What are the health benefits of coffee

Many of the health benefits of coffee have been attributed to the caffeine that it naturally contains. But the same caffeine that makes your body and minds healthier can have a negative effect on your health in the event of an overdose.

This article contains everything you need to know about coffee. We start with an explanation about which coffee is the healthiest, how much coffee you can safely drink and what the healthiest method of making coffee is. Then you read all about the health benefits in the short and long term. We conclude this article with the possible dangers of too much coffee, and under which circumstances you can leave coffee better.

What type of coffee is the healthiest

The healthiest coffee is black coffee without sugar, sweetener or milk. Coffee is wrong, cappuccinos, latte macchiatos and all other coffee varieties with milk and sugar may taste good, but they are not healthy! Milk and sugar provide extra calories. In addition, sugar stimulates fat storage and coffee milk contains many unhealthy, saturated fats. Sweets are not a healthy substitute for sugar.

Do you really not like black coffee? Then add a pinch of pure stevia or a little coconut blossom sugar to make your coffee sweeter. You can use a dash of unsweetened almond milk to replace milk.

How much coffee can I have per day

It is recommended not to drink more than 4 cups per day. Only there are some snags in this short answer.

How many cups of coffee per day you can drink safely depends on several factors:

  • The size of your cup of coffee
  • Your age
  • Whether you are pregnant and / or breastfeeding or not
  • The way the coffee is made


The substance coffee is so popular with is caffeine. The best known feature of caffeine is that it gives you energy and keeps you awake. Caffeine is quickly absorbed by your body: half an hour to 2.5 hours later you experience the effect.

Too much caffeine can lead to insomnia, feeling restless, anxiety and headache. It is therefore important not to drink too much coffee or to opt for decaffeinated coffee. Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others, but it is generally recommended not to consume more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. This is equivalent to about 4 cups if you assume around 125 ml per cup.

250 milliliters can easily fit in a medium-sized mug: double that of a ‘normal’ cup of coffee! So keep in mind the content of your headline.

For children, adolescents, pregnant women, breastfeeding women and people with irritable bowel syndrome, other guidelines apply for the maximum, safe amount of caffeine. You can read more about this later in this article.

How much caffeine in a cup

It depend on the type of coffee bean, how strong the coffee is made and the size of the cup. In the table below you will find an overview of the amount of caffeine per type of coffee.

Coffee type Milligram of caffeine per 100 ml of coffee Size of the head Milligram of caffeine per cup
Filter coffee
Instant coffee
Decaffeinated coffee

How much coffee you can drink safely also depends on how the coffee is made. Drink no more than 2 or 3 cups of espresso or coffee from cups per day, and a maximum of 1 cup of cooking coffee or coffee made with a cafetière. These coffee varieties contain more of the harmful substance cafestol . You can also read more about this later in this article.

Don’t let this information scare you for coffee! As long as you stay within the recommended daily amounts for caffeine and cafestol, you prevent problems and you enjoy all the health benefits that caffeine and coffee offer you.

The Barista Express Coffee Machine, Black Sesame

how much caffeine is in a cup of coffee

The health benefits of coffee

Both the coffee itself and the caffeine in the coffee provide an enormous number of health benefits. Drinking coffee has advantages in the short and long term.

Short-term benefits

  • Increases your metabolism. This means you burn more calories and therefore lose weight faster
  • Makes you energetic
  • Contains good nutrients

Long-term benefits

  • Protects you against cancer
  • Let you live longer
  • Protects you against type II diabetes
  • Protects you against heart disease and bleeding
  • Protects against dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
  • Can prevent depression

Short-term health benefits of coffee

Coffee helps with weight loss

Caffeine is one of the few natural substances that helps you burn fat . Research shows that your metabolism increases 3 to 11% after drinking coffee with caffeine. This allows you to burn extra calories without having to do anything. So you lose weight faster if you drink coffee.

And best of all, coffee is particularly effective at burning fat: caffeine stimulates fat burning by as much as 29%

Coffee makes you more energetic and smarter

It is well known that coffee makes you awake and energizes, and science supports this with evidence.

This is due to the caffeine that contains coffee. If you drink coffee, the caffeine is absorbed into your bloodstream after just 4 minutes. This is how it finds its way to your brain, where caffeine can do its job. Caffeine blocks the adenosine substance, making the energizing substances norepinephrine and dopamine more numerous.

But caffeine does a lot more with your brain. It improves your memory, reaction speed, alertness, mood, and general cognitive ability. This was noticeable in the studies even with a low to normal dose of caffeine. Do you have an important task to accomplish? Coffee is your helping hand.

Coffee contains healthy nutrients

Although a cup of coffee only delivers 1 calorie (kcal), it contains a significant amount of vitamins and minerals.

A large mug of coffee (240 ml) contains the following vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin B2: 11% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA)
  • Vitamin B5: 6% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B1 and B3: 2% of the RDA
  • Folic acid and phosphorus: 1% of the RDA
  • Magnesium: 2% of the RDA
  • Potassium and manganese: 3% of the RDA

If you drink two large mugs of coffee with caffeine, you already have a quarter of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin B2. You can even increase this safely by drinking one or two extra cups of decaffeinated coffee.

Long-term health benefits of coffee

Coffee contains an enormous amount of antioxidants

It will probably surprise you, but the average person gets the most antioxidants in their diet from coffee! Most people get more antioxidants from the coffee they drink than the vegetables and fruit they eat.

Antioxidants protect your body against free radicals, which can damage your cells. It is therefore not surprising that research shows that coffee protects you against various types of cancer, and makes you live longer.

There are indications that coffee can protect against cancer

Research shows that people who drink coffee are 40% less likely to have liver cancer. A large-scale study with nearly half a million participants showed that people who drank 4 to 5 cups of caffeinated coffee a day had a 15% lower risk of developing colon cancer. This effect was found to a lesser extent with decaffeinated coffee, but not with tea.

Coffee lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes

Not only do people with type 2 diabetes live longer by drinking coffee, but coffee can also even prevent diabetes. Research shows that people who drink coffee are around 35% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. One of the studies even showed that the risk of diabetes was reduced by as much as 67% by drinking coffee.

With every daily cup of coffee you drink, you reduce the risk of diabetes by 7%.

Coffee can protect against heart disease and brain bleeding

Women who drink coffee appear to be less likely to develop heart disease. In addition, research shows that people who drink coffee are around 20% less likely to have a brain hemorrhage.

Coffee helps against depression

Finally, coffee can help prevent depression. Women who drank 4 or more cups of coffee a day had a 20% lower risk of developing depression than women who did not.

A large investigation into suicide shows that the risk of suicide is more than half lower in women who drink 4 or more cups of coffee per day.

When is coffee unhealthy

We advise against drinking more coffee than the recommended daily allowance of 400 milligrams of caffeine, or 4 cups of (filter) coffee. An overdose of caffeine and cafestol can harm your health.

Too much caffeine

If you consume too much caffeine per day, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Caffeine stimulates the production of the stress hormone cortisol . An excess of cortisol leads to a constantly rushed feeling .
  • Caffeine suppresses the hormone melatonin, which is needed to fall asleep.
  • Caffeine makes your heart beat faster. An overdose can therefore cause heart palpitations.
  • Caffeine causes the muscles around your veins to contract, causing them to narrow. This results in a higher blood pressure. Too much caffeine can lead to high blood pressure for a long time.
  • An excess of the hormone cortisol stimulates the production of belly fat. An excess of caffeine can theoretically be a cause of the development of fat around your waist.

Less caffeine for some groups of people

Children under the age of 13 are not advised to drink coffee because caffeine can disrupt the development of the nervous system. Young people between the ages of 13 and 18 are allowed one cup of coffee per day.

The same advice applies to pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding. The caffeine can have a negative effect on the (unborn) child via the blood. For example, the chance of a miscarriage or a child with a low weight is greater if the mother receives a lot of caffeine. In addition, infants can ingest caffeine through breast milk. This can affect the nervous system and make the baby restless.

Finally, people with irritable bowel syndrome may experience more bowel complaints due to caffeine.


Coffee is a healthy drink that gives you all kinds of health benefits. In this article you could read how coffee gives you energy, how it helps you lose weight and how it can prevent serious illnesses. You have also read what the adverse consequences of excess coffee can be.

To conclude, you will find here a summary – in tips – of how you can enjoy your daily cup of coffee in a healthy and safe way.

  • Drink a maximum of 4 cups of caffeinated coffee per day, no more than 500 milliliters in total.
  • Drink a maximum of 5 cups of coffee per day in order to keep the cafestol content under control.
  • Caffeine gives you many health benefits. Are you sensitive to caffeine and do you experience negative side effects, even if you drink less than 4 cups of coffee a day? Then replace a few cups with decaffeinated coffee.
  • Children, adolescents, pregnant women, breastfeeding women and people with irritable bowel syndrome may drink less or no caffeinated coffee.