When it comes to the debate of coffee vs. tea, people can get very intense.
I’ve seen things get just as heated as political debates! Or worse… the classic pirates vs. ninjas debate.
I’ll be honest with you. I’m not on Team Tea or Team Coffee.
I’m also not on Team Pirate or Team Ninja. I really just wanna party with both so in these cases I would consider myself as neutral as Switzerland.
But I sometimes still feel the need to step in and defend coffee, one of my oldest and most understanding friends.
There are a lot of bogus myths surrounding coffee and it really bugs me when people say things like...
“Coffee is shit for you. It will destroy your organs and yellow your teeth!”
…Well expect for that teeth yellowing part. That part isn’t my favourite.
HOW COFFEE LOVES YOU BACK
Coffee actually has a number of surprising health benefits!
A cuppa joe contains antioxidants and nutrients. It’s an awesome anti-inflammatory and also can help prevent some very serious diseases. Decaf or no, each cup of java contains pantothenic acid, potassium, manganese, magnesium, riboflavin and niacin. All of these are nutrients that we need for optimal health and ass kicking!
And did you know that coffee is the world’s most popular source of antioxidants?
This doesn’t mean you should stop eating your damn vegetables. It’s still important to have a varied and balanced diet. But it does mean that you can start thinking of your coffee as a part of that diet instead of a guilty pleasure.
Coffee has also been linked to a lowered risk of many diseases.
Studies have shown a close link to drinking the dark stuff and a lowered risk of both colorectal and liver cancer. In fact, it seems to be especially good to the liver and may give extra protection against cirrhosis, especially alcoholic cirrhosis, reducing the risk by over 40%!
Coffee lovers can also have up to a 60% lower risk of developing Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, studies have shown a greatly lowered risk of developing type II diabetes for those who forego the sweeteners.
All of those benefits are found equally in decaf and kick-you-in-the-face coffee!
CAFFEINE IS NOT A VILLAIN!
There are some perks that can come specifically from caffeine.
(Caffeine fiends rejoice!)
Caffeine acts as stimulant and it tends to get a bad rap! But it’s not inherently evil.
It can increase energy, mood, some brain functions, and can provide a serious boost to the body’s metabolic rate. Studies have also shown that it specifically increases the burning of fat! As it breaks down the fat cells it converts them into immediate fuel which makes it great for more physically demanding practices.
Definitely note that these effects can diminish overtime for longterm coffee drinkers as tolerance increases and your body becomes accustomed to it. If you want to keep these benefits then it’s best to cycle your caffeine usage rather than ingest it on the regular.
Keep your body on its toes, you know?
Caffeine also triggers our "fight or flight response" by increasing the Epinephrine levels in the blood. This by itself is neither good nor bad. It’s all about how you react to it.
The fight-or-flight response is a survival instinct that is hard wired into us from the distant past when our ancestors lived in the wild. When this response is triggered, we suddenly have a lot of energy because our bodies are preparing either run for our lives or take part in a potentially deadly physical altercation. At one time we had to fight bears and shit!! We don’t really have to do that on the regular anymore… but our bodies haven’t quite received the memo.
If you’re are prone to anxiety, caffeine can be a problem in high doses because when the fight-or-flight response is triggered, your body might think there’s a bear behind every corner (even if you logically know that’s crazy!)
If we can harness this extra burst of energy for good then it can be a very powerful tool. This is why people often drink coffee before going to the gym or when gearing up for important tasks.
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR COFFEE:
Like with all things, moderation is key!
Coffee can dehydrate the body so be sure not to overdo it. I great way to keep this from happening is to drink a cup of water for every cup of have you enjoy (and no, this water doesn’t count towards your daily water intake!)
How much coffee is too much? Here’s a basic guideline:
Green light: 1-2 cups a day
Yellow light: 3-4 cups a day
Red light: 5+ cups a day.
Perhaps try cycling your intake?
If you want to get the most out of the performance enhancing properties of a caffeinated brew then consider cycling your intake. Try having coffee regularly for two weeks and going without for another two.
Not all coffee is made equal.
If you decide you want to take your coffee game to the next level then there are several ways to do it and multiply the awesome benefits. Take for example Bulletproof Coffee. This coffee is hand harvested and processed with great care to protect as much of the healthy nutrients and antioxidants as possible. Check it out if you want to upgrade you java!
Have your java as natural as possible!
At lot of people add milk and/or sugar to their cuppa joe. Why? Because they're drinking crappy coffee, or it's a habit, or they're just insane. The insane part is just my personal opinion! But really, if you add this stuff to your brew, try training your tastebuds to go without. OR! Try higher quality coffee by using a different brewing system or higher quality beans.
If you enjoy your coffee, with or without caffeine, enjoy it with pride!
Coffee is awesome and it’s also awesome for you. It has many great health benefits and, when enjoyed in moderation, can help you live a long and healthy life.