Caffeine constantly gets a bad rep, but if you're anything like us, you need that espresso boost to balance worktime and playtime, and kick ass at both. Here's some java justification for your next caffeine craving.

1. It Lowers Your Risk of Disease

If you are a regular coffee drinker, you are at a significantly lower risk of getting diabetes, Parkinson’s, colon cancer, gallstones, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. Regularly drinking tea doesn't have the same health connection, so its probably more about the antioxidants in coffee rather than the caffeine, but who’s complaining, especially since caffeine is the richest source of antioxidants in the average person’s diet.

2. It Increases Metabolism

Caffeine breaks down fat and forces your body to burn fatty acids. Actually, most diet pills contain caffeine because not only does it increase metabolism, it also reduces a person’s appetite. Whether or not you’re trying to lose a couple of pounds, who doesn't want better metabolism on the daily?

3. It Makes You Feel Happier and Smarter

Sounds like an intense combination, but feeling happy and feeling smart are linked pretty strongly for a lot of us. Caffeine releases dopamine in our brains, which stimulates that bit in our gray matter that makes us feel more alert, and it also pumps up our spirits at the same time. The effects last about 45 minutes, so grab a quick cup before your next class or meeting and maybe it’ll be just the bump up your attitude needs.

4. It Makes You Stronger

Ever wonder why hitting the gym just after a coffee makes your workout seem so much easier? Taking in some caffeine 30-60 minutes before you pump iron increases your speed and stamina by tricking your muscles into thinking they’re stronger than they actually are. Added to that, caffeine will also reduce post-workout muscle pain by about half. Caffeine was actually considered a performance-enhancing drug because of how much better athletes do after a bit of caffeine enters their system. It's legal now, but is still kind of a "permitted" boost in organized sports.

5. Helps Hangovers

Caffeine is probably your best hangover friend, because it’ll subtlety get rid of your raging headache the morning after you had just a couple too many drinks. Added to that, it actually works to detoxify the liver, so it helps your liver recover from the alcohol-imposed stress of your nights in party mode.

6. If You Drink Enough, You’re Less Likely To Experience The Downsides

The most common downsides of drinking coffee are the jitters. You know, the feeling from some instant of accidental or intentional over-caffeination: Your heart beats way too fast and suddenly your hands just won’t stay stable. Good news, though, because the jitters and anxiety you feel after sipping on a cuppa fades out as your body becomes more accustomed to coffee in your system and becomes friendlier to it.

Kind of seems like there's not much holding us back from indulging our caffeine vices--but really, with all these health benefits, the beverage doesn't seem anything less than liquid happiness.

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