I love coffee. I haven’t always loved it, and like any other relationship, we’ve had our ups and downs. But for the last decade, I have enjoyed a good cup of joe every day.
It seems that most coffee addicts know all about coffee’s negative side effects. However, I have good news: Coffee isn’t all that bad for you!
But first, a caveat: if you suffer from any of the following, I strongly urge you to kick your java habit:
- High blood pressure
- Excess stomach acid
- Decrease in sperm cells
- Cancer due to acrylamide (a toxic byproduct from exposing food to high heat)
- Adrenal exhaustion and fatigue
- Insomnia (or any other sleeping disorders)
- Perimenopause or menopause accompanied with hot flushes.
I also advise women who wish for a natural and healthy pregnancy to avoid coffee, due to the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, and birth defects.
Why I changed my position on coffee
I am very aware and supportive of the wonders of green tea, yet it seems that good-quality organic coffee may have a similar effect. Dark-roasted coffee inhibits the pro-inflammatory pathway that is linked to muscle aging and inflammation. Other studies have found that coffee drinkers may have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Turns out coffee boosts metabolism, too
Having a cup of coffee before exercise has changed my performance and attitude about it altogether. I had been experimenting with many things such as red beet juice (which I still use and love), spirulina, green tea, and coffee. While the red juice enhances my oxygen uptake, and spirulina prevents injuries, coffee seemed to boost my metabolism.
And now there's research to support this. A Spanish study, published in the International Journal of Sport and Exercise Metabolism found that athletes who had about 300 mg of caffeine (about three cups of coffee) before they exercised burned 15% more calories during the three hours after exercise.
Therefore, coffee might be a wise choice if you want to:
- Boost your energy
- Lose weight
- Enhance memory
- Increase alertness
- Run faster and longer
Here are my 5 healthy guidelines around coffee consumption:
1. Have one cup of organic dark roasted coffee in the morning, before a workout, and one cup in the afternoon.
2. Do your body and mind a favor by grinding the beans yourself right before making the coffee.
3. If you're using a filter, make sure it's not chlorine-bleached.
4. Use organic beans and, if possible, fair trade.
5. Avoid artificial creamers and added sugar.
Butter in my coffee? Yes please!
I use grass fed butter and/or organic coconut oil in my coffee. When I was younger, an Icelandic uncle of mine was a fisherman in an open boat. He and his crew used to have black coffee with cod liver oil and butter before they took off in the wintertime.
He was confident that it saved their lives when it got crazy at sea. Following suit, I started to use butter in my coffee. This way, my coffee is not only a healthier option — it’s a spiritual journey through my most precious memories.