Whether or not you’re a casual coffee lover or a bonafide bean-head, you’ve likely heard a Robusta coffee in one form or another. The Robusta beans make a highly-acidic and notoriously bold and cup of joe. But these bitter beans can have some surprising benefits for your health.
So, is Robusta Coffee healthy? Research shows that Robusta coffee has a number of health benefits. Its higher caffeine content and richness in antioxidants can reduce inflammation, improve circulation, stimulate the nervous system, improve athletic performance, reduce the risk of diabetes, and can even improve a person’s mood.
Researchers have long studied the effects of coffee, and while there’s still much to learn about this breakfast staple it’s been noted that not all coffee varieties created are equal. Keep reading to find out what makes robusta coffee beans so special.
What makes Robusta different from regular coffee?
Let’s take look at a comparison between Robusta beans and Arabica beans, which are the most common type of beans that are used in regular coffee. According to coffechemistry.com, the Robusta bean contains more (nearly double!) caffeine of its counterpart. Not only that, but it also has around 25% – 80% more of the antioxidant called chlorogenic acid.
What is chlorogenic acid (CGA)?
CGA is a naturally occurring antioxidant found in coffee but also other products like strawberries, eggplant, blueberries, and potatoes. Like many antioxidants, it can reduce inflammation but also has a myriad of other benefits.
What does CGA do?
One of its notable properties is its ability to lower blood pressure. It’s commonly used for this purpose but also has been used to lose weight. However, recent studies show that it can play a part in improving mood, protecting against diabetes, and dealing with inflammation.
One study found that the CGA in coffee specifically reduced blood pressure and improved the elasticity of the arteries by inhibiting an enzyme named that increased blood pressure.
The high CGA found in Robusta helps prevent Diabetes.
All coffee, in general, has some chlorogenic acids, but Robusta’s richness in CGA provides more benefits. According to a study from the US National Library of Medicine, it’s been found that it increases a hormone that lowers your blood sugar increases the level of insulin in your blood.
Looking at another study that was done in Japan, researchers tested the effects of coffee and tea drinking habits of over 13,500 Japanese men and women, it was found that adults who had one or more cups of coffee a day reduced their risk of diabetes by around 30%
Other Benefits of the CGA in Robusta
Chlorogenic acid has another big benefit, and that is helping you to lose weight. One of the ways it can work is by triggering a protein called Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor alpha (PPAR-alpha), which makes the body create more heat and lose fat.
Mood and Brain Improvement
This study from the National Library of Medicine states that CGA has been linked with improving the survival of brain cells that make dopamine, which is your brain’s “feel-good” chemical that makes us happy.
Another study using mice found that it suppressed an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase (don’t worry, we can’t really pronounce it either). By stopping said chemical it resulted in better brain function and memory.
Robusta’s Other Benefits
The caffeine content in Robusta is around 2.7% where Arabica has around 1.5%. Which is why Robusta is known for its powerful taste but also the reason its commonly put into expressos, and instant coffee mixes. We know that caffeine keeps you awake by improving your alertness and energy. But what other benefits of Robusta’s high caffeine provide?
Fat Burning and Performance Boosting
If you look at any fat burning supplement you almost always see caffeine in the ingredients list, and it’s likely the most powerful part of the recipe. This study shows an increase in body temperature and metabolic rate.
Another study shows that while on around 100 mg of caffeine increased the daily calories burned in lean and obese people by 79-150 kcal. But before you reach for that can of the fat-burner that fitness model is trying to sell you, know that the caffeine is paired with a bunch of other fillers. So do yourself a favor and opt for the cheaper and healthier cup of strong coffee.
When it comes to working out and strength training this meta-analysis the National Library of Medicine shows that it can improve muscular endurance.
Great for your Skin too!
Robusta is also put into skincare products like scrubs because of its high concentration of caffeine and CGA. The high antioxidant count of Robusta helps your skin cells rejuvenate and the high acid is good for scrubbing away excess oil and dead skin cells.
Bitter, but better for you.
With its list of benefits, you’ll sometimes find health-focused blends high in Robusta, but you can also find Robusta in some instant mixes and also Robusta coffee as is. It’s common in places like Asia so there’s a good chance it will be sourced from farms in places like Vietnam where it’s fairly common.
While Robusta isn’t suitable for many people’s taste this kind of coffee and blends that include it provide some great health benefits for your insides and out. Regardless of flavor, Robusta still has quite to offer.