Drinking espresso regularly could be beneficial to your health. Best served hot, this beverage is mostly known for its caffeine properties. Not many people realize that a shot of espresso contains more antioxidants than both green and black tea.
Why are antioxidants important? For one, because they have been proven to help prevent various heart-related diseases.
Recent studies show that espresso has a FRAP (Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power) of 129. In comparison, everyone’s number one antioxidant choice – the green tea – only has a FRAP score of 18. Black tea measures even lower with 10.
In addition to preventing heart diseases, espresso antioxidants can help treat the following:
- Long-Term Memory
- Weight Loss
- Reduce the Risk of Stroke
- Increased Attention
- Boosts Physical Performance
- Improve the functions of the liver
- Improved Digestion
- Reduce the risk of cancer
- Curb premature aging
- Prevent cognitive decline
Research conducted by neuroscientist Michael Yassa, from the University of California concluded that drinking two shots of espresso daily improved your memory consolidation. As a result, your long-term memory will improve considerably.
A shot of espresso without sugar and cream has low calories (9cal/100g). The caffeine in it boosts metabolism which results in your body burning more fat. Espresso will also improve your performance while exercising.
Research published in the Medicine and Science in Sports Journal concluded that caffeine made exercising seem easier. This is made possible by lessening your body’s detection of exertion levels by over 5%. Coffee also reduces the level at which your brain perceives pain in your muscle while exercising. Drinking two to three shots of espresso an hour before working out for thirty minutes reduces muscle pain. Muscle pain reduction will arguably allow you to push harder and burn more calories resulting in further weight loss.
Research by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) concluded that drinking espresso reduces the chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 23-25%. The caffeic acid (CA) and chlorogenic acid (CGA) found in coffee prevent harmful proteins from increasing in your body. These toxic proteins are known as human islet amyloid polypeptide or hIAPP.
When harmful proteins form in the human body, they may cause cells in the pancreas to die. As a result, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases. When you drink more coffee, you lower the risk of developing diabetes. However, people who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart diseases are advised to drink espresso moderately.
Consider drinking espresso regularly as a preventative measure especially if diabetes runs in your family. Remember not to add sugar or cream so that it remains effective.
Reduce the Risk of Stroke
A study of 26,556 men from Finland showed that chances of a stroke reduced by 12 percent when consuming 4-5 shots of espresso every day. The risk was reduced to 23 percent when consumption was increased to six shots every day. The same study was done to 34,670 women.
The risk of suffering from a stroke was reduced by 22-25 percent when they consumed between 2 to 5 shots of espresso per day. If you have concerns about having a stroke, then a couple of shots of espresso a day might help to mitigate those concerns.
It is no surprise that people around the globe start-off their day with a hot cup of coffee in the morning. Coffee has a higher dopamine concentration and has a positive effect on the part of the brain which focuses on attention. The caffeine found in coffee reduces fatigue and increases attention span considerably.
The caffeine also boosts the energy levels of your brain. This energy translates to the ability to solve problems, focus, and improve many other more general cognitive functions. NOTE: These positive effects are short-term, and you do not want to drink espresso excessively. You may feel jittery when you have too much caffeine which makes you lose focus and attention.
Boosts Physical Performance
An article published in the International Society of Sports Nutrition confirms that coffee raises your physical performance. Caffeine is effective in boosting your physical performance when you consume it in low to moderate portions.
Caffeine also enables athletes to train for longer periods and become stronger. It does so by improving the levels of resistance to fatigue and endurance. A cup of coffee before a long workout will stimulate the body. In turn, the body will use fat stores as fuel when exercising for long periods.
Good for the Liver
Espresso makes your liver stronger and multiplies enzymes in it. Three espresso-based drinks every day can help the liver to clean out toxins and increase your metabolic rate. Four shots of espresso a day decrease the chances of developing liver cirrhosis by 80 percent. Liver cirrhosis is caused by different diseases that affect the liver which may lead to cancer.
Caffeine improves your digestion by helping to keep your bowel movements regular. It increases the rate your body digests and eliminates waste. It also protects your digestive system and makes it less likely for you to develop constipation. Coffee improves contractions and relaxes the intestinal muscles which cause bowel movements.
How To Drink Espresso
The preparation of espresso takes some skills. Being both a hot beverage and a brew method, a fine espresso is made with nine bars of pressure and sipped from small cups.
Most high-quality espresso machines will take about a minute to bring water to a nearly boiling state and pour it over a finely ground coffee – producing a delicious shot of espresso. When it comes to the most delicious espresso, you can check our list of espresso beans to die for. Once you have picked up, you can go right ahead and check out some good home espresso machines that will cost you under $500.
But, how should you drink that shot? Always make it a double shot of espresso, unless you’ve already had coffee that day. If ordering at a coffee house, ask for a demitasse cup. Most places will serve you a shot of espresso in a ceramic cup, so if you want to distinguish yourself, ask for the demitasse. A glass of sparkling water always goes a long way. It is also quite necessary in order to cleanse your pallet before you drink the espresso.
Skim the crema if you want to experience the true taste of your espresso. Even though a thick crema is often associated with a properly pulled espresso shot, it is also the bitterest part of the beverage. In order to experience a balanced taste, you need to stir your espresso. The thick and syrupy part of the shot always finds its way to the bottom of the cup. If you have never done this, it will considerably change the taste of espresso.
You can thank us at Coffee Dorks later. Do not add anything to your espresso. No milk, no sugar. It changes everything!
Anthony is a professional barista in the city of Chicago. He has written for many online publications on various topics related to coffee.