Let it be known that I love coffee. I am completely happy to be referred to as a coffee snob because I find it extremely difficult to consume a bad cup of coffee and when it comes to good coffee I am first in line and I will fight tooth and nail for a cup. I take my coffee strong and neat (no milk or sugar).
Before you decide that I am a biased blogger, I am also a scientist and believe in taking an informed view based on a body of research. For the researchers out there please read Part 2 of this blog for my resources and a bit more detail on the facts stated below should you want to take a deep dive into the topic. As for Part 1 of the blog I keep it brief. Coffee has had a bad rap, largely because it contains caffeine that has a vasoconstrictor effect which means that vessels become narrower. Yes, this means blood vessels get narrower too, which immediately sets off mental alarms for most, screaming “high blood pressure” and perhaps even hysterically “heart attacks”. But is this really what the research tells us?
The following benefits are associated with regular coffee consumption and are more fully described in Part 2 of this blog:
– Longevity (living longer)
– Reduced risk of cancer, all-cause mortality, stroke, liver disease, hypertension, obesity and depression.
– Prevention of type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease
– Improves blood sugar control and weight control effects
– Increases the effect of pain killers
– Improves long duration endurance
It has to be said that the research is not based on instant coffee with two sugars and milk like so many of us have it. No, the research is based on ground coffee that has been properly prepared and does not contain other stimulants like sugar and milk. The research is also based on regular consumption of reasonable amounts of coffee in healthy adults. Therefore, if you want to reap the benefits of coffee, consider how you take it and keep your coffee consumption clean and reasonable for optimal results. If you are an at risk individual, be sure to do some research before making any drastic changes and consult your Doctor before doing so.
As a final note, it is important to remember that we are all individuals and our sensitivity to caffeine varies. For me personally I stop having coffee containing caffeine at 14h00 daily to ensure that I get quality sleep; and I cycle my caffeine intake (by having at least one caffeine free day each week) to ensure that my body remains receptive to the effects of coffee and does not build a tolerance to it. This also applies to my supplement intake and I will be sure to do a blog on tolerance soon to share my research and views.
For a list of reference, refer to Part 2 of this blog; A Case for Coffee: Part 2.