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Last Updated on January 17, 2018

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 January 14, 2019

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

1. Take the scenic route.

Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

2. Distract yourself.

No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

3. Listen to music or podcasts.

There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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4. Bring a friend.

Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

5. Accessorize.

There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

6. Compete.

A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

7. Relax.

The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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