So how many cups of coffee do you have a day? As mentioned in the last blog (on sleep) I have a slight issue with caffeinated coffee. I can drink up to 8 cups of coffee a day, so I ask myself, is that too many? Since reading up on coffee I have started to cut down. 8 years of doing night shifts as a nurse has caused me literally to shake when I don’t have coffee!
The Good news!
So it turns out that I don’t need to be too worried. Coffee actually has lots of health benefits. According to Healthline Nutrition (link), research has shown that there may be beneficial effects of drinking coffee. It helps to prevent some cancers, protect the liver, prevent type 2 diabetes and may provide some protective factors against developing dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The NHS guidelines recommend a limit on daily caffeine to 400mg/day for healthy adults and 300mg/day for pregnant women.
Just for information the most popular coffee shop of costa (find out here) dishes out a medium size Americano with 277g of caffeine in it!
The Bad News!
So are there any downsides? Unfortunately, as with most good things in life there are some disadvantages. There was me thinking I could get away with my 8 brews a day! BBC2 Trust me I am a doctor series highlights some of the downsides of coffee.
These seem to focus on coffee increasing cortisol in our body. This makes us feel even more stressed, keeping us in the flight or fight mode. The other problem in that caffeine binds to the adenosine receptors in our brain. These stop the sleepiness signal getting through, hence helping us stay awake. As I have been reading in Why we Sleep by Matthew Walker, caffeine has an incredibly long half life (time taken for the body to eliminate one-half of the caffeine). Even if we have a coffee early afternoon, this can still cause our sleep to be disrupted. I have also learnt that decaffeinated coffee still has a hefty dose of caffeine in it. This should be made a bit clearer on the label!
So what are your thoughts? Personally, I am going to carry on drinking coffee. However, I think due to my physical withdrawal symptoms when I can’t get my fix, I should probably consider cutting down. After all, a dependency on any drug is not good for my physical or mental health.
I have therefore been trying to get more variety in my fluids and have recently purchased a lovely soda stream from Amazon which I am loving and it is making me drink more water. I have also been experimenting with a dehydrator and have been trying my hand at making fruit and herbal tea which actually tastes okay. I would love to hear your suggestions for uncaffeinated drinks that I could alternate with my caffeinated coffee!
I hope this has given you some food (or drink) for thought and you feel better informed to make wiser choices for optimum wellbeing which is what FitAgain is all about.
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