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Coffee… To Drink Or Not To Drink?

Posted Oct 22 2009 10:01pm

That is the question.

No matter where you look, the answer is consistently opposed. When trying to lose weight, drinking coffee may be a hindrance or a help. We suspect that moderation may be the key.

Coffee and training

In the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, it was found that a swift cup of coffee pre workout boosted weight lifting ability. The average increase for bench press was five pounds and the reason is that caffeine leads to better muscle activation.

Coffee and Calories

But not all coffee is created equal. Think of the difference between a short black and a chilled slushy style coffee. The short black had only 5 calories/15 kilojoules and 0 grams of fat per serve. The chilled coffee can have as many as 625 calories/2620 kilojoules with a whopping 31 grams of fat per serve.

To put this into perspective one coffee has the potential to be the equivalent of eating 100gms of chocolate! Not great if you are trying to lose weight.

Coffee Stimulation

There’s no denying that you feel more alert after having a cup of coffee. Coffee is a stimulant, which means it that it stimulates the adrenal glands which in turn releases the ‘fight or flight’ hormone in your body. When this hormone subsides there is release of insulin into your body. This then alters your blood sugar levels leaving you craving sugary foods.

Over consumption of coffee can lead to a variety of health problems. Indigestion, diarrhea, osteoporosis, cancer, nervousness, anxiety and insomnia are just a few. Drinking too much coffee can also affect the number and size of cysts in fibrocystic breast disease. Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and gallstones, however, may be helped by the consumption of caffeine.

Are you addicted?

If you think you drink too much coffee, or might be addicted, then a good test is if you go off it for a few days and see if you get a headache. If you do, t is a sign that your body is going through withdrawals.

If you want to try going without coffee for a while, then make sure you see your natural health practitioner, as an increase in certain vitamins, especially the B Group, will help relieve symptoms.

Coffee alternatives

It may be difficult to give up coffee, as having a cuppa can be such a social thing to do. There are different reasons why we drink coffee so here are a few alternatives to try depending on your preferred coffee taste.

For a pick-me-up try black teas, or ginseng tea, or bitter chocolate powder. If you like the warm, creamy texture of lattes, try chai rooibos or carob powder. If you are trying to replace the strong bitter taste of coffee then try dandelion tea.

None of the alternatives will ever taste like the real thing, but try them. You may be pleasantly surprised.

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