Being at loggerheads with Coca Cola (which incidentally is also high in caffeine) coffee is one of the world’s best loved and most widely enjoyed drinks on the planet and for all the best reasons. Many still believe coffee to have adverse effects due to the high caffeine content found in each “javalicious” cup, although this is true it is only when you’re drinking the stuff in excessive quantities i.e. more than 6 cups per day that the cons start to outweigh the pros. But keeping below this, and you begin to harness the incredible and nutritional benefits of this magical bean.
The Benefits of Caffeinated Coffee
- Rich in anti-oxidants which is derived from the roasted coffee beans
- The caffeine found in coffee can help prevent muscle fatigue. Meaning you can lift more weights (or exert yourself for longer) and see significant long term muscle and stamina gains
- Aids in preventing Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimers
- Beneficial in decreasing the likelihood of type 2 diabetes
- Decreases the likelihood of developing heart disease (in moderate quantities)
- Trigonelline found in coffee (giving coffee its aroma and bitterness) contains both antibacterial and anti-adhesive properties which will help to prevent cavities from developing.
- Increases mental performance, resulting in a heightened alertness, attentiveness and short term memory function.
- Studies conducted have revealed that coffee can reduce the onset of asthma and respiratory related attacks.
- Contrary to popular belief (and according to the World Health Organisation) coffee is in fact not addictive.
How Much Coffee Is Too Much?
According to the pencil-pushing researchers over at Harvard: to experience the full benefits found within coffee, namely that of reducing type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and colon cancer, you should guzzle down 1-3 cups of caffeinated coffee (high-quality, not the instant granule muck) per day. However, when you’re getting up to the level of 6 cups or more, that then slashes the risk back down to 54% over non-coffee guzzlers.
Coffee and Weightlifting or Exercise
“One of the most comprehensive and recent reviews (Doherty and Smith 2004) looked at 39 published studies. Of these, 21 involved endurance exercise, 12 used short duration and high-intensity exercise and the remaining 6 used a graded exercise test. Including all these data, caffeine improved performance by 12.4%, relative to the placebo trials and this was shown to greatest effect in those who undertook exercise for a longer duration at any one time.” Source: Positively Coffee
Evidence shows that caffeine intensifies muscle contractions, masks the discomfort of physical exertion and even speeds up the use of the muscles’ short-term fuel stores.
What Types of Coffee are Best?
Not all coffee is created equal. The real goodness of coffee comes from that initial passing of hot water through the ground beans this is where all the nutrients and flavour are derived. This is why when you make a full pot, the first cup out contains the full java aroma and freshness – with all subsequent cups becoming bitter tasting and less nutritional.
Espresso is the answer to getting the most flavourful, aromatic, nutritional cup of “raw perk” out there – and with significantly less calories and fat then that of their latte and “cino” counterparts.
Espresso is made by quickly forcing a small amount of hot water through coffee to extract the great coffee flavour and strongest antioxidant properties, stopping before you begin breaking down the oils and over-extracting the caffeine. Espresso has 5 times as much caffeine extracted from the same amount of grounds.
The benefits of coffee in moderation are quite significant but remember that coffee is a natural diuretic, meaning you will need to replenish the fluids lost from excessive coffee drinking to keep your body functioning at a premium.
Automatic espresso makers are continually becoming more and more affordable, so there has never been a better time than now to invest in a bit of kitchen hardware and ultimately in your health.