee recipes to make your coffee-drinking experience more enjoyable!

Pumpkin Coffee Smoothie

If you're looking for a nutritious, flavorful, seasonal coffee recipe, try this one!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of coffee
  • 1/2 cup of milk or unsweetened plant milk
  • 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin
  • 4 ice cubes

Instructions

  • Blend all of the ingredients together in a blender until smooth.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Servings: 1-2

* You can also add protein powder to this nutritious coffee smoothie!

Peanut Butter Coffee

This peanut butter coffee recipe is packed with nutrients and flavor!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of brewed coffee at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of milk or plant milk
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • A small amount of Stevia, erythritol, or monk fruit (optional)

Instructions

  • Blend all of the ingredients together in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
  • Pour the mixture into two glasses filled with ice.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Servings: 2

* You can also add protein powder to this flavorful smoothie!

Whipped Coffee

Change up the texture of your coffee by trying a unique whipped coffee recipe!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of instant coffee
  • 2 tablespoons of hot water
  • 2 tablespoons of monk fruit or erythritol
  • 8 ounces of unsweetened vanilla almond milk or soy milk
  • Spices of your choice (optional)

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, add hot water and sweetener. Stir the mixture until the sweetener dissolves.
  • Add in the instant coffee.
  • Using a mixer, blend the ingredients together on high speed for 3-4 minutes or until the mixture gets fluffy and thick.
  • Pour milk over a glass of ice.
  • Top it with the fluffy coffee.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Servings: 1

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Coffee-Drinking Tips

Consider a few simple coffee-drinking tips to reap the many coffee benefits available to you, while mitigating the negative effects of too much caffeine.

Don't Go Overboard

If you're a coffee drinker, it's important to avoid going overboard with caffeine, even if you're not pregnant or breastfeeding.

Recommended safe amounts for coffee and caffeine vary, but the National Institute of Health (NIH) suggests not exceeding 400-500 milligrams of caffeine per day (about 4-5 cups of brewed coffee).

If you're pregnant or breastfeeding, ask your doctor about how much caffeinated coffee, if any, is safe for you.

Avoid Caffeinated Coffee Late in the Day

Drinking coffee late in the day can interfere with your sleep, and poor sleep quality could make you more likely to overindulge in caffeine to stay away the next day.

If you're a coffee drinker, consume it in the morning or early afternoon but avoid drinking coffee within 4-6 hours of your bedtime.

Don't Replace Sleep with Coffee

Despite an overly busy schedule, avoid replacing sleep with coffee to stay awake throughout the day.

Your body needs at least 7 hours of sleep each night to function at its best.

Because caffeine causes dependency, it's easy to drink more than what's considered safe when you're chronically sleep-deprived.

To get a good night's rest, sleep in a cool dark room, set a regular bedtime routine, allow yourself at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night, and don't drink caffeinated coffee late in the day.

Eat healthy foods, get regular exercise, and keep stress levels low.

Don't Abruptly Stop Drinking Coffee

To avoid the often-negative effects of caffeine withdrawal, don't abruptly stop drinking coffee (unless your doctor instructs you to).

Doing so can cause headaches, nausea, irritability, extreme fatigue, and difficulty concentrating.

If you're trying to cut back on coffee, slowly taper off your intake to steer of caffeine withdrawal symptoms.

Make Coffee Experiences Fun

Drinking coffee is an enjoyable experience for many moms.

Set a morning routine of waking up at the same time, adding coffee to your pre-breakfast or breakfast meal plan, and flavoring it with your favorite milk, protein powder, spices, or other add-ins that improve the nutritional content and taste of your coffee.

Make drinking coffee a fun, relaxing time of the morning by reading, watching the news, or doing something else that you enjoy!

Erin Coleman
B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Mother Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on coffee benefits.

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