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Coffee ā€“ The Good the Bad and the Ugly

Posted Dec 12 2009 1:24am
k-a-f-f-e-e
chaosinjune

Coffee is great isn’t it? it gives a mood lift, wakes you up in the morning and keeps us alert when attention is flagging. While this is all true Coffee is not all good and can do harm if not utilized correctly…

The Good

I love coffee and start every day with a brew of some sort, whether its an Espresso, French Press or Instant its something I look forward to drinking before and during my breakfast. There is nothing quite like it in terms of the bitter and satisfying taste and the warmth it seems to give to the body, plus it can clear that foggy headed AM feeling!

- Coffee is packed with Anti-Oxidants which have been proven to help fight various forms of cancer and improve general health.

- Coffee has also been proven to help with Insulin Resistance and Diabetes. Meaning it puts the carbs you eat to better use shuttling them to your muscles glycogen stores rather than your fat stores.

- It helps the release of Adrenaline. Which in moderation is a good thing, making your more alert and awake. Especially useful before a workout or to get you out of a morning slump every now and then.

- The bitter taste aids with digestion. As does anything with a strong bitterness, which signals your body to start digestion. All the more reason to drink your coffee black…..

- Memory, coffee has been shown time and time again to help those with Parkinson’s and Dementia so its pretty safe to say a daily cup will keep your mind that bit sharper!

So with all those benefits what harm can coffee do? It seems to improve our general health in several ways while tasting good and providing a nice mood and energy boost in the process…..

The Bad

Coffee on the other hand can be detrimental, when we take too much especially of a poor quality it can have a pretty stressing effect on your body and mind. It can stop you going into REM sleep, stress the adrenals and produce excess adrenaline….

- Although it is packed with anti-oxidants some say these are long gone by the time we get the coffee and are burnt out in the roast. So as with everything there are two sides to this story. I am sure coffee does have anti-oxidants but its unknown whether the health claims are overblown….

- Coffee has a half life of about 5-6 hours meaning if you had an afternoon brew with 200mg of Caffeine at 4PM you would still have 100mg flowing around your system by the time you were trying to wind down that evening. Potentially disrupting your sleep and producing adrenaline at the wrong times.

- Coffee is extremely acidic and not really what our stomachs like first thing in the morning. The stomach works best when it is settled and soothed, whereas an irritated stomach can lead to a lack of energy and take away from that feeling of calm. Best to stick to coffee after/during meals which contain a good amount of veggies and fruit.

- Fatigued adrenals are a common problem and can lead to burnout. Coffee does not help with this one bit as it stimulated the production of adrenaline and too much can be a bad thing. So if you are noticing any of the following:

  • Lethargy/Feeling Heavy limbed
  • Foggy headed or out of it
  • Overwhelmed and inability to deal with stress
  • Constant tension headaches

Then your adrenals or body in general maybe a tad run down. so this maybe a sign to back off the coffee and take things easy for a couple of weeks!

So its not all good with coffee and it does hold some pretty negative downsides especially when over consumed or drunk at the wrong times.

The Take Home

Coffee is a great tool and something we can all enjoy in moderation, it just needs to be utilized correctly. I like to stick to coffee at breakfast and occasionally mid morning, this way I get the potential anti-oxidant and fat burning kick while giving me a much needed boost in the morning. I also recommend drinking coffee around meal times as too much on an empty stomach can trigger anxiety in many people.

  • Stick to Real Coffee as in Espresso’s and French Press this gets you the real deal with minimum waste and fuss, plus tastes great!
  • Have a daily cup or two with breakfast, and as the Italiens say “No coffee after lunch time”
  • Take a total break from Coffee when feeling burnt out
  • Don’t drink coffee while fasting (if you do fast) as it exaggerates your bodies response to a stressful period.

Well thats it I am off to enjoy my Half Caf Organic French Press!

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