Coffee & Benefits on Skeletal Muscle

Coffee & Benefits on Skeletal Muscle


Healthy Coffee Options

Title: The benefits of coffee on skeletal muscle

Author: Amie Dirks-Naylor

Journal: Life Sciences 143 (2015), 182-186

Objective: To summarize current literature suggesting that coffee has beneficial effects on skeletal muscle.


More 1.6 billion cups of coffee are consumed daily across the globe and Americans spend 40$ billion annually on coffee. Because it is so widely consumed, coffee and it’s components are becoming increasingly investigated for health benefits and risks.

Previously, I have made several videos discussing the overall health benefits of coffee. I would encourage you to check those out. To briefly summarize, some of the benefits of coffee include helping with

  • Alertness, energy, and ability to concentrate.
  • Headache
  • Cardiovascular/ Heart - Low-to-moderate habitual consumption of caffeine may reduce the risk of having a heart attack
  • Diabetes: reduces the risk of developing diabetes.
  • Constipation
  • Fat Breakdown: Increased oxidation of fat
  • Liver disease
  • Cancer Risk: Gastrointestinal, Endometrial, Prostate - Reduced risk.
  • Gout
  • Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease

What about coffee and skeletal muscle? How does coffee help or hinder skeletal muscle growth? Coffee contains many chemical components including caffeine, chlorogenic acids namely caffeic acid and quinic acid, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E and niacin among others. Which of these are beneficial towards skeletal muscle?

The author of this article sought to shed some light on that and summarize the available research.


The author used the available data and research to investigate the effects of coffee on

  • autophagy: which means self consume, it is the way in which the body recycles cellular components, sort of like recycling cardboard and aluminum to make more products
  • Insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake in skeletal muscle
  • Sarcopenia: which is lost of skeletal muscle as part of the natural aging process.


Coffee appears to induce autophagy, meaning that it upregulates the activity. This can prevent the accumulation of damaged protein and cellular components, optimizing function.

Two components of coffee, chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid appear to increase skeletal muscle glucose transport into the cell. It also increases sensitivity to insulin.

Finally, coffee intake attenuates the loss of muscle mass and strength that occurs with age. It also appears to increase the regenerative capacity of skeletal muscle in the aging adult.


Coffee appears to have multiple beneficial effects on skeletal muscle.

Regarding autophagy, coffee appears to help the body sweep up the damaged cellular products which can improve overall cellular activity.

It improves insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake, important not only for physical activity but for disease prevention.

Finally, it blunts the age-related skeletal muscle loss effects that occur naturally, known as sarcopenia, and may facilitate improved regenerative capacity.

Most of this research is in vitro or animal models, and more research is required in human studies to identify the benefits in humans.

Original Article

Dirks-Naylor, A. J. (2015). The benefits of coffee on skeletal muscle. Life Sciences,143, 182-186. doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2015.11.005

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