Your day probably starts with coffee first thing in the morning. It’s the world’s most popular beverage besides water. Ireland has always been more of a tea culture but we are now becoming a huge coffee culture with over 50 % of Irish people consuming at least one coffee a day!
Coffee is around a long time. It’s been thought to have originated in Ethiopia before the 6th century. Did you know that coffee beans aren’t actually beans, they are seeds of a fruit that coffee-growers call coffee cherries?
Coffee drinks can either be harmless or detrimental to your health. Black coffee has no calories until you start adding cream, sugar and flavour. It’s a slippery slope after that…you may as well eat a few bars of chocolate. Starbuck’s and Insomnia are huge favourites in Ireland and I love treating myself to a coffee now and again but I stay clear of the caramel macchiato. The amount of young people I see buying this high corn fructose syrup, high fat and high calorie drink is frightening! Don’t get me wrong, it looks so delicious and appealing but I just couldn’t justify drinking it.
A non-fat latte or cappuccino at most coffee shops is a pretty safe bet if it is a once off. It is a simple blend of coffee or espresso and non-fat milk and they usually contain about 50-150 calories.
Just be aware that the light version of a drink like a skinny latte or Frapuccino usually means sugar-free and or fat-free and is between 100-200 calories. Don’t be fooled by these low fat drinks, they still carry lots of sugar and will cause weight gain in the end! Drink in moderation or treat yourself every so often.
If you go for the all out version you’re looking at 100s of calories. In fact, you should really consider it as a desert because the whipped cream is going to pile on the pounds.
It helps you stay alert and focused but caffeinated coffee has also been shown to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, liver cancer, type 2 diabetes, gout, gall stones, maybe even depression. And having a mug full within an hour of your workout has been shown to boost your exercise endurance and performance. Good news for people who just can’t start the morning without it. I used to drink black coffee with 10 g of coconut oil before a weight training session and it really helped and I got great results.
The bad side of coffees is that both caffeinated and decaffeinated can worsen symptoms of heartburn as well as other inflammation relation conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and colitis.
This is interesting to note that dark roast coffee has a deeper flavour but is lower in caffeine than lighter coffee because the roasting process burns off some of the caffeine.
Decaffeinated coffee has to have 97% of caffeine removed meaning it still contains coffee.
As long as you don’t have a health issue that prevents you from drinking coffee, you should be ok but please only drink in moderation. Take it easy on the cream and sugar and definitely watch out for those fancy coffee drinks or sachets that are loaded with sugar and bad fats. I would recommend you decrease your coffee consumption over time and try come off it completely. Swap your coffee for a delicious herbal tea. Pukka have some great flavours that will send your taste buds wild, not to mention the medicinal benefits you will be benefiting from. You will notice your energy levels increasing hugely. Start today!