I do love my coffee, especially if it is strong and black. A lot of people believe that a healthy lifestyle means that you can’t drink coffee, but I don’t believe that this is true. It is correct that if you want to reduce the ‘stress’ on your live you should reduce your intake of caffeinated drinks, but there are other drinks that should be removed first, namely sugary drinks.
Here is why you can still enjoy coffee and be healthy:
Health benefits of coffee – As I mentioned, there is a lot of information available about the ‘dangers’ of coffee, but the benefits actually seem to outweigh any risks.
Coffee contains a lot of antioxidants, which are important for your health. These will help fight free radicals and reduce inflammation in your body. Coffee has also been seen to reduce the risk of diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, not to mention being good for your mood, alertness and physical performance.
How much is too much? – Personally I would say for you to limit your intake of coffee (regular black coffee) to 2-3 cups per day, and to ensure that you don’t have your last one too late. I usually switch to decaffeinated coffee after 2pm as I find if I drink caffeine after this time it can affect my sleep. A moderate amount of coffee on a daily basis is perfectly fine. Just make sure you keep it within your limits.
What about the risks?
Addiction – As you know coffee contains caffeine and this compound is somewhat addictive. Caffeine affects your central nervous system and people can become dependent on caffeine to ‘perform’. If you stop your intake of caffeine you might experience some ‘withdrawal’ symptoms, including a headache, fatigue, depression, concentration difficulties and anxiety. I find that this passes after a day or so.
Insomnia – Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others, but the timing of your cup of coffee does have an effect on if it will affect your sleep or not. I would normally recommend for you to have your last coffee for the day at least 6 hours before you go to bed. As I mentioned above, I usually switch to decaffeinated after 2pm.
Osteoporosis – There are some reports and claims that coffee will increase your risk of weak bones. However, you need to drink over 7 regular cups of coffee per day to get to those levels of caffeine, ~744mg to be exact. If you drink a lot of coffee I would suggest for you to ensure you get enough calcium to outweigh this risk.
Cardiovascular disease – Coffee (caffeine) does have a temporary effect on your blood pressure and heart rate, especially if you are sensitive. However, there is not enough evidence that coffee and caffeine will cause higher cholesterol levels or heart disease.
Note: If you have heart or blood pressure problems, it is always advised to talk to your doctor regarding your diet and coffee drinking.
Cancer – Coffee (caffeine) has been accused of causing cancer. In fact, most evidence supports coffee (caffeine) as protecting against cancer.
Dehydration – If you have ever had a coffee you have probably noticed that you will need to go to the bathroom a bit more often. Coffee does have a slight diuretic effect, however, unless you have large quantities, it does not seem to cause dehydration. And if you follow my recommendations of drinking plenty of other fluids and keep to drinking coffee in moderation you will certainly not be at risk.
Watch the calories! I always buy a black coffee to avoid adding any calories. The fact is that your choice of coffee can have a major effect on your weight loss success. A regular black coffee contains about 2 calories, whilst mocha can contain up to 450 calories, not to mention all the refined sugar!!
So, if you are a coffee lover like I am, make sure you drink coffee in moderation, not too late and make sure that you watch your added calories.
If you are a coffee lover I hope you have enjoyed this article!
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