A Quick Preamble:
It’s official and it’s brilliant news… about something I’ve always believed in and about something I’ve never intended giving up…
Coffee, it’s a Super-Food… yay… !
OK, I may be a little prejudiced – because I totally adore coffee, always have and always will… so “Super-Food” may be a little “energetic” for some people as far as descriptions go for something that for so long has been considered almost poisonous… but hey, it’s a valid and apt description because this ‘much-maligned’ consumable – along with many others I’ve already discussed, and others I’ve yet to discuss – is now beginning to gain some serious ground with regard to it’s TRUE health strengthening benefits…
… and the list of benefits is growing as more scientific research is carried out all over the world..!
Cutting To The Chase:
This is not just an American thing – or Turkish, or Italian – extracting the seed or the “bean” from the berry of the “Coffea” shrub, roasting it and then drinking the end result after grinding and steeping it in hot water is an international pastime, a worldwide habit, with cultivation of coffee plantations taking place in more than 70 different countries across the globe.
Just as a point of interest, the earliest credible evidence of coffee drinking was actually found in Yemen – the Yemeni were drinking coffee approximately 600 years ago but there’s also, yet-to-be fully proved, further evidence that coffee was being used way before then in other areas of the world.
Oh and before we go any further, please bear in mind that I’m talking aboutGOOD coffee, freshly ground, organically grown coffee, with all its’ caffeine intact and present, a “Whole Food” – NOT decaffeinated or the off-the-shelf “instant” rubbish that basically has no goodness in it whatsoever because of modern food production methods…
… so, based on recent (and plenty of continuing) scientific studies, here are some of the great natural benefits of coffee consumption:
Decreased Pain Levels…
Drinking 2 or 3 cups of coffee an hour or so BEFORE your work-out reduces muscle pain – Yup, you read it right… BEFORE your workout, it’s been proven that it can help you to push a little harder when strength training, with the result of better/quicker gains in muscle strength and endurance.
Increased Muscle Fuel…
Compared to the consumption of carbs alone, a coffee and carb’ combo can give you up to a 66% increase in muscle Glycogen for as long as 4 hours after an intense work-out… this good news because Glycogen is a carb’ that’s normally stored in muscle for energy during heavy exercise… so the more you have, the better your ability for working-out harder and longer.
Improved Blood Circulation…
The better your blood flow, the better your oxygen flow to blood vessels and your muscles… oxygen is our greatest healer and body & mind preserving element… simple..!
The studies carried out for this have it recorded that those who drank coffee regularly, gained a 30% increase in blood flow over a period of 75 minutes… better blood flow means larger oxygen levels for your body and your muscles as well as your brain of course… for better health and again, better work-outs.
Reduced Muscle Atrophy…
OK, I’ll have to get just a little bit technical to explain this one – just bear with me for a little while…
A critical natural element in your muscles is what’s known as the Neuromotor, which in turn, is supported by something called the “Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor” or BDNF – triggered from your brain via coffee… without the Neuromotor, a muscle can be compared to a fire without heat… age-related atrophy of the muscles is partly due to Neuromotor degradation.
It’s been found that coffee helps delay age-related muscle strength, which in turn of course, suggests that coffee is an aid to muscle preservation as you age.
Recent research on a bunch of people conducted at Johns Hopkins University found that 200 milligram (mg) of caffeine enhanced the participants’ memory for up to 24 hours… that’s pretty amazing… again, because of BDNF – it activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons in your brain… a definite plus, don’t ya think..!?!
And a few other things:
– Don’t be careless… as with everything else, too much of a good thing can be dangerous… a maximum of couple of cups before your workout, maybe even 3, depending on your weight/size… and maybe 1 or 2 small cups post-workout.
– Good quality water should still be in the mix – when you’re thirsty and you’ve already had your coffee quota, water’s the way to go.
– Treat coffee like a “whole-food” – it isn’t just caffeine that’s needed, that can be dangerous on it’s own – Red Bull IS NOT the way to go – you need ALL the nutrients and ingredients that come with a good cup of “Joe”… !
– Don’t poison your cup with cream or sugar – especially sugar – I always use cinnamon with mine, but almond milk or some natural vanilla’s always good.
– And of course, even though we’re beginning to wake up to the positives of coffee, this one point remains a negative… DON’T DRINK IT BEFORE YOU HIT THE SACK..!..I say stay off the coffee for at least 4 hours before you intend to sleep, but even longer would be better.
– The darker the roast, the better – studies find that dark roast coffee restores blood levels of the antioxidants vitamin E and Glutathione more effectively than light roast… the same study group proved that dark roast also led to a significant body weight reduction in pre-obese volunteers, where again, the light roast didn’t.
– Other studies have also showed that dark roast coffee produced more of the chemical N-methylpyridinium… this helps prevent production of excess stomach acid.
A Final Anecdote:
In short it’s still a bit of an awkward food to discuss – you’re either for it or you’re not – and there are, without doubt still a few ‘possible’ inherent dangers, if you drink too much of it… so don’t… you’re human, I’m human (mostly), and a little bit of what we like is never a problem… but moderation is key… !
Like most things that you need to maintain or improve your health and wellness, there’s a balance to maintain… but if consumed correctly, coffee CAN be part of the Naturally Healthy lifestyle that your body and your mind needs.
And a final word from Star Trek – Voyager:
“Coffee, The Finest Organic Suspension Ever Devised”