June 5, 2016

5 Things You Might Not Know About Coffee


There’s nothing like a hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning or during a break in the afternoon. But, do you know all there is to know about your cup of coffee? Here are 5 things that might surprise you:

MIT Recreation - Coffee Facts

Coffee Cherries

Coffee is a cherry, before it is a bean.

Most of us are used to seeing the origins of coffee as the small brown beans we brew, and probably imagine them growing from the ground as such. In actuality, coffee grows from an evergreen plant in tropical regions around the world, and they look more like cherries than beans. It can take up to 4 years for the cherries to ripen and there is typically a harvest once per year. Once the coffee cherries are harvested and dried, they begin to look like what you see in your favorite coffee shop.

Coffee helps you burn more calories.

The caffeine in coffee can directly increase your metabolic rate by as much as 11%, which is how our bodies burn calories. The higher our metabolic rate, the more calories we burn through exercise which is linked to burning fat. There are still many factors that contribute to whether or not coffee can help expedite weight-loss, like age and body fat percentage, but this study showed that active individuals could increase their fat burning by close to 30%.

Coffee can help athletes reduce pain.

Workouts can be challenging, with some even being painful to get through. Studies have shown that caffeine may help dull and even reduce pain when consumed before physical activity. It acts as a natural anti-inflammatory. Approximately two cups of coffee could even reduce the soreness after a workout by close to 48%. So the next time you prepare for the gym, you might want to schedule a cup of coffee to help your muscles recover.

Coffee has a half-life of 3 to 5 hours.

The caffeine in coffee takes up to 30 minutes to reach it’s peak if you’re using it for an energy boost. For your body to eliminate the stimulant, it will take about 3 to 5 hours after consumption to eliminate half. The rest will take more than twice as long to be eliminated, but will be much less effective. So, when it comes to falling asleep at night, if you have your last cup of coffee around 3:00pm you should be fine by night-time.

Too much might be a bad idea.

The recommended intake of coffee for men and women is 4 cups (400mg) or 3 cups (300mg) respectively. When coffee is consumed excessively, it can lead to short-term difficulties like restlessness, insomnia, and anxiety. Like most things, coffee should be consumed in moderation to supplement a healthy lifestyle. The long-term effects could be more harmful including heartburn, high blood pressure, and irritability