Yes, there are many studies showing that “moderate” coffee drinking may actually be beneficial…but do you know what moderate coffee drinking is anyways?!
If you do choose to have coffee as part of your regular diet, here are a few points about MODERATION that you might want to consider:
1) Moderate caffeine intake is approximately 300 mg/day, which is about 3-6 oz cups of coffee per day.
Of course, this depends on the brand and strength of the coffee, and espresso is different from regular coffee. You can easily find a caffeine chart on-line to calculate your daily intake, and then make adjustments if need be.
2) No caffeine/coffee after 1pm!
There is a half- life of coffee meaning it can stay in the system for up to 12 hours later. This could be why you’re waking up at 3-4 am…hmmm, coffee for thought!
3) Coffee is a stimulant.
So, it can increase cortisol and stress levels, which in turn can affect mood, blood sugars, stress management , adrenals, and more.
If you suffer from any of those, it might be time to rethink your harmless habit. Not every “body” reacts the same way. If you don’t already drink coffee, I generally do NOT suggest someone start, kind of like alcohol.
4) Coffee often suppresses the appetiteinitially.
Drawback is that later on it can increase the appetite. Know how it affects your body and be mindful to hunger, stress, and eating cues.
Choose organic when you can, limit sugar and other ingredients you put in your coffee, and then enjoy and savor it – as the true treat it is!
5) Decaf coffee still has a little caffeine.
If you’re trying to quit, wean off by decreasing slowly over a couple of weeks and replace every ounce of coffee you decrease with water. Hydrate-hydrate-hydrate. I had one client who literally would decrease her coffee intake by one ounce per day and replace that one ounce with water. It worked for her!
6) Coffee often gives us a false sense of energy and then later we crash.
So, what are you really craving when you reach for that coffee?!
Although coffee may have some beneficial effects on the body, I feel the possible side effects outweigh the benefits - when it comes to excessive caffeine intake and coffee in general. Also, everybody’s body reacts quite differently to caffeine is a hard one to give “general” advice about. A little bit is fine but if you rely on coffee for energy and you “have” to have it to start your day, it might be time to rethink the harmless coffee habit. It is an addictive substance, so it’s important to be mindful of what your body may actually be craving or needing.
A few tips to help replace coffee intake:
- More sleep! A 5-10 min meditation can feel like a 20 min power nap.
- Nutrient dense food/snack: low blood sugar can cause the desire for a stimulant to wake us up.
- More Water! Most of us walk around about 2% dehydrated, which can lead to fatigue, lack of motivation and even headaches.
And lastly, a little note on Oxygen...
If we take small breaths all day long due to stress or habit, we will have depleted oxygen to the brain and feel tired and sluggish. Instead, be mindful about taking longer, deeper breathes throughout your day.
With these tips in mind, I encourage you to ask yourself: What is your body really wanting?
Here's to Your Health!
Provided by Lila Ojeda, MS, RDN, CSCS, RYT, CLT Registered Dietitian Nutritionist * Personal Trainer * Yoga/Pilates Contact: 503.789.9707 * www.LO-Solutions.com LO Solutions: Improving Lives Since 2000!