The health benefits of coffee are varied and well documented.  Coffee, particularly the caffeine contained in it, is a stimulant.

Coffee provides a number of mental health benefits:

  • Improved memory
  • Elevated mood
  • More vigilance
  • Enhance energy levels
  • Better reaction times
  • Enhanced cognitive functioning

Coffee can improve your metabolic rate.  More so for occasional users than long term coffee drinkers.  This may help with weight loss.

Coffee drinkers appear to be at a lower risk of developing type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.  Coffee drinking is associated with a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease.  Regular coffee intake has also been associated with a lower risk of getting liver cirrhosis.  The risk of getting a stroke is also reduced.  Coffee intake is associated with a lower rate of cardiovascular deaths.

The health benefits of ordinary coffee are also seen in those who drink decaffeinated coffees.

For athletes, coffee is a legal ergogenic aid, often resulting in an increase in physical work capacity.  It does this best when only used sparingly: for example only for important games or events.

Unfortunately, coffee can have some negative effects.  In a small number of people it will cause a small blood pressure increase.  In some people coffee causes insomnia and restlessness.  If it causes you insomnia then it is best taken only in the morning hours and avoid it after lunch time.  Travellers, however, often make use of this “insomnia symptom” when travelling internationally: using caffeine to help adapt to a new time zone by helping to keep them awake when they should be awake in that location!

Dr Simon Mayhew

Primary Care and Sports Medicine Doctor

HealthZone Medical is located on the ground floor inside AUT Millennium.  Go through the entrance doors of the main building, past the Café and past the stairs and on the left you will see us.

If you would like to make an appointment please contact one of our friendly receptionists on

09 477 2090.