Truths About Coffee & Caffeine – Who Doesn’t Like Coffee in Their Flexible Dieting?!

Ever since balancing a busy lifestyle of five jobs and trying to achieve my ultimate goal of becoming my own boss one day, coffee and caffeine has been my best friend throughout this whole process!  Who doesn’t like coffee?  Let’s be real people!  Coffee and caffeine have it’s perks and downfalls but recent research shows that they great for your health!  I wanted to provide you with some recent research I came across as well as my new likeness to coffee and it’s history.  Happy drinking!

COFFEE 101

Did you know that coffee was derived from Africa and is an actual berry from a coffea plant?  Well I didn’t!  Coffea plants are historically found in countries near the equator because of their need for a tropical client loving that rainfall year-round.  It is one of the most imported products within the US, as consumption has increased over the past decade!  There are two (2) main types of coffee berries, arabica and robusta.  Arabica, also known as “mountain coffee”, accounts for about 70% of the world’s production of coffee.  Arabica plants will sprout flower-like berries that resemble the smell of jasmine; its taste is more acidic, less bitter, and less caffeinated than the robusta coffee.  Robusta coffee beans are more commonly found in Africa and makes up the remaining 30% of the world’s coffee production/importation within the US.  This coffee bean is easier to produce and maintain, thus giving it a lower price tag; its flavor is more strong with increased aromas and distinctive earthy flavorings – creating a more acidic/bitter taste as well as increased caffeine content than arabica coffee.

PROS/CONS OF CAFFEINE INTAKE

Here are some positives of caffeine intake:

  • Improved concentration/alertness
  • Improved athletic performance
  • Decreased asthma symptoms
  • Influx of antioxidants
  • Decreased fatigue
  • Appetite suppressor
  • Decreased risk of cardiovascular disease/type-II diabetes/cancer (on-going research needed in this area)
  • Weight loss

On the contrary, here are some negatives with caffeine consumption:

  • Headache
  • Insomnia (or difficulty sleeping)
  • Increased heart rate/urine output
  • Dependency (excessive consumption)
  • Dizziness
  • GI upset
  • Anxiety/increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure (more research needed)

OTHER DRINKS THAT COMMONLY CONTAIN CAFFEINE

  • Teas (i.e. green tea)
  • Energy drinks (i.e. Monster)
  • Sodas (i.e. Coke)
  • Sports drinks (i.e. FitAid)

HOW MUCH CAFFEINE?!

There is much controversy over how much caffeine should be consumed on a daily basis.  The current research recommends around 400mg daily but is limited in proposed over-consumption of 400mg at this time.  It appears that the researchers have no consensus at capping caffeine intake; however, I believe that one should be aware of their caffeine intake to help decrease dependence but allow just enough intake to your nutrition plan and your lifestyle.  Oh…and before I forget to add to this post – caffeine is also found in CHOCOLATE!  I also LOVE CHOCOLATE!  Here’s some average levels of caffeine within the coffee types I have found from resources:

  • Dripped coffee:  115-175mg
  • Expresso coffee:  90-100mg
  • Percolated coffee:  80-135mg
  • Decaffeinated coffee:  5-15mg
  • **Milk chocolate:  5-10mg
  • **Teas:  20-75mg

COFFEE HELPS ME LOSE BODY WEIGHT/FAT!  WAIT…WHAT?!

The caffeine content [in coffee] and in teas have a higher thermogenic effect to increase fat oxidation within the human body, thus promoting weight loss.  These caffeinated teas [and coffees] have also shown to effect glucose levels and lipid (or fat) metabolism when consumed on a daily basis.  Interestingly, caffeine in conjunction with ephedrine intake has a stronger effect to suppress appetite as well as increased long-term weight loss in healthy individuals; ephedrine has more thermogenic effect properties which have been shown to aid in weight loss and anthropometric measurements.  Unfortunately the use if ephedrine supplementation has been shown to affect cardiovascular health; therefore, has been highly recommended to not include this in one’s nutrition plan.  In all, caffeine consumption will suffice with appetite suppression as well as aesthetic changes over long-term usage (be sure to click on the hyperlinks below in the reference section to find out more about caffeine and coffee).

WHY SHOULD I UTILIZE COFFEE WITHIN MY FLEXIBLE DIETING PLAN?

Coffee is another great way to obtain your caffeine and plus it’s fun to experiment with the many ways coffee is brewed pending your taste buds.  I am a huge fan of French press coffee!  But other ways to brew coffee can include dripping, pour over, French press, boiled, steeped, or pressurized – it can also be served hot or cold too!  The way to coffee is brewed plays many many roles in how much caffeine content the coffee contains, aromas, and even acidic levels.  Be sure to experiment and see which way you love your coffee the best!  Also, check out the references to this post and see the information I found on ways how coffee is brewed with great background information!

REFERENCES

  1. https://medlineplus.gov/caffeine.html
  2. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/caffeine/art-20049372?p=1
  3. https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015-scientific-report/14-appendix-e2/e2-40.asp
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3425948/
  5. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-979-CAFFEINE.aspx?activeIngredientId=979&activeIngredientName=CAFFEINE
  6. http://www.ncausa.org/About-Coffee/How-to-Brew-Coffee
  7. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/30/best-coffee-brewing-method_n_5233438.html
  8. http://mmeta.metaboup.com/study2.pdf
  9. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/98/6/1682S.full.pdf
  10. http://www.webmd.com/diet/caffeine-myths-and-facts#1

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