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Top 5 Health Benefits Of Drinking Espresso

Top 5 Health Benefits Of Drinking Espresso

Everyone knows that drinking coffee will give you that nice little caffeine boost. A shot of espresso is particularly well known for this, but what tends to be lesser well known is the fact that espresso offers several other benefits.

If you needed another reason to drink espresso, we’ve got just the list for you. This list covers the top five health benefits of drinking espresso, from enjoying improved memory functions to helping you shed a few pounds.

1. It enhances long-term memory

Mastering the art of pouring the perfect espresso shot is worth it when you consider that by drinking the right amount of caffeine, you can improve your long-term memory.

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Neuro-scientist Michael Yassa, from the University of California, conducted a study which found that drinking the equivalent of two espressos enhanced the process of memory consolidation. This process, in turn, improved long-term memory among the subjects.

Stick to the recommended amount if you want to see improvements since the study did not find any benefits for those who consumed more or less than two cups.

2. It increases attention

Many people start off their day with a shot of espresso, and this comes as no surprise. Caffeine has been found to reduce symptoms of fatigue, while also improving sustained attention and vigilance. These effects are thought to occur thanks to a neuro-chemical interaction.

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Coffee maintains a greater dopamine concentration, particularly in the areas of the brain that are linked to attention. Keep in mind that the benefits tend to be short-term, and you want to avoid overdoing it. Too much caffeine can make you feel jittery, making it far harder to concentrate.

3. It can help you lose weight

What sets espresso apart from some of the other beverages found at coffee shops, is that it is low-calorie. It only contains about three calories per ounce, assuming you’re not adding any sugar or cream.

But, besides being low-calorie, it can also help to improve your exercise performance. A study published in the Medicine and Science in Sports Journal found that caffeine made workouts appear less strenuous, by lowering the perceived level of exertion by over 5%.

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Besides making exercise seem easier, coffee also reduces the level of perceived muscle pain which occurs when doing exercises. Ingesting a dose of caffeine equivalent to two or three cups of coffee an hour before 30 minutes of workout reduces muscle pain, allowing you to push yourself a little bit harder.

4. It reduces the risk of a stroke

In a Swedish study conducted by Susanna Larsson, researchers found that drinking at least one cup of coffee a day can lessen the risk of suffering from a stroke. This result is thought to be due to the antioxidant properties of coffee.

The study concentrated on a group of women over a 10-year period. They concluded that drinking one or more cups of coffee a day reduced your chances of suffering from a stroke by 25%. Another study found similar results in male smokers, whose risk was reduced by 21% with eight or more cups of coffee a day.

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5. It lowers your risk of diabetes

In a study led by Harvard School of Public Health, researchers found that higher coffee consumption is linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. The study analyzed caffeine consumption in men and women over a four-year period.

It concluded that those who increased their daily coffee consumption by more than one cup lowered their risk of type 2 diabetes by 11%. Of course, drinking more coffee is just one factor that can influence diabetes risk, so you still want to be physically active and watch your weight.

Espressos provide several health benefits, so you don’t have to feel so guilty about your caffeine addiction. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of a regular espresso, there are many different coffee serving styles out there, so you’ll be sure to find something that meets your taste.

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on July 23, 2019

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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  • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
  • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
  • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
  • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
  • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
  • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

1. Realize You’re Not Alone

Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

2. Find What Inspires You

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Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

3. Give Yourself a Break

When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

4. Shake up Your Routines

Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

5. Start with a Small Step

Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

More to Help You Stay Motivated

Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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