Last week we published a blog post about new coffee and health studies that all indicate coffee can be good for you. Feeding off that article let’s continue the conversation on coffee and health.
Of course there are studies that show that caffeine can contribute to any number of ailments when taken in excess. And then there are the times when we add so much sugar, syrup, milk, cream or even ice cream to coffee that we lose all the benefits with high calorie, high sugar foods.
Drink Your Coffee in Moderation
The key to reaping the benefits of coffee without suffering side effects of high caffeine content and calories is to enjoy your coffee in moderation. Don’t overdo it! About 16 ounces of coffee per day has been shown to be the perfect amount for a 150 lb woman.
Use Healthy Alternatives to Sweeten Your Coffee
Next, find alternatives to sugars and creams. Try almond milk and cinnamon to jazz up your brew (both have their own health benefits) without the calories cream and sugar add. Try something different: Add coffee to a fruit smoothie along with almond butter and quinoa or other nutrients rich ingredients for maximum health and wellness benefits.
Always Drink Lots of Water When Drinking Coffee
Remember coffee is a diuretic and dehydration can be debilitating to your workouts. It has been shown that if you are consistent with the amount you ingest, your body naturally adjusts your hydration levels. In other word, don’t drink 1 cup of coffee one day, then down 6 cups the next! And of course, drink plenty of water to offset the diuretic effect that coffee brings with it.
Don’t Mix Coffee and Sleep or Replace Sleep with Coffee
Get plenty of natural sleep and stay away from coffee at least 6 hours before bed. Don’t expect to remain healthy and fit if you are using caffeine to keep you awake. If you are tired, there is a reason. Listen to your body for your best health. Many have actually lost muscle tone from using caffeine as an energy enhancement to make it through the night. If you work nights, and can’t sleep properly during the day, avoid coffee during your sleep time. Take short frequent naps and get right out of bed like you would if working days. Shower and have your coffee just before work. Give yourself a break on your last day before the shift and at the end of the shift.
There you have it – some simple ways to still enjoy coffee while living a healthy lifestyle.