I thought today would be a good day to bring up the topic of coffee because I know Mondays are the day many of us rely on our morning cup of joe more than any other. There is a lot of debate on whether or not coffee is a health friend or foe. Over the years coffee – mainly the caffeine in coffee – has been blamed for a variety of health woes from heart disease to cancer. After years of studying caffeine, the most recent results have not only refuted caffeine’s bad rap, but also resulted in the discovery of a variety of benefits surrounding coffee. These include – get this – a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease.
In addition to its antioxidant properties, studies have proven coffee improves athletic performance, due to the caffeine in the beverage. You may have noticed other products with added caffeine such as sport gels. If you benefit from the consumption of caffeine before or during your sport, a gel with added caffeine is much more convenient than stopping off at Starbucks.
A few years ago I actually gave up caffeine while training for a triathlon and steered clear of coffee for almost two years. About six months ago I started drinking coffee again and have noticed the improvement in my running immediately following my morning cup. In January I actually had coffee before a half marathon and was nervous about certain (ahem) side effects. I was pleasantly surprised that everything went smoothly and I actually finished the race in my fastest time to date (1:57:35).
I stick to one cup per day and always make my own coffee at home to save money. I buy espresso grinds and brew them in my single serving coffee pot and mix with warm fat-free milk and agave syrup for some sweetness.
While I feel everyone should make their own decision on whether they choose to drink coffee or not, I feel it is unfair that coffee has gotten a bad name through the years. Just like everything, drinking coffee in moderNation is not only unlikely to harm you, it may even help you.
What are your feelings on coffee? Friend or foe?