Coffee! Benefits. Risks. And THE BEST Recipe.
Coffee!! I think it might...scratch that...it IS my favorite part of the day! I literally woke up at 3:30 this morning thinking it was coffee time and I was so excited!
I talk to a lot of people who think their coffee habit is one that needs to be broken. If you read what the media says, it's confusing.
Everything nutrition is personal. There are definitely some hard and fast rules, like eat your fruits and vegetables. Even within those confines, individuals respond negatively to some fruits and some vegetables. So, your coffee intake is personal too. AND! to make it even harder, what works for you (with coffee and otherwise) doesn't ALWAYS work for you!
I was just talking with a colleague yesterday about not being able to laminate your health plan, it is a FLUID thing! Hmmmm...if there was only a certified professional that I know that could help with my personal nutrition?? (wink wink)...It's me! I meant me. I was hinting that that is something I do...something I love actually: unlocking the secrets of your nutrition whether you want to lose weight, wether you think you have a food allergy or you have unwanted symptoms like headaches or stomachaches that could be supported with food, supplements and lifestyle changes! (Did I come on a little strong?)
Back to coffee! Coffee actually has benefits, it's not just a delicious, hand warming, morning pick me up. There are reasons to be careful with coffee as well and I'll bullet point all of those things now.
Benefits of coffee:
Coffee can be a safe and effective pre-workout fuel. It gives you an energy boost that can make you work harder, making your workout more efficient and beneficial. More cardio benefits, stronger muscles (which leads to stronger bones.)
There may be a decreased risk of certain cancers with coffee consumption.
Coffee has magnesium! If you pay attention to me for long enough, you'll hear me suggest magnesium. Magnesium helps EVERY SINGLE BODY FUNCTION DOWN TO YOUR CELLS. Magnesium supports muscles, helps with headaches and can lesson premenstrual symptoms.
Coffee has Vitamin B2 (riboflavin). The body gets ATP from food and B2 helps this process. And what does ATP do? Produces ENERGY! I've not talked to someone who wasn't interested in more energy.
Coffee is rich in antioxidants. Think of a rotting piece of fruit (yum). Oxidation is creating this damage. A similar situation happens in our body and ANTI-oxidant rich foods fight this process.
When and why you should be careful with your coffee consumption:
As with everything nutrition, don't over do it! Having 50-300 mg of caffeine a day is safe for most people. Be mindful that if you feel jittery at 200 mg, you may have a lower threshold for coffee and need to lower your consumption. What is 50-300 mg of caffeine? Well, 300 mg is three, 6 ounce cups. When you put it that way, it sounds like plenty. Starbucks spells out the caffeine in every drink to illustrate your options on their menu and you can duplicate these ideas at home or other coffee shops. Too much caffeine can disrupt the adrenal glands and blood pressure so be honest with yourself about your threshold and stick to it!
Avoid drinking coffee too late in the day. Stopping all caffeine consumption by noon is a good rule of thumb. BUT, this may be too late for you! Move your stop to 11, 10...whatever you need to do to make sure caffeine is not disrupting your sleep. I can't stress this enough. Just about everyone who complains to me about sleep disturbances also consumes caffeine late in the day. I don't blame them, they are exhausted and grabbing caffeine to combat the exhaustion and it becomes a vicious cycle.
Avoid sweeteners in your coffee. Most of us have coffee in the morning, by adding sugar to the mix, you are setting yourself up for the biggest crash and a day filled trying to recover. Opt for stevia to sweeten and see my recipe below for other options to add for a creamy coffee without the sugar.
Below is a serious coffee recipe. This is a meal replacement folks. this IS breakfast. If you are cutting calories cut the fat in half or use just a fourth of the fat but go full on with the protein!
Adding fat and protein to coffee can help with the jittery feelings coffee can create (as well as using the right amount of coffee for you). The fat and the protein, helps the energy of the caffeine feel smoother to you and the energy is smoother; thus more useful to you functioning through a workout or whatever your day brings!
Fuel Efficient Coffee Recipe
1 cup coffee: use an organic and fair trade coffee. Why? It's in the name, the coffee growers get paid a fair wage for their beautiful product. Organic because it's better for the environment and you! The chemicals that are put on coffee (or any crop for that matter) are meant to kill living things. Kill living things. We are living things. Nope, we are not going to die if we eat conventional foods but over time and quantity our health will suffer. My rule of thumb: if you are going to consume something on a daily basis, make it the best quality you can.
2 T. ghee and/or 2 T. MCT Oil-I find that MCT oil is easiest when I want a quicker cup of coffee, I can whisk this in with a small frother without involving the blender (and I'm usually making my coffee when others in the house don't want to be awoken by said blender.)
also note: start low on your fat content, too much and you'll have loose bowls. Keeping it real.
2 T. grass fed gelatin or collagen powder-the gelatin melts into a really hot coffee, if you prefer iced coffee, collagen powder is better
raw cacao powder as an optional topping (pictured above)