Hi, my name is Emily and I’m a caffeine addict.

Raise your hand if you’re in the same boat. C’mon… I know I’m not alone. In fact, studies have shown that 90% of the world’s population consumes caffeine on a daily basis.

If you’re one of those 630 billion people, chances are you’ve questioned whether or not your cup of Joe every morning is causing you harm. Well, rest assured that it’s not. Sure, caffeine has been linked to insomnia, restlessness, irritability and muscle tremors, so if you’re experiencing any of these things, cutting back might be advisable. As for the rest of you, here’s a few ways that drinking coffee actually improves your health:

1. Antioxidants.

If you haven’t heard this word before, it’s worth some research. Antioxidants break down an excess of free radicals in the body, improving your immune system function and overall health. A diet rich in antioxidants has the power to defend against your risk of diseases such as dementia and cancer and, in the meantime, it’ll keep your skin soft and glowing and reduce signs of aging.

2. Poop.

If you haven’t already noticed, drinking coffee helps… move things along. Caffeine acts as a natural laxative by stimulating the digestive system and, for most of us, inducing a timely bowel movement. Keep in mind that this result isn’t as prevalent with the consumption of decaffeinated coffee… so if you want to “go”, opt for the real stuff.17493799_1899137877044062_3695789387926208512_n

3. Metabolism.

Drinking coffee can boost your metabolism by up to 11%, making it a great way to jumpstart your system first thing in the morning. On a similar note, caffeine also stimulates the central nervous system which helps to break down fat and increase exercise performance. So no matter how you look at it, coffee is a friend of those looking to shed a few pounds.

4. Brain.

Feeling drowsy? Caffeine is a stimulant, which means it enhances brain activity. When coffee absorbs into the bloodstream it releases certain neurotransmitters that reduce fatigue and make us more alert. As a bonus, caffeine also increases serotonin levels in the body, the chemical responsible for your mood. So yes, coffee can actually make you a happier person.

5. Meditation.

This may seem counterintuitive seeing as caffeine boosts energy and encourages movement. But treating your coffee consumption as a daily meditation ritual can be extremely beneficial for your wellbeing. The simple act of sitting still and calmly sipping from a steaming mug can relax your mind and set an introspective tone for the rest of your day, ultimately lending to a more contented and less agitated frame of mind.

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So if you’re feeling bad about downing your fourth cup of the day, don’t be too hard on yourself. As you can see, the world’s most commonly used psychoactive drug has multiple properties that can actually enhance your health. Of course, the old adage “everything in moderation” rings true here. Consuming a gram of caffeine (10 cups of coffee) in one day is actually toxic to the human body. So despite the many benefits… don’t start snorting it.