If you were ever on the fence about that second cup of coffee or tea, we’ve got five reasons why you should drink it up. Beyond a little energy jolt when you hit a midday slump, both coffee and tea have many health benefits that could just improve your quality of life. High in heart-healthy antioxidants, coffee and tea consumption is linked to everything from weight loss to improved memory to cancer prevention. Here’s how something as simple as your beverage choice could make all the difference.
Caffeine Enhances Your Workout
While it can be tough to get to the gym on any given day, a dose of caffeine one to two hours prior to your workout can give you all the energy you need. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, drinking 3-9mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight, or one to three cups of coffee, improves running and cycling endurance. To put this into perspective, one cup of coffee has 95mg of caffeine per cup to 50-75mg in oolong tea.
It’s also significant to note that drinking a cup of java with your post-workout snack can have similar effects. The International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism says that combining caffeine with a carbohydrate snack after your hardcore workout improves high-intensity running capacity. This energy-laden combination can improve your overall athletic endurance and keep your energy up one to two hours after your workout! It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
Herbal Teas Can Help Improve Digestion
Herbal teas are typically a blend of several teas and aid in everything from upper respiratory health to improved circulation. As well, since most herbal teas have no caffeine, you can drink them all throughout the day.
Peppermint tea in particular has been known to have calming effects to the stomach and intestinal tract. Its analgesic, or healing, properties help relax the digestive system, which can help with an upset stomach or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Peppermint tea also eases bloating, gas, indigestion and heartburn symptoms.
Other herbal teas that assist in a happier gut are fennel, ginger and chamomile teas. Fennel tea assists with constipation or vomiting. Ginger tea is great for motion sickness, upset stomach and menstrual cramps, and chamomile tea can be used to treat ulcers, gastrointestinal disorders and hemorrhoids.
Can Coffee Recharge Your Memory?
If you constantly run around the house searching for your keys or have a hard time remembering names at parties, you might want to swap your decaf coffee for regular. A recent study done by Johns Hopkins University researchers found that caffeine enhances long-term memory for up to 24 hours after it’s consumed. Researchers have said that their tests show up to 200mg of caffeine allowed for a higher level of memory recall. That’s roughly just two cups of coffee!
Stemming from caffeine’s memory-inducing potential, studies suggest caffeine can improve cognition in those with more severe memory loss conditions. While there is limited research, acknowledging that a daily dose of caffeine has potential to ward off dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is encouraging.
Lose Weight and Fight Inflammation With Green Tea
Good news, green tea lovers! Your favorite drink might just do more than help keep you awake in the morning. Green tea has been shown to help increase your energy and whittle your middle!
Polyphenols, or plant chemicals that work as antioxidants to protect your body from free radical damage, are found in tea. Since green tea is high in polyphenols, it not only helps with weight loss, but it also helps fight inflammation in your body. The majority of polyphenols that are in green tea are called catechins. These catechins are called epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG. According to the American Cancer Society, EGCG may help certain cancer cells die. While further research on EGCG as a form of cancer prevention is still needed, green tea also helps reduce your chances of the common cold, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Coffee Keeps Your Liver Happy
Your liver is responsible for keeping your blood clean, producing bile to help digest food and for storing sugar as glycogen (stored energy). Since this multi-faceted organ is so essential to our well-being, it is important that we keep it healthy. Alcohol, smoking and some prescribed drugs are a few things that can cause varied amounts of toxicity to the liver. To combat that, researchers say that coffee has a positive effect on keeping the liver clean by reducing fat accumulation and promoting antioxidant capacity. Studies also show that coffee may reduce conditions like cirrhosis and the risk of liver cancer.
From getting in a longer workout to helping keep your digestive system happy, drinking coffee and tea regularly can be one healthy habit you might just want to keep!