We love coffee. All of us. (Well at least half of us.) In the U.S. about 150 million people are drinking the stuff regularly, and thanks to the crazy concoctions that come out of speciality coffee shops, coffee sales are increasing by a whopping 20 percent each year. Or maybe that's just because we're all addicted and keep upping our daily count...whatever.
For how much of the stuff we down, do you really know all that much about coffee? There are some interesting facts about it's popularity throughout history, and as well as some awesome facts about good stuff it does for the body, beyond just helping you survive each morning. Here are some weird facts to know about coffee.
13 Coffee Is A Great Source Of Nutrients
Coffee can actually be pretty healthy for you. It is a good source of nutrients like Riboflavin (vitamin B2), Pantothenic Acid (vitamin B5), Manganese, Potassium, Niacin, and Magnesium. It's also not as dehydrating as it was previously thought to be (unless you're really going to town on it), and believe it or not, coffee is the number one source of antioxidants in most western diets. (That's awesome...but also you guys should be eating some fruits and veggies in there too for antioxidant reasons. You can't live off donuts.) Just be sure to keep the sugar out of the equation otherwise you basically counteract some of that antioxidant boost.
12 Drinking Coffee Might Help You Lose Weight
Some studies have found that drinking coffee can increase your metabolism anywhere from 3 to 11 percent, which is a pretty significant boost for just drinking a cup of joe. It has also been proven to provide a healthy boost that can help you increase your adrenaline for a workout, which will help you burn more calories in less time. It also helps to release the fatty acids from the fat tissues, which can also help boost your athletic performance. It takes about ten minutes for the caffeine to kick in, so try drinking it 20 minutes or so before you head to the gym.
11 Most People Don't Actually Need Coffee Right When They Wake
A lot of people are in the habit of drinking their coffee first thing in the morning, but often this isn't the most efficient move. Our natural circadian rhythm controls when we release cortisol, and most of us have plenty of cortisol spiking right when we wake up. It's actually the next hour or so after waking that your cortisol levels start to drop which is when your body could really use that caffeine jolt. Coffee also blocks some of the effects of Adenosine which allows the body to release more dopamine and norepinephrine, meaning a smarter, faster working brain with a better memory for you.
10 All The Coffee Is Grown In The "Coffee Belt"
Coffee is grown in 50 different countries by 25 million different farmers, but all of that coffee growth is done within the middle section of the world where there is a lot of warm, sunny weather. For the most part it happens in Brazil though, 40 percent to be in fact. Coffee starts out as a red berry growing on a tree before turning into a bean. Coffee is the second biggest commodity following oil, which means it's pretty popular. We need oil to run our cars and apparently we need coffee to run our bodies.
9 The Caffeine In Coffee Is Actually Small Crystals
Caffeine is actually small crystals that we ingest in our drinks. Caffeine is the world's most popularly consumed psychoactive drug, and it's totally a drug. Unlike other psychoactive drugs, we don't have any regulations on it and it's obviously totally legal. We just love it. As many as 90 percent of Americans consume caffeine daily whether it comes from coffee or something else like tea or soda. They even have caffeinated water these days, and of course also things like straight caffeine pills. Caffeine has both positive and negative affects on our health, and it affects different bodies quite differently.
8 Coffee Was Discovered With The Help Of Goats
Supposedly coffee was discovered in the year 800 A.D. by some shepherds. Some stories say that it was this one particular shepherd named Kaldi. The goat hoarder(s) started to notice that when the goats munched on the coffee berries from a Coffea arabica tree they would start to "dance." Then a monk that was local to the area made himself a drink with some of the coffee berries and confirmed that the juice totally kept him up at night. Ta-da, coffee was born. Although how we drink it today is a little more advanced. We never even see those berries.
7 There's A Real Reason Why Iced Coffee Costs More Than Hot Coffee
If you've ever wondered why your iced coffee is so expensive, you're not alone. After all, you're technically getting less coffee since it's competing for cup space with all that ice. But there's a reason why iced coffee costs more than regular coffee, and that is because it uses so many more resources to make. It ends up costing more for the coffee shops to make, which then ends up costing more for you. Don't forget that you can also make your own iced coffee by tossing some ice into your mug, if spending $5 on a brew isn't your jam.
6 Coffee Can Help You Live Longer
Coffee is actually a great source of antioxidants that can cut down on free radicals in the body, which can help reduce the chances of developing diseases like Parkinson’s Disease, Type II Diabetes, and Heart Disease. Other studies have found that coffee drinkers tend to have fewer unhealthy habits like smoking cigarettes and even when those factors are accounted for the results still hold up. Yet even more studies have found that coffee drinkers might lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's by doing so, up to a whopping 20 percent.
5 Coffee Is Really Good For Your Liver
If you feel like your liver could use a boost every once in awhile, you're in luck. Coffee is actually pretty good for it. People who drink coffee each day have an 80 percent less chance of developing cirrhosis of the liver, as well as liver diseases in general. People who drink coffee consistently, perform better on liver serum tests. Some studies have found that coffee drinkers tend to have less fatty livers in general than non drinkers, which is exactly how we want our livers to be. So will it balance out your drinking habit? If you're a moderate drinker, then it can certainly help.
4 You Can Drink Coffee Made From Poop
You can drink coffee made from poop, on purpose. And it's basically a delicacy. Black Ivory coffee is made from elephant dung and it costs $50 a cup. Luwok is a coffee that is made by feeding the beans to a Sumatran wild cat and then using the feces to make coffee. That certain type costs $600 per pound. Delish. I mean hopefully it's delicious if it costs that much money, right? It's also sort of ironic because a lot of people enjoy the fact that coffee makes them poop, so it's like a fun full circle thing going on.
3 Webcams Were Basically Developed For Coffee
You'd think there would be more pressing scenarios than brewing coffee to lead someone to invent the webcam setup, but as far as we know, that's what happened. In 1999 some scientists at Cambridge University set up a coffee camera to keep track of whether there was coffee in their coffee pot or not. We all know how upsetting it can be to walk into the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee and be greeted by an empty pot, right? Then again, if the pot is empty, someone needs to walk in there to brew the next pot anyway. But it was a great idea.
2 Coffee Shops Have Been Banned Before
In the year 1675, King George II banned all coffee shops because he believed that people were having meetings in them to conspire against him. It wasn't that he had anything against the coffee per se, but the social setting that coffee shops can provide. Although this doesn't seem like the greatest plan in the world, since people of course are capable of meeting up in other places besides coffee shops as well. Like bars for example. Other people throughout history have also tried to ban coffee overall, which obviously didn't work for too long.
1 Coffee Is Technically A Fruit
Coffee comes from the pit of a berry, and it's actually a seed not a bean, but it looks more like a bean, so whoever names things decided to go with that. When coffee was first popularly consumed, it was originally eaten as a food. The coffee berries were basically mixed up with some fat to make a snack ball to munch on. Later, the pulp of the coffee berries was also made into a wine type drink. Technically you can overdose on the stuff, but you would have to drink about 100 cups to get a lethal dose of caffeine.