I recently stumbled across an article on runners world with a sub heading that read: "A cup of joe jolts your mood, reduces disease risk, and adds a kick to workouts." Booooooooom. Where do I get this stuff from? It is the key to pretty much everything........ok let's not get too carried away too early on. The article goes on to list 8 benefits of drinking coffee. In principle I agree with that they are saying but I also finished the article and wandered what a "normal" person (not a huge amount of nutritional knowledge) would take away from it and what scared me the most is that on more than one occasion the article promotes up to 4 cups of coffee a day!! So lets have a deeper look and answer the title of this post: COFFEE - Yes or no? Of course I want to make this super simple for you so that you finish reading this and are ready to drink or not to drink!
- What does the science say? Pretty much like the egg debate they change their mind daily. Bottom line here is that we have evidence of increased metabolic rate so positive for fat loss, antioxidants in coffee provide a whole host of benefits to many bodily functions and perhaps the most commonly known is the mood / energy / mental boost of the caffeine. (you must read on as there are a few warnings too)
- How much is enough? From the above we have everyone running to their nearest barista and loading up expecting to get slimmer, a better functioning body and somewhat of a feeling of liquid ecstasy. Wait a second as there is a limit. Excessive caffeine actually leads to increased secretion of the stress hormone cortisol. Couple this with the fact that after 5-6 cups of the black stuff you may well feel a little more than super human and so take on additional stress that when the effects of all that coffee wear off just deliver more stress. But where is the issue? It is routed deep in cortisol, the stress king, whose receptors sit in the belly and believe it or not is one of the reasons for that six pack that you dream of remaining invisible for the short term. As a rule of thumb no more than 2 cups per day and this is based on no other caffeine intake!!! Yes just two please.
- The 4 point check:
- The virgin: Does is come with the white stuff? This is where it all begins in the picture on the right. You add a bit to make it palatable as on its own coffee is far too bitter isn't it. This is where all coffee virgins start, we want to lose our virginity but have to sweeten the deal. And so the carnage begins, no matter if it's one two or three spoons it is always going to end badly. Knowing that the human body needs only 1 spoon of this poison per day to stay alive many coffee drinkers laden 2-3 in each of their 4-5 cups a day so a grand total of somewhere in the region of 12 spoons to many of sugar for that day!!! DO NOT ADD SUGAR TO YOUR COFFEE
- The breast feeder: Because we are still in denial that the enzyme dealing with lactose stops working before our age reaches double figures and still can not understand what being allergic to dairy / lactose intolerant is really all about the second fatal error we make in our coffee careers is that we think we are actually doing ourselves a favor by getting additional calcium into our bodies by adding milk to our cup of coffee. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear......que post on "when you last saw a bull sucking milk off a cows udder!!!" Come on you are no longer a baby, you no longer need this milk, your body no longer knows how to digest it, please keep it out of your coffee mug.
- Tar our trouble: Drinking thick black tar may not be an issue so long as you know where it has come from. Like so many supermarket products these days we are seeing prices being squeezed down at the expense of pure ingredients. Our sacred morning coffee is no different, even our black, sugar and milk free brew may be loaded with chemicals that simply do not mix well with the fine machine that your body is. Opt for the purest form you can which as a ground rule means staying well away from any commercial chain coffee shop and sticking to the more "organically" grown options that are increasingly available these days.
- Turbo change that bad boy: Now that you are on pure black coffee and only 2 cups of it a day lets make it pound for pound the best two cups that are going around. The new craze of "bullet proof" coffee seems to be making waves around the world by getting people to add butter and coconut oil to their cup! You want to spew yet? Well lets start slowly. I personally have been adding a serious helping of coconut oil to my coffee (see the video below) for a number of years and love it, it not only tastes awesome but the fat is just what I need in my body for sustained energy release as well as increased brain health and many other cool things. Depending on your taste buds you can really tune things up with some grass fed butter. It may seem crazy but until you have had your hit keep your comments to yourself, once you have you will realize that actually two cups a day is plenty.