Like many other health and nutrition related myths, it has become widely accepted by many people that coffee is bad for you.
While like just about everything, it’s certainly not for everyone, and it’s very possible to consume too much of it to be ideal, coffee has several health-boosting benefits.
I’m a huge fan of coffee, and on occasion I can drink up to 3 cups a day. If any of the following benefits sound helpful to you, and if you enjoy a nice brew, there’s no reason why you can’t indulge every day!
Coffee is full of health boosting antioxidants.
For many people, coffee is the only source of antioxidants they get in their entire diet. For example, if someone eats toast for breakfast, a ham & cheese sandwich for lunch, and pasta for dinner (a common daily routine for many westerners), they are getting virtually zero antioxidants. If they include a cup of coffee with breakfast, especially if it’s made from organic, high quality beans, they’re adding invaluable nutrients to their diet. An interesting way of looking at things, but true nonetheless!
Caffeine is a fantastic performance booster.
Whether you’re getting ready for a big gym session or preparing for a sports game, caffeine is a fantastic pre-exercise stimulant. One of my favourite times to have a cup of coffee is before a short, sharp interval workout such as strongman, sprints or martial arts drills. Give it a try! A strong cup of coffee 30-45 minutes before a workout will give you a real edge in how well you perform.
Coffee can help to protect against disease.
As well as being delicious and performance boosting, coffee also contains compounds which have been shown to protect against certain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, depression and many forms of cancer. Another great reason to start your mornings with a fresh cup of coffee.
Now that we’ve explored some of the main benefits of coffee, it’s important to keep in mind that there are a few rules we should follow in regards to coffee consumption. (We don’t want to overdo it!)
Whenever possible, coffee should be organic.
Coffee is the most heavily sprayed crop in the world, so you should always use organic coffee whenever possible. As I’ve explained in previous articles, modern crops are heavily sprayed with pesticides, fungicides and other toxic chemicals. These can accumulate in our system and cause a range of health problems over time. Make sure your coffee is organic to avoid these chemicals!
Pay attention to when you have your coffee, and how much you drink each day. Just like most things, too much isn’t good!
As most people are aware, coffee is high in caffeine, which stimulates the central nervous system by way of prompting the adrenal glands to release cortisol. (Stress hormone.) This in turn temporarily increases metabolism, respiratory rate and blood sugar levels. If you’re a sedentary person, or if you’ve just exercised or it’s late at night, it’s a bad idea to pump your body full of stress hormone and stimulate the central nervous system. Raising cortisol levels in the evening, or when you don’t plan on exercising can be harmful as excessive cortisol can lead to fat storage, inflammation and poor sleep quality.
Generally speaking, if you stick to having your coffee in the morning and before workouts, you’ll feel great and be able to fully enjoy its benefits!
If you live in the Tweed/Gold Coast region, visit my friends over at Ground Control Coffee for some quality organic, sustainably sourced product. If you’re a coffee lover like me, you certainly won’t be disappointed.
- Coffee and breast cancer: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21569535
- Coffee and prostate cancer: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21586702
- Coffee and diabetes: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/why-coffee-protects-against-diabetes-190743
- Coffee and skin cancer: http://www.thedailymeal.com/coffee-cuts-skin-cancer-risk