Most of us can appreciate the immediate positive effects of our morning cup of coffee, either iced or hot– the flavor, the caffeine, the comfort of a consistent morning routine. Still, if you’re looking for even more justification for enjoying your cuppa (or two), there are a lot of benefits to coffee in the long run that I am excited to research on the most surface-like of levels and share with all of you. And, just in case coffee isn’t your only caffeinated beverage of choice, I’ll also include information about the benefits of matcha, green tea and adding supplements like mushroom powder to your coffee.
According to Johns Hopkins Medical, drinking coffee daily has been linked to a host of positive health effects, especially for women. Drinking one to two cups per day is linked to lower incidence of heart failure, as well as several other leading causes of death, including stroke and diabetes. Regular coffee drinkers are also less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, or colon cancer. That being said, most studies also focus on the effects of a moderate daily coffee intake of just a few cups. It’s important to be aware of your own limits for caffeine, whether you’re caffeine-sensitive, as coffee can also contribute to insomnia, or if you’ve started to build up a tolerance or addiction.
Continuing on the theme of health benefits beyond being a mechanism for caffeine delivery, matcha drinkers can also feel secure in their decision to enjoy a delicious (if slightly grassy-tasting) morning tea. Green tea is packed with antioxidants like catechins, and matcha powder, as a ground-up form of tea leaves, is no exception. And while matcha has similar caffeine content to a cup of coffee, the L-theanine it contains reduces stress levels, and as a result, your jitters.
While matcha is certainly trending right now, there have also been a recent wave of superfood coffee supplements and latte mixes containing even more “exotic” ingredients. One example is mushroom coffee. Although I’ve tried it a couple times and thought the taste was good, I was skeptical about what the benefits actually were. According to the Cleveland Clinic, mushrooms are associated with reduced inflammation and are packed with antioxidants. Still, there isn’t a lot of conclusive research about how effective and beneficial mushroom coffee really is. With the exception of being aware that mushrooms may cause digestive problems for some individuals, there isn’t a big risk of harm from mushroom coffee, so if you like it, sip away! The chaga mushroom packet I tried most recently from a coffee company called Renude added some froth and sweetness to my morning iced latte. I like to imagine that it has health benefits as well, but even based just on flavor alone, I’m willing to keep trying mushroom coffees every once in a while. Still, other increasingly popular coffee add-ins like cinnamon turmeric also boast anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, so mushroom powder isn’t the be-all end-all of superfood coffee add-ins.