THE spartan shops
FOOD & NUTRITION BLOG
How many cups of coffee do you drink per day? Two? Three? Perhaps more than is socially acceptable?
It’s okay, I won’t judge.
Personally, I’m not a coffee drinker. Tried it out before when I was in my undergrad, didn’t like the side effects or the sour aftertaste (who’s with me here??) and chose to practice time management instead so I could finish all my work during the daylight and get to bed at a decent hour.
But hey, not everyone is a robot like me. I get it. You need your coffee as much as I need my sleep. Coffee is your lifeblood.
But how much coffee is okay per day? And what are the health benefits or risks of drinking coffee?
You’ve probably heard from both sides of the argument and now you’re just confused and back to drinking your daily dosage of coffee or avoiding it all together and drinking WATER (aka the ultimate beverage of choice!! Ha. In a perfect world…)
Well, I’m here to break down the truth for you. I have good news and some bad news. Which do want to hear first?
Good news, right? The good news is that you can continue to enjoy your coffee. That’s right. You heard me correctly.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson Joan Salge Blake, MS, RDN, LDN, coffee provides increased cognitive function, possible disease protection, beneficial antioxidants, and small amounts of potassium, niacin, vitamin E and magnesium which help the body use the hormone, insulin. And those of you who put milk in your coffee also have the added benefit of getting in some calcium- a mineral many Americans don’t get enough of on a daily basis.
Okay, are you ready for the bad news?
I’m sure this doesn’t come as a surprise, but many coffee fans really like those super delicious frappuccinos and blended drinks instead of straight up coffee.
Those blended drinks pack a surprising (or not so surprising) amount of calories with all the added cream, fat, sugar, and syrups. So think twice before getting that caramel frappuccino with all the toppings. Just for fun, you can look at the nutritional breakdown of a caramel frappuccino on the Starbucks website: http://www.starbucks.com/menu/drinks/frappuccino-blended-beverages/caramel-frappuccino-blended-beverage
How about an alternative to blended drinks? Try getting a fat-free milk latte instead to get your calcium and vitamin D in and to avoid the added fat and calories.
Also, drinking more than 3, 8-oz cups a day is beyond what is considered moderate coffee consumption so keep that in mind when you’re reaching for your fourth cup of coffee. Blood pressure also increases for a short period of time when you’re drinking coffee too, although there is no evidence to support that it causes high blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension.
Coffee also disrupts your sleep. That’s not a big surprise. It’s also not a big surprise that you need to sleep. There is so much evidence that supports that a good night’s sleep with REM sleep is beneficial to memory retention and better performance on exams. I’ll do a blog post about it another time. So put down the coffee, put on your pajamas and hit the sack even if its only for 5 hours.
Bottom line: drink coffee in moderation and don’t use it as a handicap to stay awake. And drink water. Coffee isn’t the best way to hydrate your brain and you know that. ;)
Benefits of Java
Coffee and Health
Health Benefits Graphic
Front page picture: