How your coffee impacts your gut health, free radicals and mental clarity


According to Google trend data, the search term health benefits of coffee has received a 241.63% uplift in 2024 so far. Consuming 98 million cups per day, the data reflects that much of the UK is keen to learn the impact caffeine has on the body. 

Alice Wainwright Founder at RiSE Coffee talks about the impact of coffee on gut health, free radicals and mental clarity.

Coffee & Gut Health

The topic of gut health has rapidly grown in popularity as much of the UK adopts diets and practices to ensure that it’s at optimum health. The gut is often referred to as the second brain as it plays an instrumental role in the workings of every organ in the body. So it makes sense to think about how coffee affects your gut health, especially if you drink it regularly.

Gut health describes the workings of the ‘good bacteria’ in the digestive system and a healthy gut aids in the absorption of vital vitamins and nutrients, working to optimise the immune system, regulate hormones and boost the feel-good hormone serotonin.

As coffee comes from a plant it is packed with polyphenols, a compound that boosts brain health, digestion and protects against heart disease. Polyphenols also act as a prebiotic, feeding the good bacteria in the intestines. They are renowned for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and their ability to encourage the creation of specific bacteria that is beneficial to the overall working of the gut. Polyphenols have also been found to prevent heart disease and type two diabetes. This means that your average cup of coffee is packed full of gut-boosting health benefits, especially in moderation. It’s worth knowing that coffee affects everyone differently, so whilst coffee is beneficial for some, for others it can irritate the digestive system.

Coffee & Free Radicals

Alongside polyphenols coffee is packed with bioactive compounds that work to rectify cell damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals hold the potential to harm the body’s proteins. Antioxidants such as hydro cinnamic acids found in coffee defuse free radicals and protect against oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals spark inflammation in the body and research suggests that regular consumption of coffee, due in part to its antioxidant content, may be associated with a reduced risk of certain diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain types of cancer. In fact, research has shown that those that consume decaffeinated coffee decrease their chances of developing colon cancer by 15%. 

Coffee & Mental Clarity

For many, coffee boosts the function of the brain by stimulating the nervous system, leading them to feel more alert and providing a boost in concentration. In fact, studies have shown coffee can even boost memory by boosting the brain’s levels of serotonin and acetylcholine, neutralising the blood-brain barrier.  

Alice adds: “At Rise coffee box we source only the highest quality specialty coffee, grown at the highest altitudes and roasted in small batches to lock in flavour. We also give back 1% of sales to tackle child labour on coffee farms. I love drinking my morning coffee whilst knowing that a moderate amount of specialty coffee is potentially boosting my health.”


RiSE is a coffee box subscription for coffee lovers, from coffee lovers. It was founded by Ben & Alice during lockdown 2020 in South London. Their mission is to give people a fun and exciting way to discover and taste new varieties of coffee from a world of roasters and regions.

Founders Ben and Alice blind taste and handpick the best specialty coffees from roasters across the UK. From the smallest roasters nestled in the countryside to London’s largest and most popular cafes, they share their passion for discovery and the stories behind the beans in every box.


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