Shier Strength FBB - November 2018

THATMORNING CUP OF JOE COFFEE AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO YOUR HEALTH

What’s the first thing you do in the morning? For most of us in the United States, it’s one crucial task: getting that morning cup of joe. Our obsession with coffee is nothing new. A paper entitled “The Consumption of Coffee in the United States,” published July 18, 1861, noted that “the people of the United States habitually consume more coffee than the inhabitants of any other country.” Its popularity has only increased with time; people in the U.S. consume an estimated 400 million cups of coffee a day. Of course, we weren’t the first to find out how great coffee is. Long before anyone in the Americas enjoyed the beverage, legend has it that an Ethiopian goat herder discovered the amazing effects of coffee beans — on his goats. He noticed that after eating “berries” from a certain tree, his goats became so energetic they didn’t want to sleep. News spread around the Arabian Peninsula, and cafes began to pop up, known as “Schools of the Wise” for the intellectual conversations that happened there. In addition to coffee’s long-standing popularity, science has found several reasons to give our morning habit the thumbs-up. In 2015, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines evaluated the effects of coffee and caffeine for the first time, concluding that coffee can be part of a healthy lifestyle “along with other behaviors, such as refraining from smoking, consuming a nutritionally balanced diet, maintaining a healthy body weight, and being physically active.” The guidelines cite “strong and consistent evidence” that consuming coffee within the moderate range (3–5

cups per day, or up to 400 mg of caffeine per day) is not associated with an increased risk of major diseases. In fact, according to observational evidence, caffeine intake may be linked to reduced risk for certain diseases in healthy adults. Scientists think that antioxidants found in coffee, such as polyphenols, might contribute to its positive effects. There’s one major caveat, however. While coffee shows potential benefits when consumed in moderate amounts, the sugar and other additives that many of us like to put in it get a thumbs-down. The Dietary Guidelines also note that health alone isn’t a reason to start drinking caffeine. Folks with blood pressure concerns should be especially careful and should consult their doctor about howmuch coffee is okay to drink, as studies have shown evidence of increased blood pressure with caffeine consumption.

Everything in moderation, as the saying goes, at least when it comes to caffeine.

Caffeine by the Cup

Type

Milligrams/fluid ounce

Brewed or drip coffee

12 63

Espresso

Instant coffee

8

Decaffeinated coffee

2-5

Late-night cravings sneak up on everyone. Sometimes these cravings are brought on by enticing advertisements, and other times, they seem to magically appear out of nowhere. You have likely heard how hard it is for your body to properly digest any food consumed right before bed, but as it is with most other things in life, ignoring cravings is far easier said than done. If greasy or sugary temptations call out to you well into the night, try incorporating the following changes to combat those pesky hunger pangs. Snack Throughout the Day Long gone are the days when people were told to eat only three balanced meals in a day. Infrequently consuming large portions negatively affects your metabolism. Because your life is busy and involves constant movement, you require a steady energy flow, so it makes sense to consume small, healthy snacks throughout the day. By reducing your portion size and eating more often, you train your body to naturally crave fewer calories. Chug ThatWater It’s common knowledge that the human body requires water to maintain health, but you might be surprised by the difference between howmuch water you drink currently and howmuch water your body actually needs. Drinking at least 2 liters of water is necessary in order to facilitate the body’s internal processes and maintain hydration. Another secret advantage of water is that it takes up room in your stomach. So, late at night, when your stomach starts rumbling, try chugging a little water to fight the cravings.

Catch Some Zzz’s This solution might seem like a strange one to curb hunger temptations. But the more hours you spend watching television, reading books, or scrolling on your phone, the more opportunities you have to encounter advertisements solely made to convince you to drive to the nearest fast-food joint. Plus, getting a good night’s sleep aids digestion and helps maintain your stress levels, both of which can lead to unhealthy consumption.

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