Lifestyle, Nutrition

Dear Coffee, Are You Good Or Bad For Me?

October 7, 2014

(From Pinewood Social Back to Front: Cuban, Almond Milk Latte, Espresso, Macchiato, Cortado)

I grew up with a family that has a pot of coffee brewing every morning. The aroma is so wonderful.  It elicits a sense of go-getter right when the scent hits my nose!! A couple years back, I started trying to drink coffee less frequently. I made my decision based on the way my body was feeling. When I was drinking a couple cups of coffee every day I felt like I couldn’t productively start my day without it. I also felt myself start to tank around 2 or 3 in the afternoon and just wanting more coffee, soda, or whatever else had caffeine in it. I felt very dependent, like I wasn’t giving my body a chance to do it’s normal function.

I still drink coffee, but I drink it less frequently. I probably have about 4 coffee drinks a week, and my beverage of choice is an almond milk latte from Crema (at Pinewood Social obvi)

Drinking coffee less frequently makes me much more affected by the caffeine. So when I really need it, it comes in handy. Also, it is much more of a treat if I plan when I drink my coffee and make it a special occasion.

Whether or not coffee is beneficial to your health has been a large debate in the health community. Its gone from neutral, to bad for you, to good for you, to neutral, and around the circle again and again. So, I did a little leg work and want to share my knowledge with you:

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Why was coffee considered so bad for a while?

It seems like earlier studies didn’t always take into account that known high-risk behaviors, such as smoking and physical inactivity, tended to be more common among heavy coffee drinkers at that time. Coffee got a really bad rap when in fact the health problems may have been related to other variables.

SO, is coffee considered good for you now?

It’s always been my opinion to keep things in moderation. I think a cup of coffee a day is fine!

Studies have shown that coffee may have health benefits, including protecting against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and liver disease, including liver cancer. It also appears to improve cognitive function and decrease the risk of depression.

Coffee also is the single largest source of antioxidants.

AND a single cup of coffee contains:

  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 11% of the RDA.
  • Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5): 6% of the RDA.
  • Manganese and Potassium: 3% of the RDA.
  • Magnesium and Niacin (B3): 2% of the RDA.

According to Mayo Clinic, Caffeinated fluids can contribute to your daily fluid requirement.
“Drinking caffeine–containing beverages as part of a normal lifestyle doesn’t cause fluid loss in excess of the volume ingested. While caffeinated drinks may have a mild diuretic effect — meaning that they may cause the need to urinate — they don’t appear to increase the risk of dehydration.”

When can coffee be a negative deal?

When coffee becomes a problem is in excess.

I think you can tell something is wrong when a person can’t seem to wake up in the morning without it. A dependence on coffee and caffeine is common. I believe that a dependence on any kind of substance is alarming.

High consumption of unfiltered coffee (boiled or espresso) has been associated with mild elevations in cholesterol levels. Some studies found that two or more cups of coffee a day can increase the risk of heart disease in people with a specific, and fairly common, genetic mutation that slows the breakdown of caffeine in the body. So, how quickly you metabolize coffee may affect your health risk.

Coffee is also an acidic drink with a pH level of 5. Your body works to maintain a pH level of 7. Drinking an excessive amount of acidic drinks can throw your body out of whack. That is why it is important to also be fueling your body with water, which has a balanced pH of 7!! And again, don’t drink 9,000 cups (of coffee)!

What about caffeine?

Caffeine, in general, and in moderation can be a good thing. It improves cognitive function, inhibits insulin resistance, and speeds up your metabolism.

The only caveat when it comes to caffeine, is not to overdo it! Too much caffeine can actually make us gain weight by burning out our adrenal glands and releasing stress hormones.

 

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In my opinion, if you try to stick to these rules, you might be just fine:

-Be mindful of your coffee drinking. Dont’ just pour a cup to pour a cup

-Drink less than 400 miligrams of caffeine per day

-Sip on your last cup of coffee before noon so that it doesn’t interfere with your sleep

-Be careful of high sugar and artificial sweeteners in specialty coffee drinks.

– Be conscious of calorie content in crazy coffee concoctions

-Drink mostly water

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