In the year 2000, two studies (one in the mainstream journal Neurology and one in JAMA) showed that coffee consumption is associated with a reduced risk for Parkinson?s disease. More recent studies have also shown that coffee drinkers are less likely to get Alzheimer?s disease and dementia. Coffee has even been shown in a study published in Psychopharmacology to improve short-term cognitive function on various testing parameters like reaction time, choice reaction time, incidental verbal memory, and visuo-spatial reasoning.
The mechanisms behind the health benefits could from the coffee enhances detoxification in the body, and/or its anti-oxidant content.
A 10-year study involving 34,670 women showed that subjects who drank coffee had significantly lower risk of developing stroke than those who did not drink coffee or drank coffee in low amounts. This study began in 1997 and involved researchers from prestigious scientific institutions in Stockholm, Sweden; and Helsinki, Finland. The study found that in addition to reducing the risk of stroke, drinking coffee increases activity in the frontal lobe of the brain, which is involved in memory, and in the anterior cingulate cortex of the brain, which is involved in attention. Caffeine has also been shown to improve endurance and strength, and as such is an extremely versatile ergogenic aid.
Among the benefits of caffeine is its ability to reduce post-workout muscle soreness. A study conducted by the University of Georgia and published in March 2007 in The Journal of Pain found that consuming the equivalent of two cups of coffee (5 mg per kilo of bodyweight) one hour before training can reduce post-workout muscle soreness by up to 48 percent.
The study involved nine female college-age students who did not lift weights on a regular basis and who were not regular caffeine users. In comparison, studies using naproxen (used in Aleve) produced a 30 percent decrease in muscle soreness while aspirin produced only a 25 percent decrease. Because many individuals are reluctant to begin lifting weights for fear of becoming sore, the authors noted, ?This finding may improve the quality of life of individuals who experience skeletal muscle pain after engaging in unaccustomed, eccentrically biased exercise.?