How is your relationship with coffee? Do you love it, hate it, or are you indifferent to it? I’m sure you have been exposed to all the comics of people needing their morning caffeine boost to wake them up, before which they would be rendered dysfunctional, right? It is unsurprising that coffee has had a bad reputation recently, with caffeine being linked to insomnia, heart palpitations and a myriad of other potential health problems.
However, don’t be swift to give up on your coffee hit. If you plan it well, you can easily overcome the common allegations against coffee such as “being extremely addictive”, “causing you to gain weight” and “severely dehydrating you”. Need to learn how? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Let us first take a look at some of the benefits of coffee. At the same time we will teach you how not to fall into some of its common “traps”.
Truth be told, there is some research that has supported the idea of coffee helping to protect the liver against certain diseases, including cirrhosis. You see, coffee is packed full of antioxidants, which re important for many reasons, including helping protect against free radical damage and therefore diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. However, do not think for a second that coffee can replace the antioxidants from fruit and vegetables!
It is a well-known fact that coffee can perk you up and increase your energy levels. That is why some people have one around mid arvo (Australian slang for afternoon, in case you were wondering) as a quick “pick-me-up”. The good news is that it also helps improve your memory and mood. This is because caffeine enters the blood stream and goes to the brain. This then blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine, resulting in fired up neurons which increase your alertness and memory.
Let’s now talk about its vitamin-related properties. Coffee contains some essential nutrients including B vitamins, magnesium and potassium, and isn’t dehydrating on the body as some may think. Some research suggests that coffee is in fact almost as hydrating as plain water and counts towards your total daily fluid count. It is also low in calories if you drink it “black”.
Do be careful with coffee, though, as some people can be really sensitive to it. Even one cup can cause ‘caffeine shakes’ where the body feels a bit jittery and shaky, or cause nausea. It can also cause a slight increase in blood pressure, so if you suffer from high blood pressure then coffee is best avoided.
And one last thing I have to add, since this is, after all, a fitness website. The reason why some people say that coffee can lead to weight gain is because some people like to have coffee with plenty of sugar and creamer! It is not the coffee content itself contributing to the calorie count, but the additives. So reduce your take-away coffee order and just have some of it black.
So there you have it: coffee is not that big of an “evil” if you know what you are doing! Case closed!
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