Coffee: The good, the bad, the necessary?

Coffee: The good, the bad, the necessary?

It’s probably the only socially acceptable addiction that most of us have, in fact we even make an occasion out of it, but does anyone really know what they’re drinking when they grab a cup of Joe? It’s widely accepted that there are both pros and cons to coffee, but we have done some digging on your behalf to see if we could get to the bottom of the subject.

First off lets look at the facts…

  • The world population consumes close to 2.25 billion cups of coffee EVERYDAY.
  • Coffee is the worlds second biggest export after petroleum.
  • Instant coffee has been around since 1910.
  • New Yorkers drink 7 X more coffee than any other city in the world.
  • The word “Coffee” comes from the Arabic “Wine for the brain”.

So, it’s safe to say, coffee is a big commodity worldwide, but do many of us actually know coffee’s true nutritional value? Let’s take a quick look…

There are no significant amounts of macro nutrients (Carbs, Protein & Fat), there are however, significant levels of micro nutrients including, 92mg of Potassium, 8mg of Magnesium and trace levels of other vital minerals.

So, what are the pros?

  • It boosts your physical performance. Have a cup of black coffee about an hour before workout and your performance can improve by 11-12%.
  • May help you lose weight. It helps the human body use insulin, regulating blood sugar levels and reducing your craving for sugary treats and snacks.
  • Helps you burn fat. Caffeine helps fat cells break down body fat and use it as fuel for training.
  • Helps you focus and stay alert. Moderate caffeine intake, 1-6 cups a day, helps you focus and improves your mental alertness.
  • Lowers risk of death. Studies have shown that coffee drinker’s overall risk of premature death is 25% lower than of those who don’t drink coffee.
  • Coffee protects your body. Coffee contains a lot of antioxidants, that work as little warriors fighting and protecting against free radicals within your body.
  • Coffee may lower risk of Type II diabetes, Alzheimer disease, Dementia & Cancer. 
  • Coffee brightens your mood, helps fight depression and lowers risk of suicide. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and boosts production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline, which elevate your mood. Two cups of coffee a dayprevents risk of suicide by 50 %.

And the cons:

  • Bad coffee can be toxic. Bad quality coffee can have a lot of impurities in it, which can cause sickness, headache or a general bad feeling. This can happen if your coffee is made from beans that have been over ripped or otherwise ruined.
  • Coffee can kill you. Yes, if you drink 80-100 cups (23 litres) in a short session. This dose is lethal and will amount in 10-13 grams of caffeine within your body.
  • Coffee can cause insomnia and restlessness. Again, it’s the caffeine working here. Your recommended maximum amount of caffeine is 400 milligrams, roughly the amount that you’ll get from 4 cups of coffee.
  • Don’t drink more than one cup a day if you’re pregnant. Studies on coffee’s effect on a fetus have been controversial, but one thing is sure: if you drink coffee when pregnant, caffeine will also reach the fetus, and your baby is highly sensitive to caffeine.
  • If you have high cholesterol choose filtered coffee. Coffee beans contain cafestol and kahweol, two ingredients that appear to raise LDL cholesterol levels (good lipo-proteins). Filtering the coffee traps most of the LDL, but cafestol and kahweol are found in espresso, turkish coffee, french press and scandinavian style “cooked coffee”.
  • The acidity of coffee is associated with digestive discomfort, indigestion, heartburn, GERD and dysbiosis Elevated urinary excretion minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium have been noted in coffee drinkers. An imbalance in the electrolyte status can lead to serious systemic complications.
  • Constituents in coffee can interfere with normal drug metabolism and detoxification in the liver making it difficult to regulate the normal detoxification process in the liver.

So, to conclude… In our opinion the benefits of drinking the black stuff outweigh the disadvantages as long as you are consuming a safe amount, (that’s 1-6 cups per day) it’s 95% water after all, unless you start adding syrups and milks, which opens up a whole new topic for debate! Decaffeinated coffee is a great alternative if you’re looking for a taste hit but don’t want the stimulating side affects!

HOWEVER, at the end of the day the choice of your preferred beverage is completely your own!