4 Physiological Effects of Coffee (And Why It’s Your Morning Savior)

For most people, a cup of coffee is indispensable to nailing the morning routine. In those early hours, especially when you’re making the transition back to work and school from summer vacation, good coffee beans will keep you sane. So whether your go-to cup of Joe is from Dunkin’ Donuts or made from the artisan beans of the craft coffee delivery service Javaya, you’re doing something right, because here are four research-backed benefits that coffee has on the human body.

Increased Focus and Energy

We all drink coffee knowing it will help us feel more awake and energized, but few people realize the physiological processes that take place when we do. Caffeine serves as a mild stimulant because it blocks adenosine, one of the brain’s inhibitory neurotransmitters. This leads to an increase in norepinephrine, which creates alertness, and dopamine, which contributes to motivation and action. Drinking coffee slowly ensures that this effect isn’t too overwhelming. After just one cup, your mood improves, ideas begin to flow, and you feel a subtle pep in your step. Overall, you’re less sleepy and ready to jump-start your day – maybe even by heading to the gym to stay in shape.

Reduced Muscle Soreness

Most people grab a post-workout protein shake when they want muscle recovery. But research from the Journal of Pain has shown that two cups of coffee can reduce muscle soreness by up to 48%. This makes sense, considering how one of the most popular pain relievers, Excedrin, contains caffeine. Coffee drinkers just need to be careful that they don’t drink coffee heavily and then quit cold turkey, which can be a shock to the system and trigger muscle aches. To get the most out of coffee’s pain-relieving effects, don’t drink too much of it. Light coffee consumption will make you more sensitive to its pain-relieving capabilities.

More Nutrients

It’s a little-known fact, but coffee contains nutrients that are essential to our health, including vitamin B and magnesium. Vitamin B plays a pivotal role in body repair and helping to convert food into fuel. Magnesium ensures that our nerves, muscles, blood and metabolism stay vigorous. In addition, coffee contains vital antioxidants, which are widely known for decreasing the risk of cancer. Antioxidants protect your cells from dangerous free radicals. They’ve also been shown to cool inflammation and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The Mayo Clinic has also reported that regular coffee intake may also help ward off Parkinson’s and liver disease.

While this doesn’t mean you should replace your meals with coffee, the following breakdown from NutritionData reveals the specific vitamins and percentage of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA):

  • Vitamin B2: 11%
  • Vitamin B5: 6%
  • Manganese and Potassium: 3%
  • Magnesium and Niacin: 2%

Better Sugar Regulation

According to multiple studies, both decaf and regular coffee have been linked to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. If you already have diabetes, coffee may assist you in managing the disease. It’s a surprising finding, considering how coffee can heighten blood sugar levels in diabetics. But the long-term impact is likely more positive, allowing coffee drinkers to increase their insulin sensitivity and regulate glucose levels better. More insulin sensitivity means healthy blood sugar levels.

Yes, it’s August, and you’re probably still operating in summer vacation mode, lounging on some off-the-radar L.A. beach. You still have time to grab a cup of coffee and laze in the BSG shop in West Hollywood while they give you a cleanup or a signature haircut. (And check out the blog and products page for more service options, too.) But fall will be here soon, and now’s a good time to plan for the school year. Select your favorite flavors, and get your best coffee beans ready to brew so that September You will thank Summer You.