Information surrounding coffee consumption and whether or not it is good or bad for us, is conflicting at best and confusing at worst. The truth is that we all tolerate and clear caffeine differently, so just how do you know whether caffeine is working for you - or against you?
SO WHAT'S THE FUSS ABOUT?
Although coffee may be heaven sent, caffeine is a stimulant drug. Whether we like it or not, the reality is that some of us are simply genetically better predisposed to tolerate caffeine than others. This is due to the rate of caffeine metabolism, and clearance through the liver.
Upon ingestion, it takes approximately 5 minutes before caffeine will actually hit the bloodstream. From the blood it is filtered through the liver, and metabolised by the cytochrome P4501A2 (CYP1A2) enzyme in the liver. The efficiency of this processing, and speed of caffeine metabolism is dictated by an individuals gene expression.
Basically you will either process caffeine well with no issues, or you may find you have a harder time than others. Often times it is those who do not process caffeine well, who suffer the negative side effects of caffeine consumption such as high blood pressure, migraines, anxiety and poor sleep. If you are one of these folks, it is advised that you limit your coffee intake to one per day tops!
WEIGHING UP THE RISKS
- Increased blood pressure
- Interacts with some medications
- Acts as an adenosine inhibitor which may cause overstimulation of the nervous system
- Rich in antioxidants
- Increased energy levels
- Improved memory, mood and cognitive function
- Increases strength
- Signals the body to secrete catecholamines that break down fat
HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?
The research is clear on the benefits of coffee in terms of lowering the rate of overall mortality. Yet you can have too much of a good thing.
Presently in Australia, since caffeine is not formally recognised as an essential nutrient, there is no recommended daily intake. However the majority of sources recommend capping out your intake at a maximum of between 400-600mg per day - thats roughly 3 cups of coffee.
Organic black coffee is definitely the pre-workout formula of choice. It improves mood by raising dopamine levels in the brain by inhibiting the brains adenosine A2A receptors. This increase in dopamine results in an excitatory effect on the brain and nervous system that increases training drive. It also elevates our overall metabolic rate by speeding up the bodies motor functions, to help you burn more calories. It has also been shown in many studies to increase strength gains which is why it is my go to pre training supplement. Besides the fact it tastes GREAT!
'BULLETPROOF' IS BEST
One of my favourite ways to drink coffee to increase the health benefits and it's fat burning effects, is to make 'Bulletproof Coffee.'
Bulletproof Coffee is not only delicious, but the adding of fat to the blend slows down your digestion, which results in slower absorption of caffeine into the bloodstream. This prolongs the fat burning effects, without the typically post caffeine crash. Not to mention that when taken as a pre workout, you are also getting a healthy dose of good fats to help get your through your workout.
bulletproof coffee recipe
- 1 cup of warm, freshly brewed Coffee
- 1 tablespoon Coconut or MCT oil
- 1 tablespoon Full fat cream or Grass fed butter
- Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
- Place coffee in a blender, to which add oil, cream and/or butter and sea salt.
- Blend on a low setting until fat has emulsified.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
- "Caffeine." Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Food Standards Australia New Zealand, Oct. 2014. Web. 12 June 2016. <http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/generalissues/Pages/Caffeine.aspx>.
- Ding, Ming, Ambika Satija, Shilpa N. Bhupathiraju, Yang Hu, Qi Sun, Jiali Han, Esther Lopez-Garcia, Walter Willett, Rob M. Van Dam, and Frank B. Hu. "Association of Coffee Consumption with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality in Three Large Prospective Cohorts." Association of Coffee Consumption with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality in Three Large Prospective Cohorts. Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health,, 17 Sept. 2015. Web. 12 June 2016. <http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2015/11/10/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.017341.abstract>.
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