In the UK coffee is one of the most popular drinks and we now drink around 95 million cups of it per day. That's around 1.5 per person, per day! Because of this it should come as no surprise that it's also one of the most studied with 8420 studies published in the last 10 years 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 1 million participants spanning multiple decades. The good news is the overwhelming majority of them 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 of action
However, epidemiology isn't conclusive proof. It gives associations but only makes assumptions about the mechanism of action causing them.
More recently, research has been in to the mechanism of action giving coffee these health benefits. 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 pretty convincing case to support our theory that coffee is the ultimate 'superfood'.
More of the good stuff
Coffee contains over 1000 different compounds, but most studies discuss a group called polyphenols as being the most beneficial. Polyphenols are plant based phytochemicals present in a lot of fruits and veggies and Chlorogenic Acid is the predominant one in coffee with antioxidant, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, antiviral and antibacterial effects (10). Their quantity and level of activity vary immensely from coffee to coffee (11) and we're the only company in the world to source and roast our coffee to first maximise the number of polyphenols and then to measure their antioxidant power using different independant, science labs across the UK and Europe.
Read more about how in the 'Our Process' page.
...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, toxins and heavy metals.
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.
We're constantly reading the latest science on coffee and as we grow will expand on our testing to include some of the other compounds in coffee.
5 electrifying reasons to change your coffee
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.
Multiple studies show coffee is the single biggest source of antioxidants in the Western diet contributing up to 66% of your total dietary intake (12-18)!! And exhale coffee is sourced and roasted to provide more than any other.
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, above and beyond that, polyphenols like those optimised for in exhale coffee reduce the oxidative stress caused by exercising therefore helping you recover faster (24,25). AND they level out the effects of caffeine for a longer, smoother high. Win win.
Nobody wants to be unhappy, it sucks. Studies have shown that polyphenols, like those found by the bucket load in exhale coffee, have anxiolytic effects meaning they reduce anxiousness (26).
Epidemiological studies also show that coffee drinkers have a lower incidence of depression (27,28). But this could also be due to the social aspect of drinking a coffee, or simply because coffee is like a warm hug in a cup. Aaaaahh.
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 come crashing down and your days will be numbered (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).
Memory, cognition, neuroprotection, coffee does it all (34).
Scientific research supports 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) and who in their right mind wouldn't want more of those?
Did we mention exhale coffee has more polyphenols than any other coffee tested?
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 as part of a healthy, varied diet.
To be honest, which we're trying desperately hard to be nothing but, the science is pretty clear in saying that you need to eat a varied diet of predominantly good stuff. Fruits and veggies should contribute the lions share of said 'good stuff'.
We're just saying we want to see the health benefits of coffee viewed in the same league as fresh fruits and vegetables. So much so that we made it our vision statement. Fortunately scientists seem to agree with us too (40).
Rather than asking 'is coffee a guilty treat?', perhapes the question we should be asking is 'is it time to write a prescription for coffee?' (41) ;o).
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...