Coffee, the ultimate superfood backed by science

Big Science Bitesize Science

Big Science

The Epidemiology

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks on earth, with around 95 million cups consumed every day in the UK alone. It should come as no surprise then that it's also one of the most studied, with 8,420 reports published in the last decade alone.

Most of these studies have been epidemiological or observational in nature, meaning they look for associations between drinking coffee and specific health outcomes. Some studies are huge, with over a million participants spanning multiple decades. The good news is that the overwhelming majority conclude that coffee is good for your health and associated with a reduced risk of contracting some of the world's worst diseases (1).

The Mechanisms

More recently, research has been undertaken examining the mechanisms behind the health benefits of coffee. Scientists have proven coffee drinkers have lower levels of Tumour Necrosis Factor - Alpha (2,3), lower levels of C-reactive protein (4), higher levels of adiponectin (5) and longer Telomeres (6,7).

They have found compounds in coffee that are 'potent' inhibitors of your Sirtuins (8) and others that 'significantly inhibit' DNA Methylation (9). Now, none of that may mean anything to you, but together with the epidemiological studies they present a convincing case to support our theory that coffee is the ultimate 'superfood'.

But what's so special about Exhale coffee?

More of the good stuff

Of the 1,000+ compounds found in coffee, polyphenols are most often cited as being the most beneficial. These special phytochemicals are present in many fruits and veggies and chlorogenic acid is the most abundant form found in coffee.

It has antioxidant, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, antiviral and antibacterial effects (10) to name a few!

However, its levels vary immensely from product to product(11). We're the only company in the world to source and roast coffee to both maximise the levels of polyphenols and measure their antioxidant power using independent laboratories across the UK and Europe.

Read more about how in the 'Our Process' page.

Our Process

...and less of the bad

Over and above this we aim to offer a more complete package of health by only buying organically farmed coffee and then testing to make sure they're free from mycotoxins, pesticides, moulds, yeasts and heavy metals.

Read about how mycotoxins and moulds in coffee can affect your health and how to avoid them in our article 'The truth about mycotoxins'

While the government has set guidelines for the safe levels of these, we know some of our community already have a high body burden when it comes to environmental toxins and are seeking the 'cleanest' coffee possible so we want our coffee to be as pure as it is all natural.

9 different independent lab tests

We're continuously engaged with the latest science on nutrition, and as we grow we will expand our testing to include some of the other compounds found in coffee.

Perform and feel your best

Shop now

Bitesize Science

What's in it for you?


High polyphenol levels reduce caffeine anxiousness.

Stress support

Antioxidant powerhouse, 1 cup = 55 oranges!

Gut health

Polyphenols and fibre feed your friendly gut microbes.

Brain health

2 cups naturally contain 20% RDA of niacin needed by your brain.


Caffeine and polyphenols improve mental and physical performance.

Longevity support

Through protection against DNA damage.

Jitter-free, without the anxiety

Caffeine can cause anxiety in some, but chlorogenic acid, a polyphenol we optimise for in Exhale Coffee, can protect against anxiety and depression. It does so by reducing oxidative stress in the body. (42)

Many people who can't drink other coffee's can enjoy a cup of Exhale, jitter-free! And for those who still can't, we also offer a delicious, water-processed decaf.

Antioxidants protect you from free radicals

Coffee is the single biggest source of antioxidants in the Western diet contributing up to 66% of your total dietary intake! As confirmed by multiple studies. (12-18).

And Exhale Coffee is sourced and roasted for especially high levels.

Live in a polluted city? Stressed at work? Not getting enough sleep? Overtraining for your next race? Partying too hard? Crushing it at the gym?

We all need antioxidants to help us recover from our increasingly hectic lifestyles. Our bodies produce some, but if you tick any of the above boxes you probably need more. Enter, Exhale.

Support your friendly gut microbes

We all need to look after our friendly gut microbes because a healthy gut is key to a healthy you.  

Fermented foods are all the rage, but you may be surprised to learn that coffee is the world's most consumed fermented food!

Coffee also promotes a greater diversity of microbes and the high levels of polyphenols in a coffee like Exhale benefit your gut through their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

But the most surprising of all is that coffee contains significant levels of fibre to feed your microbes! (43)

Boost your brain health

Memory, cognition, neuroprotection - coffee does it all (34).

Scientific research shows that polyphenol rich foods are a natural way to support a healthy brain (35).

They also inhibit neuroinflammation, (36), support neuroplasticity (37), and enhance the circulation of pro-cognitive neurotrophic factors (38). Who wouldn't want more of those?

Did we mention Exhale Coffee is bursting with super high levels of polyphenols?

Read more in our article on coffee and brain health.

Enhance physical performance

Caffeine is one of the few proven ergogenic aids to athletic performance (19-23). Meaning if you have a cup of coffee before sport you're likely to kick ass.

However, polyphenols (as found in high levels in Exhale Coffee) have been shown to enhance performance giving you a double boost!

Polyphenols also help reduce the oxidative stress caused by exercising, helping you recover faster (24,25).

Read more in our article on antioxidants for athletes.

Support your longevity

Your DNA is important. But more important to your longevity is the epigenetic expression of your DNA, i.e. which of your genes are turned on or off.

Well there's something called DNA methylation which controls this and it's a very accurate way of predicting when all your accumulated DNA damage will start taking its toll. (29,30,31).

Studies show that chlorogenic acid (the main polyphenol we optimise for in Exhale Coffee) significantly inhibits DNA Methylation in meaningful ways' (32,33).

Above all, enjoy as part of a healthy, varied lifestyle

As much as you may want to, you can't live off coffee alone (unlike the coffee berry beetle! - (39)). So all the usual caveats apply around consuming coffee as part of a healthy, varied diet.

To be honest, the science is clear: you need to eat a varied diet of predominantly good stuff, which means lots and lots of fruit and veggies.

We're just saying we want to see the health benefits of coffee viewed in the same league as fresh fruits and vegetables. Fortunately, scientists agree with us (40).

Rather than asking 'is coffee a guilty treat?', perhaps the question we should be asking is 'is it time to write a prescription for coffee?' (41) ;o).

The peer-reviewed research supporting our claims

If you only read one study make it no.1 in the citations list. But if you want to go deeper, you can find the mind blowing research referenced above in the link below...

Click here for citations

Your Exhale Journal

We read every single study (!) published on coffee and health and we write about a huge variety of topics over in our Journal. Take a look and if you'd like us to cover anything else let us know!

View all
A Complete Guide to Brewing Healthy Coffee by Exhale

A Complete Guide to Brewing Healthy Coffee by Exhale

Welcome to our complete guide to brewing the healthiest coffee humanly possible! In this guide we first share our top tips for brewing healthier coffee which can be applied to all brewing methods, ...

Colombia or Mexico, you decide!

Colombia or Mexico, you decide!

In November 2023 we decided to run an experiment, to see whether we could make potentially huge business decision together with our customers.  Here's how it went...

Does caffeine cause dementia and Alzheimer's Disease?

Does caffeine cause dementia and Alzheimer's Disease?

Two weeks ago Dr Amen, a brain disorder specialist, was on the Diary of a CEO podcast for a second time. And for a second time he told host, Steven Bartlett, to avoid drinking coffee. The first tim...

11 tips to achieve work-travel nirvana!

11 tips to achieve work-travel nirvana!

Part of setting up this business was to do more of what we love in life. We're coffee, health and nature obsessed so it's no accident that Exhale embodies all of that too.  This summer we spent 5 w...

Coffee, the worlds most consumed fermented food!

Coffee, the worlds most consumed fermented food!

During the last decade there has been an exponential rise in the popularity of fermented foods. Drinks like kombucha and kefir are touted as the elixir of life. But you may be suprised to learn tha...

Understanding Caffeine Sensitivity: Exploring Genetic Factors, Liver Health, Stress, and Habituation

Understanding Caffeine Sensitivity: Exploring Genetic Factors, Liver Health, Stress, and Habituation

Understanding your caffeine sensitivity is a key aspect of having a healthy relationship with coffee and will help you gain it’s health and performance benefits, without any negatives. Your geneti...