Espresso is powerful enough to turn a grump’s frown upside down, clear up brain fog to get those million-dollar ideas flowing, and a cuppa day keeps sleep-deprived parents sane during the newborn phase.

But is espresso good for you? It depends on how much you consume. That’s what we’ll be exploring today, looking at the benefits it offers and what can happen if you drink too much.

Grab a cup of joe and let’s go!

What is Espresso? 

It starts with a bean. Both espresso and coffee originate from the same source- a tiny green coffee bean that has been roasted to aromatic perfection. 

While both are enjoyed as beverages and act as natural stimulants, there are differences between the two. The main difference is how each is prepared.

Let’s start with espresso. You’ve probably seen an espresso machine at your local cafe. With an experienced hand, the barista tamps the finely ground coffee and applies pressure to pull a single 1-oz shot of golden brown nectar topped with a rich crema.

Now, if you were to visit your local diner, there might be a drip coffee machine with a big ol’ pot of coffee sitting idle. When the pot runs low, the waitress pushes a button, and within seconds, hot black coffee is filling the pot.

Is Espresso Good for You?: A cup of espresso and a spoon on a saucer

Espresso is brewed with pressurized hot water using finely ground coffee. Coffee, on the other hand, is brewed by “dripping” hot water through coarsely ground coffee. 

Is Espresso Bad For You? A Note About Espresso Consumption

Remember the saying, “everything in moderation”? This definitely applies to espresso. 

If you’re an avid espresso drinker, you’ve most likely felt the euphoria that washes over you after downing a shot in the morning. That’s because it’s packed with caffeine, a stimulant that wakes you up and gets you motivated to rock the day.

While that sounds amazing, especially for those who aren’t morning people, too much can be a bad thing. 

The standard serving of espresso is two shots, which contains around 150 milligrams of caffeine. This is less than a regular 16-oz coffee with 330 milligrams.

There is no set amount on how much to drink per day since everyone reacts differently, but it is recommended not to go over 450 mg. When you do, you might experience physical and mental side effects.

Is Espresso Bad For You?: A cup of espresso on a saucer

Drinking excessive espresso every day can lead to long-term health problems, such as osteoporosis, seizures, and an irregular heart rate.

Regularly, you may experience the “jitters” or heightened feelings of anxiety. If you drink too much late in the day, it might cause restlessness and insomnia.

So is espresso better for you than coffee? Technically espresso is the stronger of the two, but it is served as a 1-oz shot. Compare that to an 8-oz cup of coffee, and the caffeine strength is give-and-take.

It really comes down to the daily amount. Typically people order 1-2 shots of espresso, and that’s perfectly fine.

But with drip coffee, it’s easy to go overboard- especially if you like to add cream and sweetener. It all depends on how your body metabolizes caffeine and how you monitor intake.

11 Benefits of Drinking Espresso

As you just read, there are unpleasant side effects to overindulging espresso. but if you drink responsibly, the number of espresso benefits is mind-boggling

Numerous studies show the positives of drinking 1-2 shots of espresso per day that range from boosting mental health to protecting the body from serious diseases. 

In short, this is a power-packed beverage that can help you thrive! Let’s take a look at the health benefits of espresso.

1. Improves Long-Term Memory

If you’re one of those people who walks into a room and forgets why you ventured there in the first place, maybe it’s time for a shot of espresso.

Not only does this golden brown elixir help your brain retain information, but it can also help you recall information with clarity.

Studies also suggest that it may protect the brain against diseases such as Alzheimer’s and types of dementia.

Espresso Benefits: An illustration of a brain, which is affected by the amount of espresso intake

2. Heightens Concentration

Do you have a big exam coming up? Espresso is the perfect study buddy. The caffeine in espresso has been found to help jumpstart dopamine in the brain, which is responsible for sharpening focus and overall concentration. 

On the flip side, remember not to overdo it. 

Too much caffeine in a day can cause attenuation, which means your brain becomes less responsive to information, and concentration is weakened. 

3. Enhances Physical Performance

Espresso Health Benefits: An image featuring two dumbbells, water container, yoga mat and feet of a person wearing rubber shoes

That feeling of pure adrenaline pumping through your body makes you feel ready for anything. But it can be tough to get excited for a miles-long run after a grueling day at work.

Thank goodness for espresso.

Whether you’re an athlete or just love an intense workout, espresso is the reliable “pick-me-up” to help boost strength and speed. 

Combine that with sharper concentration, and you’re a force of pure power with the ability to function at peak performance.

Increased adrenaline also gives you the stamina needed to push harder for longer periods. 

Just remember not to put all of your dependence on espresso, adequate sleep, and a healthy diet are the most crucial factors affecting physical performance.

4. It Contains Antioxidants

Health Benefits of Espresso: Coffee beans scooped using a wood spoon

You might be surprised to learn that espresso is chock full of antioxidants. There are thousands of antioxidants present in the raw bean, including ones that form during the roasting process.

These consist of Polyphenols and Cafestol, which combat diseases and act as an inflammatory that may relieve pain caused by conditions such as arthritis and even certain cancers.

Chlorogenic acid is another superstar antioxidant found in espresso thought to ward off cardiovascular disease.

And if that wasn’t enough to make you grab a shot glass, espresso benefits the skin with hydrocinnamic acids, which dissolve free radicals such as air pollution, smoke, and harmful UV rays from the sun. 

5. It’s a Low-Calorie Indulgence

Counting calories gets tedious, but with espresso, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the brew guilt-free. 

Espresso is a low-calorie drink containing only three calories per ounce, with none of the preservatives or chemicals found in other caffeinated drinks.

Of course, the calorie count varies depending on how much you drink and whether you add milk and sugar

6. Natural Weight Loss Supplement

Is Espresso Good For Weight Loss?: Espresso in a white cup

Is espresso good for weight loss? The studies point to yes- caffeine is an excellent weight loss supplement since it’s low-calorie and boosts physical prowess during workouts.

It has also been shown to reduce appetite, which can help you consume fewer calories or cut down on between-meal snacking.

Another neato fact is that caffeine can initiate thermogenesis, which is a fancy way of saying it boosts the body’s ability to produce heat and burn extra calories.

7. Espresso is a Mood Booster

Remember that caffeine is a stimulant, which energizes the body and mind, sharpens concentration, and motivates you to be productive. 

That’s a major mood enhancer after lunch when you’re feeling lethargic, and that office computer screen is staring you in the face!

Espresso boosts brain function and decreases feelings of exhaustion to get you prepped for the day ahead

There may even be scientific evidence that coffee can impact depression. Bear in mind, the facts aren’t set in stone, but compelling theories do exist. 

One theory from Chinese researchers suggests that depression could be the result of brain inflammation

The powerful antioxidants found in coffee, including chlorogenic acid, nicotinic acid, trigonelline, quinolinic acid, tannic acid, and pyrogallic acid may reduce inflammation.

Another theory is since caffeine is a psychostimulant, it gives you that alert, motivated feeling by inhibiting the cellular response that causes drowsiness. 

8. May Fight Certain Cancers

Numerous studies have been done on espresso’s health benefits for people at risk of cancer, and promising evidence has been found that suggests consuming espresso may indeed lower the risk.

One study found that drinking coffee regularly might protect against liver cancer. In Italy, researchers found that men who drank at least three cups per day lowered their risk of developing prostate cancer compared to men who drank less.

It can also reduce the risk of other cancers, including head, neck, breast, and colorectal.

While there’s still much to be studied, scientists believe that the answer lies in the multitude of active compounds in coffee, which are anti-inflammatory and also prevent and repair cell damage.

9. May Lower Risk of Stroke in Women

As scientists continue to delve deeper into the power of the humble coffee bean, the more evidence they find that points to the miraculous health benefits it offers- even for preventing a stroke.

A study was conducted with female subjects prone to experiencing a stroke. After drinking espresso regularly, that risk decreased

The women who drank less or none of espresso remained at a higher risk level compared to the daily espresso drinkers.

10. May Reduce Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes

Benefits of Drinking Espresso: A cup of espresso on a saucer with a teaspoon

The healthiest way to drink espresso is without any added sugars or cream. When enjoying it in its pure form, studies show it can have a positive impact on people with gluten and insulin sensitivity

Like many other diseases and cancers that we’ve discussed, the active compounds found in coffee beans are effective against the development of type 2 diabetes.

But take care with your consumption, since overdoing it can lead to a massive blood sugar spike and do more harm than good.

11. Facilitates Digestion

Does your tummy reel after drinking a cup of drip coffee? It might be due to coffee’s higher acidic level compared to espresso

That’s thanks to a compound found in dark and French roasts called N-methylpyridium, which is produced while coffee beans are roasted. The compound prevents stomach acid from forming and reduces bloat after a meal and pain from acid reflux.

Final Thoughts: Is Espresso Good for You?

Espresso is more or less worshipped globally for its heavenly aromas and favors, but is espresso good for you? 

As tasty as it is stimulating, scientists are just beginning to understand the thousands of compounds that make up the tiny coffee bean and how they benefit the mind and body. 

The key takeaway here, though, is to watch how much you consume daily. Although everyone metabolizes caffeine differently, 1-2 shots per day are recommended to reap the many health benefits, but drinking too much can result in side effects. 

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