Did you know about 83 percent of adults drink coffee in the U.S. Coffee is the world’s biggest consumer of the beverage, up from 78 percent a year earlier, according to the National Coffee Association’s 2013 online survey. That’s an average of three cups a day per person, or 587 million cups. Someone people might have the idea that because coffee has caffeine it’s bad for you. Have you ever thought about what actually is in coffee? Yes, there’s caffeine, but there’s much more. For instance, coffee also contains water. Not surprisingly, an 8-ounce cup of coffee contains 8 ounces of water. Coffee isn’t normally recommended for hydration, but it’s an added benefit.

Antioxidants are in roasted coffee beans. Antioxidants are good for you! They benefit the body by neutralizing and removing the free radicals from the bloodstream. They lower risk of many diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. These powerful antioxidants may also help control blood glucose for those with Type 2 diabetes. An 8-ounce cup of coffee is a good source of vitamin B2. B vitamins and helps break down nutrients in the body. It’s not found in many foods, but it’s abundant in coffee.

But mostly, coffee is known for its caffeine content. Each 8-ounce cup of drip coffee contains about 95 milligrams of caffeine, while a 1-ounce espresso shot has about 64 milligrams of caffeine.

So how much is too much coffee for one person to drink? Drinking four 8-ounce cups of coffee a day shouldn’t produce any negative side effects. Of course, caffeine does stay in your system for 4 to 6 hours, which could keep you awake at night if you drink it close to your bedtime.

Not only is coffee not detrimental to health, many studies have actually linked coffee consumption to health benefits. Here are a few benefits of indulging in that cup of mud:

  • Coffee contains antioxidants, which may lower your risk of cancer. You know where else those antioxidants are found? Vegetables! Yes, coffee may be good for you, but vegetables are better.
  • Coffee may prevent some brain cell damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The caffeine in coffee may improve athletic performance. This is my favorite study! I always have coffee before a race, but I make sure to consume it at least 2 hours before to the race to avoid digestive issues.

Here’s one final word about coffee and health. As with everything, practice moderation. Those fancy drinks made with flavored syrups, whipped cream and cups of full-fat milk can lead to excess calorie consumption and weight gain.

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