Why Coffee is a Necessary and Delicious Evil

Why Coffee is a Necessary and Delicious Evil

Why Coffee is a Necessary and Delicious Evil

Caffeine is the world's most consumed psychoactive drug, with as much as 90% of the adult population of North America classified as daily caffeine users. This is mostly in the form of coffee - the second most-consumed beverage in the world (after water), and while it has always been a controversial topic, there's no doubt that to maximise performance both physically and mentally, caffeine consumption, and specifically coffee consumption, is necessary. Humans just work better with coffee in them.

Caffeine v Coffee

While the stimulatory effects of coffee are mostly attributed to the caffeine content (also found in energy drinks, tea, chocolate etc), the combination of natural chemicals found in coffee make this caffeine delivery system unique, and these provide benefits over other forms such as caffeinated foods, drinks and even caffeine pills.

There are literally thousands of substances which occur naturally in coffee beans, and, depending on picking, processing and roasting methods, make it into our bodies. While caffeine is by far the most studied substance found in coffee, it's definitely not the only beneficial one. Studies have shown that decaffeinated coffee can have similarly positive effects on mood, mental cognition and a range of health markers - this is basically regular coffee with the caffeine taken out.

While caffeine as a supplement is an excellent addition to a well-balanced regimen, there's something remarkable about coffee itself that both scientists and avid coffee-drinkers know exist but can't fully explain.

Why Coffee is Necessary

Regular coffee consumption (that is not in excess) has effects on health and performance that rival any dietary ingredient or supplement on the market. It truly is one of nature's superfoods, and research has shown that coffee:

  • Enhances mood
  • Improves mental performance
  • Lowers stroke risk
  • Reduces diabetes risk
  • Reduces cancer risk
  • May help prevent liver disease
  • Reduces fatigue
  • May reduce the risk of skin cancer
  • Increases the body's ability to metabolise fat stores

These are just a few of the impressive benefits of caffeine, and more specifically, coffee consumption. If you're truly interested in maximising performance and health, then a moderate coffee intake is essential. There are, of course, associated risks.

Coffee can be Evil

If you have ever worked in an office, chances are good that you've met someone with a caffeine addiction. You know the type - jittery, irritable, with an ‘up-and-down' mood, constantly clutching a brew, and obviously lacking sleep. Unfortunately this can be fairly common amongst coffee-drinkers, and for this reason, coffee can easily be classified with other addictive drugs.

Like every other substance on the planet, extreme consumption of coffee can have adverse, if not fatal, health effects. Some consequences of over-consumption of caffeine are:

  • Jitters
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Heart palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Caffeine addiction

Of course, the higher the intake and the longer the period of increased intake, the higher your risks are of developing these symptoms. The majority of negative coffee symptoms are temporary and only relevant at high intakes, but it can certainly exacerbate existing medical conditions, especially heart-related ones.

Stick to three or less regular coffees per day and you'll avoid most of the drawbacks. If you find yourself experience symptoms of caffeine addiction, it might be wise to take a full week off caffeine.

Turning Regular Coffee into Human Jetfuel

While coffee itself is a potent substance, there are some ways you can upgrade your coffee experience to maximise the benefits. Some of these ways are:

  • Select high-quality, fresh coffee beans and grind them yourself, when possible. Instant coffee should be your last resort - the process of picking the beans to getting into your cup could take months, reducing not only the freshness, but the concentration of beneficial compounds and ultimately the results on your performance.

  • Combine coffee with fat sources such as butter, pure cream, coconut or MCT oil. The fats in the butter and cream are extremely high in butyric acid - a natural substance which lowers cholesterol, improves gut health and enhances energy metabolism. Coconut oil and MCT oil are excellent sources of medium chain triglycerides - your body uses them as instant energy sources, enhancing the energy-boosting effects of coffee. Combine a little of each of these fats in your morning coffee and enjoy the results. We call it liquid jetfuel.

  • Adding cinnamon to your morning coffee, especially on an empty stomach, can increase your insulin sensitivity, keep your blood sugar levels steady and reduce hunger. It also tastes great.

  • Consuming your coffee 20-30 minutes before physical exercise or before an important meeting is the best time to reap the mental and physical performance benefits.

The Final Word on Coffee

Balancing the positives and the negatives, coffee is at worst something that should be considered, and at best a staple in your high-performance routine. Used sparingly and intelligently, like any other supplement, good coffee can make a world of difference not only in your day-to-day performance, but more importantly your overall health. So get brewing.

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