IS COFFEE OUR FRIEND OR OUR FOE?
How much Coffee is too much?
This question consistently raises its head, recently being asked by our time starved superstar and Live Your Own Fit member, Belinda. In order for Belinda to moderate her current 6 cups, she needed to know the WHY. We think she isn’t alone, and nor should she be. Not knowing the reason behind WHAT you’re striving for is advocating a world of illness, poor ageing and bankruptcy.
We are applauding Belinda for instigating our coffee fuelled thoughts, and welcome you all to do the same. Asking WHY is vital to our performance integrity. Brew yourself a cuppa, sit back and relax, as we dive deep into a contentious blend.
Dr Libby Weaver, world renowned nutrition biochemist explains “Caffeine acts on your adrenal glands, by stimulating the production of adrenaline. When adrenalin is released, your blood sugar elevates to provide more energy, and your blood pressure and pulse rate rises to provide more oxygen to the muscles, which tense in preparation for action. “
Irrespective of real or perceived stress – your caffeine intake effects your nervous system via stress hormones. When your blood sugar rises, your insulin rises. Take note, insulin is our fat storage hormone;).
Dr Libby expands, “Insulin will firstly convert unused glucose from your blood into glycogen and store it in your muscles, and what is left over will be converted into body fat.”
[This in effect is similar concept to ‘carbohydrate timing or ‘making carbs work for you – okay I am getting side tracked lol].
I like to simplify caffeines effect:)
Caffeine has the ability to stimulate a stress response from us, telling our nervous system to activate all physiological stations for an effective escape……..remember that lion chasing you (in primal times), or adversely in modern times, our instagram notifications, or that email from your childs teacher about the ‘no nut, fructose, wheat, gluten, eggs, dairy, cake stall you’re to contribute to…….is ‘air’ on the menu WTF????
Your immunity is also compromised after your optimal intake (okay you’re literally hating on me right now but hang in there, it does gets brighter). Sodium amongst other minerals (and electrolytes) are also leached from your system as the physiological dominos fall.
Often we’ll grab a coffee because it’s easier than finding food in that moment in time, especially food that will give you the same ‘pick up’ that a fine brew does. I know because I used to do exactly this. Coffee is like liquid gold to all our senses.
Next time you’re exchanging niceties with your brewster, take note of that fuzzy feeling your simple exchange (tapping of thee credit card, micro talk etc) gives you. Notice the aroma speaking to your senses, as subconscious thoughts, laughter and loving niceties prosper from coffee sessions gone by.
*Ill bore you with the power of our subconscious another day!
SO WHAT IS THE BOTTOM LINE?
I like to think that coffee time is often a hug for the soul. Social interaction, community atmosphere, a welcome break from that intense computer screen session, gifting you fresh air and more.
More often than not it’s an oxygen producing exercise as you will walk to your fave cafe. It’s an integral component to that counselling session with your girl gang, or brain storming tool for meeting of the entrepreneurial minds. There is an endless list of positives……..produces adrenalin which you could argue forces you to take a confidence ‘wonder woman’ stance, whilst increasing clarity, focus, efficiency and more.
Okay, lets get real for a second. Its not ALL rainbows and fairy floss. Yes, coffee is our unicorn drug of choice. BUT with Ying, there must be Yang:)
Your beloved coffee comprises 80-120mg caffeine. If you order a double shot, that could be over 200mg per coffee.
You’ll have a sweet spot when it comes to coffee consumption, which will alter as life happens…….your immune system will be jeopardised from that HIIT session or drinking session the night before, appropriating your 4 cups of coffee effect to only 2 cups of coffee. For example, this can mean your immune response might falter at 2 cups as opposed to your usual 4 cups, causing flu like symptoms.
Ask yourself enlightening questions below, for coffee clarity. Pleeeaassseeee be honest, and loving in your answers. You KNOW deep down how much caffeine is too much. You KNOW when your fave brew transforms from the loving hug to the soul, to, the fat storing monkey on your back. Personally for me, it is 2 cups per day.
- Does caffeine loosen my bowels?
- Am I substituting coffee for food?
- Does coffee make my heart beat faster?
- Does coffee make me anxious?
- Does coffee give me that adrenalin fuelled feeling?
- Am I addicted to that adrenaline state?
- Am I optimising my caffeine consumption? (i.e Utilising caffeine in training, racing, brainstorming, social butterflying and emotional sensoring.
HOW DO I PERSONALLY OPTIMISE COFFEE AND CAFFEINE?
*In my previous career I took great pride in offering coffee to my clients. It served as a powerful relationship building tool, as I personally prepared it with care and love. Recently I brewed plunger coffee to welcome prospective buyers viewing our investment property, creating a subconscious positive feedback loop and again a powerful ‘ice breaker’ strategy.
I now regularly sip plunger coffee or a long black with a pinch of salt (remember caffeine consumption leaches sodium from your body), a tsp butter or cream or a drizzle of whole fat milk pre or post training. I’ll also use caffeine tablets as a performance tool in half ironman triathlon races, for increased focus and effort;)
See https://www.healyourlife.com/is-coffee-making-you-fat for Dr Libby’s Case Study of a middle aged womens relationship with caffeine. Plus her happy medium to reduced consumption, fat loss, and increased performance.