My love for coffee
Ahhh coffee … that warm, aromatic drink that makes me feel so energized, ready and excited about my day. It picks me up when I feel down or overwhelmed. It’s the perfect drink for any occasion … when I’m having conversations with friends, family, co-workers, business events and networking opportunities – it’s universal!
So, if I love coffee so much, why should I even be thinking about giving it up? Well, I’ve been reading plenty of studies both supporting and contradicting my beloved drink.
Not to worry. Today, I will explain the benefits of coffee, the health risk of its overconsumption and why it is important to take control of your coffee intake. Then, I’ll wrap it up with strategies for finding your personalized balance of coffee intake, so you can feel your best with all of coffee’s benefits and none of the nasty health risks. Sound good?
So, first, let’s get the facts straight:
The results of epidemiological studies suggest that coffee consumption may help prevent several chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, Parkinson disease, and liver disease. It reduces risk of stroke, liver, prostate, and colorectal cancer by 20%. Consuming coffee may increase your alertness, energy, and ability to concentrate. It also helps to burn fat, boosts metabolic rate, and increases performance. More reasons why we should still consume these gorgeous beans! The caffeine in coffee is a bioactive compound with stimulatory properties on the central nervous system that brings a positive outcome on long-term memory. It is rich in Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), magnesium, niacin, Vitamin E, with about one thousand other beneficial chemical compounds like carbohydrates, lipids, nitrogenous compounds, minerals alkaloids and antioxidants. Its composition depends on the quality of the coffee, quality of water, and brewing.
Okay, now the not-so-bright side. If consumption is over 400 mg of coffee per day (over 3-4 cups /day), your nervous system would be compromised. Anxiety might kick in, as well as restlessness, insomnia, and increased heart rate. It could also be the reason you are gaining weight, or you cannot seem to lose any.
According to PHD Nutritional Biochemist Dr. Libby Weaver coffee acts on the adrenal glands by stimulating the production of adrenalin, which elevates blood sugar, and subsequently insulin production. Over-consumption is also associated with cardiovascular disease factors, like blood pressure and plasma homocysteine. It could cause adrenal fatigue, irregular heartbeat, hallucinations, accelerated bone loss, and reduced fertility in both women and men. Caffeine also augments nervousness/anxiety, hopelessness/depression.
So, what does it all mean? It means that understanding your bio-individuality and consuming coffee in moderation are the key. Let’s take a minute to discover how you feel with your coffee by answering the following questions:
· What do I like about my coffee? Is it the flavors? How it makes me feel? Am I drinking it out of habit?
· When do I need it the most? morning, afternoon, as a wake-me-up, all day long - I’m exhausted
· How big is your portion? think about a cup size = 8oz, tall = 12 oz., Grande = 16oz., Venti = 20oz.
· How much am I drinking each day, in oz.?
· How do I like it? Regular roasted? French press? Single, double expresso?
· What do you add to your coffee? Milk, cream, nondairy products, sugar?
All the above questions are factors to consider. Overconsumption is after 3-4cups a day (12-16 oz or 1 Grande at Starbucks). If you truly feel you are drinking too much and are ready to start changing your habit without having to cut it completely cold turkey (which at the end, it will only make you feel grumpy, miserable, and deprived), then I’d say it’s time to TAKE ACTION!
So, review your caffeine intake and consider how much caffeine you should have each day. Personally, I LOVE coffee, and tend to drink more when I’m working, when I feel cold, bored, sad, happy, even when I’m hungry. Without realizing it, I was drinking at least 6 cups of coffee per day. Once I started to take note, I realized I was drinking less water, skipping meals and then overeating.
So, after having the AWARENESS of my coffee intake, I decided to take action to change this habit.
The first questions I asked myself:
Then, I set up a goal: 2 cups of coffee a day. Would that be a realistic goal? Trying to lower 70% of my coffee consumption habits from one day to another. Is that achievable? Well, yes of course, by having my 1st Cup of coffee early in the morning, then, allow myself to have a maximum of 2 more: 1/2regulare, ½ decaffeinated. By doing this I felt I was able to enjoy my coffee without really sacrificing the flavor. At the same time, it gave me the feeling of control and balance. Now my relationship with coffee is perfect; its balanced. My love for coffee is still intact, and I receive the benefits of it without sacrificing my health.
So, now it’s your turn. Set up your daily coffee intake goal and take action!
Take the time to answer the above questions to become aware of how coffee makes you feel, consider whether you are ready to make a change, and set a realistic goal for a more balanced consumption to make sure you’re receiving the benefits of coffee!
I would love to hear how you do and most importantly, how your body feel afterwards.