Arabica Coffee Benefits

The Benefits of Drinking Arabica Coffee + Side Effects

Table of Contents

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, with billions of cups consumed every day. There are two main species of coffee plants – Arabica and Robusta. Arabica coffee accounts for around 60-80% of global coffee production and is considered of higher quality than Robusta.
Arabica coffee has a sweeter, more complex flavor and contains less caffeine than Robusta. It also contains numerous compounds that can benefit health. However, drinking too much can also lead to side effects.
This article will examine the evidence-based health benefits, from promoting weight loss and metabolism to lowering the risk of cancer, and the side effects of drinking arabica coffee.

Arabica Coffee Benefits

1. Rich in Antioxidants

Arabica coffee beans contain various antioxidants, including hydrocinnamic acids and polyphenols [1].
Antioxidants help neutralize harmful free radicals and prevent oxidative damage to cells. Oxidative stress has been linked to chronic illnesses like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes [2].
Studies show that the antioxidants in arabica coffee may be protective against these diseases.

2. May Boost Metabolism and Promote Weight Loss

Caffeine, the most well-known compound in coffee, has been shown to boost metabolism and promote fat burning in several studies [3],[4].
In one study, lean people and obese people consumed 100 mg of caffeine per day for 4 weeks. Lean people burned an average of 109 more calories per day, while obese people burned an average of 151 more [4].
What’s more, drinking coffee may protect against weight gain and obesity. Multiple studies have found that higher coffee intake is linked to a lower risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome [5], [6].

3. May Protect Against Alzheimer's and Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease worldwide. It leads to memory loss and cognitive decline.
Interestingly, research indicates that arabica coffee may help protect against Alzheimer’s and dementia.
In one review of 21 studies, caffeine intake was linked to a 65% lower risk of dementia or cognitive impairment [7].
Animal studies also report that caffeine can reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain, which are markers of Alzheimer’s disease [8].

4. May Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes affects over 400 million people worldwide. High blood sugar levels characterize it as a result of insulin resistance or a lack of insulin.
Numerous studies have linked coffee consumption to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
Each daily cup may lower the risk by up to 7%, with the greatest reduction after 6 cups per day [9], [10].
Researchers believe chlorogenic acid, caffeine, and other compounds in coffee can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation [11].

5. May Protect Against Liver Disease

Coffee also seems to be protective against certain liver disorders.
One review of 13 studies found that each cup of coffee consumed per day was linked to a 20% lower risk of developing cirrhosis, with the strongest effect after 4 cups [12].
Caffeine, polyphenols, and melanoidins in coffee may help prevent liver damage by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.

6. Linked to a Lower Risk of Depression

Depression is a severe mood disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. Coffee has been associated with a lower risk of depression.
In a Harvard study of over 200,000 people, those who drank 4 or more cups per day had a 20% lower risk than people who drank no coffee or only occasional coffee [13].
This may be due to coffee’s effects on neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline. However, more research is needed on this.

7. May Boost Athletic Performance

Not only can coffee help you burn more calories, but it may also boost your exercise performance.
Caffeine reduces fatigue and increases alertness, helping you exercise longer and stronger. Caffeine does this by blocking adenosine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter [14].
One study gave athletes caffeine pills or a placebo 60 minutes before exercise. Caffeinated athletes performed better on muscle endurance tests and cycling tests [15].
Caffeine can enhance speed, power, and endurance during exercise. However, too much caffeine may cause jitteriness or anxiety.

8. Contains Essential Nutrients

Arabica coffee beans are a source of certain essential nutrients, although not in high amounts.

A typical 8-ounce (240 ml) cup of brewed arabica coffee contains [16]:

  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 11% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5): 6% of the RDI
  • Manganese and Potassium: 3% of the RDI
  • Magnesium and Niacin (B3): 2% of the RDI

So, while coffee cannot replace a healthy, balanced diet, it may offer a slight boost in some essential nutrients.

9. May Lower the Risk of Certain Cancers

Research shows that coffee consumption may lower the risk of certain cancers, although more human studies are needed.
In one study, 2-4 daily cups were linked to a 30% lower risk of liver cancer [17].
Other research found that 4 cups per day reduced the risk of colorectal cancer by 15% [18].
The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in arabica coffee may protect against cancer formation. However, more research is required to say for certain.

Arabica Coffee Benefits

Potential Side Effects of Too Much Arabica Coffee

While moderate coffee intake of 1-2 cups per day seems safe for most people, drinking too much can cause certain side effects. Here are some potential downsides: 

You can also read more about arabica coffee side effects on our blog posts.

1. Anxiety and Difficulty Sleeping

Caffeine stimulates your nervous system by blocking adenosine. For some people, too much caffeine can cause anxiety, jitteriness, or the inability to sleep.
Those sensitive to caffeine may experience these effects even after one cup of coffee.

2. High Blood Pressure

Although each cup may slightly raise blood pressure, this effect diminishes in people who drink coffee regularly [19].
However, some people may be more sensitive to coffee’s effects on blood pressure.
High intake has been linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, especially in people with certain genetic variants [20].
Pregnant women should limit coffee to avoid elevated blood pressure, which can increase the risk of pregnancy complications [21].

3. Heartburn and Ulcers

Coffee relaxes the esophageal sphincter, allowing stomach acid to enter the esophagus and cause heartburn or reflux symptoms. It may also irritate the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, potentially causing stomach ulcers.
Those with reflux or ulcers may want to limit intake or avoid coffee altogether.

4. Increased Cholesterol Levels

Unfiltered coffee contains cafestol and kahweol, compounds that can raise cholesterol levels [22].
Using a paper filter removes these compounds, so filtered coffee does not appear to increase cholesterol. However, boiled or French press coffee may do so slightly.

5. Poor Mineral Absorption

Coffee contains polyphenols called chlorogenic acids, which can bind iron and reduce its absorption [23].
People prone to anemia should take caution, especially if getting iron from plant-based foods. Coffee may also hinder manganese absorption.

6. Dependency and Withdrawal

For regular coffee drinkers, suddenly abstaining from coffee may cause withdrawal symptoms, including tiredness, irritability, poor concentration, and headaches.
This may induce dependency on the drink to avoid these unwanted effects. Those trying to cut back may need to gradually wean off coffee.

7. Diuretic Effect

Caffeine has a mild diuretic effect, meaning it can make you urinate more frequently. This may contribute to dehydration or mineral losses.
Those who drink coffee should ensure adequate fluid intake from water and other beverages.

8. Possible Drug Interactions

Caffeine interacts with certain medications and can inhibit their breakdown or absorption. Individuals taking medication should check with a pharmacist or doctor about possible interactions with coffee.


In moderation, arabica coffee provides numerous evidence-based health benefits with little risk. However, too much may cause adverse effects in some people.
For maximum health benefits without side effects, most people should limit coffee to 1-2 standard cups per day. Pregnant women may require less due to increased sensitivity to caffeine.
Enjoy your arabica coffee in moderation as part of a healthy, balanced diet and active lifestyle to reap its benefits while avoiding potential harm. Speak to a doctor if you have any concerns about coffee’s effects on your health.


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