To coffee or not to coffee? Coffee….obviously. Our love for coffee and desire for health has spun an abundance of research. Coffee lover’s take a sigh of relief, because the results are looking good. Okay so maybe it’s not that easy, the debate will likely continue for a while, and it will likely boil down to bio-individuality. Basically we all have different needs, and 1-size doesn’t fit all, who would’ve known.
So what is all the hype about? Coffee contains some of the highest levels of antioxidants, helping your body fight off free-radicals. (1) Some studies suggest that coffee may lower the risk of some cancers, especially liver and colorectal cancer. Caffeine has neuroprotective properties, and drinking caffeinated coffee may reduce the risk of dementia, multiple sclerosis, and parkinson’s disease. (2) It may also decrease your risk for type II diabetes, unless you’re adding a sweetener to your coffee with a side of coffee cake every morning. (3) Want to up our workout game? Try a pre-workout coffee boost. Some studies indicated that caffeine increased speed and power output in simulated race conditions, and increased post-exercise energy expenditure. (4) (5) Essentially it’s like Hulk mode, without the green…or growing in size…or aggression. So maybe it’s not like Hulk mode, but it still makes you feel awesome and takes your workout to the next level.
We get it, coffee is amazing, but this doesn’t mean to start ordering the Venti size or have coffee for an afternoon pick-me up. If you’re desperately needing an afternoon pick-me up chances are your adrenals are already exhausted and don’t need more caffeine that places stress on them. Some research has indicated that caffeine may worsen conditions like thyroid dysfunction, adrenal fatigue, or anxiety.
It seems to boil down to genetics. Some people have trouble metabolizing caffeine, and drinking large amounts of caffeine may put them at risks for hypertension, impaired fasting glucose (6), and heart disease (7). But really it’s simple, listen to you body. How do you feel after drinking caffeine? Do you get shaky, feel anxious, or have trouble sleeping? If you’re shaking your head yes to all of this, you may want to decrease the amount of coffee you consume. If you can’t envision your life without coffee, and I don’t blame you, try drinking 2 cups a day instead of 4. Remember a “cup of coffee” is 6 oz., not the equivalent to your mug. You can alternate throughout the week with herbal teas or opt for decaf coffee.
Now if you’re going to drink coffee, do it justice and make it good. Find an organic brand since coffee is heavily sprayed with pesticides. Replace your automatic coffee maker with a manual pour-over like this adorable handmade ceramic pour-over made by Nick McPhail at Half Ceramics. Forgo the added sweetener and milk. If you’re hooked, slowly start decreasing it you’ll be surprise how fast your palate adjust. Instead you can add stevia, steamed almond or coconut milk, or cinnamon. Another option is to add MCT oil like Brain Octane. This healthy fat can boost your energy, curb cravings, and improve cognitive function. (8) If you don’t want to splurge on the MCT oil some people choose to add coconut oil, Ghee, or grass fed butter to their coffee. All these items have different properties and are used for different health benefits, but that’s a whole other topic to discuss.
Intimidated by using a manual pour-over? Follow these simple directions and you’ll be fine, and pleasantly surprised.
How to make a manual pour-over drip coffee,
- Grind whole beans to a medium ground texture. Add about 2 tablespoon of the grounds per 6 ounces of water. Your coffee to water ratio will depend on your preference, so experiment.
- Add a coffee filter to the pour over cone/dripper and lightly wet with hot water. Discard the water in the cup, actually add it back to the kettle or put it aside for later because no need to waste water.
- Use a Pour over Gooseneck Kettle to boil the water to about 195-205 degrees F. Pour the water evenly using a circular motion just enough to wet the grounds. Let the grounds bloom and drip for about 30 seconds.
- Slowly and evenly pour the remainder of the water over the grounds. This should be about 2-3 minutes.
- Allow the the ground to drip for an additional 30-60 seconds.
Here are some fair-trade and organic coffee brands you can order or look out for at the grocery store. There are plenty of options these days, this is just a few of them:
Not only has grinding whole beans and using a french press or pour over yielded way better coffee, it put some of the process back into things. I’m not saying that things always have to be slow or the process needs to be put back into everything, and really this takes like 5 minutes. I can’t deny that putting some of the process back into things has helped me slow down, be more mindful, appreciative, and it feels more intellectually stimulating.
This blog provides general information and discussion about medicine, health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care workers.