Coffee, java, cuppa joe, the elixir that gets many of us going, and keeps us moving. Statistics vary on cup consumption, but if I average all the research I found, it would be 2 cups per day. Whether we buy it per cup at our favorite coffeehouse, drink it by the pot, or fancy one-per-cup machine, we drink it, so I’m offering up a cup or two of healthy advice to go with that coffee.
Do you need that cup of coffee to wake up, or to keep you awake in the afternoon? Your body should be able to function naturally without external stimuli. If you’re not fully functional until that 1st, 2nd, or even 3rd cup of coffee, that’s not a good thing, and it’s time to look into sleeping patterns, activity levels, and what you feed your body. I’m not saying to give up the caffeine, just don’t make it the kickstart for your body.
Coffee contains caffeine, which is a stimulant, and can increase the heart rate. Caffeine is found in other things besides coffee, so if restless sleep, or problems falling asleep are concerns, look at other sources of caffeine, like sodas, tea, and chocolate. Caffeine is also dehydrating, and dehydration can cause sleepiness and lack of focus, so when you have that coffee, follow it with a glass of water. Some medicines and herbs may interact with caffeine, so check that with your doctor or pharmacist.
As far as caloric content, if you go for a latte or specialty drink, ask how many pumps are in the coffee. At Starbucks, pumps can vary from 1-8 depending on size and type of drink, and each pump has 30 calories. For each pump you drop, you will save on calories and sugar. While I tell clients to cut sugar out of their diet as much as possible, it is the lesser of two evils where artificial sweeteners are concerned. Choose real food over chemicals every time, and yes those pumps do have artificial flavorings, so the more you can cut out, the better for your body.
The key is learning to listen to your body, to provide it what it really needs. You are the best advocate for your health!