Fueled by Coffee

I must admit, I love coffee as much as the next working millennial (and any other generation for that matter). Not for the presumed increased energy benefits, but mainly for the taste. Coffee can contribute many health benefits which is great because we help our bodies every morning without even thinking about it. Although Frappuccino’s, macchiatos, and latte’s taste great, we want to be cautious to only consume these in moderation as they can contribute unwanted excesses of calories, carbohydrates and fat.

Benefits of Coffee
The caffeine in coffee is beneficial for:
• Alertness
• Performance
• Fatigue
It has also been shown to be possibly effective in preventing:
• Parkinson’s disease
• Colorectal cancer
• Diabetes
• Gallbladder disease

With these studies, between 4-6 cups of coffee were consumed daily. (That’s a lot of caffeine!) In addition to caffeine, coffee beans also contain antioxidants which fight inflammation. Green coffee beans have the highest antioxidant levels, but most antioxidant compounds are lost at roasting.

Concerns with coffee intake
Coffee contains substances that inhibit iron absorption. Because of this, it is best to drink coffee between meals. However, coffee can also cause gastric discomfort due to its high acidity and worsen other GI issues. Caffeine can also increase the heart rate and blood pressure when consumed.

What does this mean?
In short, coffee is one of those beverages that can be beneficial for some or harmful to others. If we practice moderation, it will likely cause no detriment to an individual without prior health issues. Be sure to work with your provider to see how much coffee is safe for you to consume. Use the following tips to get the safest benefit out of coffee:

coffee signPhoto by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

• Limit intake to 2 cups per day. (One cup is 8 oz)
• Limit the amount of cream and extra sugar added to your morning beverage
o Try half and half instead of heavy cream or use skim milk
• Darker roasts have less caffeine, so choose these roasts if consuming more than 2 cups per day
• Go decaf. Decaf can provide great flavor without negative implications of excess caffeine
• Lastly, since coffee acts as a diuretic, consume an extra 1.5-2 cups of water daily for each cup of coffee consumed to remain hydrated.

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