Yes, Coffee Can Be Part of a Healthy Lifestyle
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Coffee consumption is booming in the US with up to 64% of Americans consuming at least one cup of java a day. Coffee and caffeine, in general, has always been somewhat of a polarizing subject with the pros and cons of it often being the topic of heated discussions. As with all things in life, moderation is key when trying to balance your love for coffee with a healthy lifestyle. While it may seem somewhat daunting at first, a few basic guidelines will soon see you drink your coffee in a way that is not detrimental to your health while still being super enjoyable.
How much coffee is considered healthy?
It is generally considered safe to consume up to 400mg of caffeine a day which equates to roughly 4 standard cups of brewed coffee. Anything in excess of this can leave you feeling anxious and irritable while also having an adverse effect on your heart and brain. Although even decaf coffee contains traces of caffeine, it may be an option worth considering if all else fails and you find yourself unable to cut down on your coffee consumption. Thankfully there are a number of ways in which you can systematically cut down on your habit and making your coffee healthier without giving up on your favorite beverage altogether.
Give your coffee a healthy overhaul
If you want to incorporate coffee into your healthy lifestyle, you need to make sure that every cup you drink is as healthy as possible. While a Chocolate Cream Frappuccino from Starbucks may not be sky-high in caffeine, it is also not the healthiest coffee choice to make. The simplest way to ensure that the coffee you drink is as healthy as possible is to ditch mass-produced, overly processed coffee and go organic. Conventional coffee is often sprayed with pesticides which could have an adverse effect on your health. Opting for an organic brand will not only be good for your own health but for that of the environment as well.
Spice things up
You can give your regular cup of coffee a healthy boost by adding a pinch or two of cinnamon to it. Cinnamon is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that can help control your blood sugar and help your body ward off infection. If you aren’t a fan of cinnamon, try experimenting with vanilla extract, nutmeg, and cardamom to not only enhance the flavor profile of the coffee but its nutritional contents as well.
Steer clear of artificial creamers and sugar
Indulging in a sweet and creamy cup of coffee definitely seems like a dream-come-true. Unfortunately, artificial creamers and sugar, especially when consumed frequently, are not really conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Where possible avoid synthetic creamers and opt for fresh cream or milk instead. One of the first things you will have to do when attempting to make your coffee healthier is to cut down on the sugar. Apart from being unhealthy when consumed frequently sugar also spoils the natural flavor of coffee to a great extent. Once you have dissuaded yourself to ditch the sugar your palette will become a lot more attuned to the variety of coffee roasts that are available. Also, ensure that you use the right grind for the type of coffee you are making in order to maximize its flavor and aroma. You can even go as far as to drink your coffee black and bitter as to fully savor the taste.
Learn to schedule your coffee consumption
Apart from practically being in love with the delicious aroma and flavor of a good cup of coffee, many enthusiasts use coffee to fuel both their minds and bodies ahead of a challenging day. While a healthy dose of caffeine can undoubtedly perk you up, it is important to be aware of the tolerance that is created by regular coffee consumption. The more coffee you drink, the more you will need to drink to stay on top of your game. Scheduling your coffee consumption will allow you to still enjoy the benefits of your favorite java without having to deal with withdrawal symptoms or the effects of over-consumption.
2 pm is a good cut-off time
In humans, the half-life of caffeine is anywhere between 4 and 6 hours which means that it takes up to 6 hours for the effects of your cup of coffee to begin to wear off. Due to this, 2 pm is considered to be a good time to have your last cup of coffee if you want to be guaranteed of a good night’s sleep. It takes as little as 45 minutes for your body to absorb 99% of the caffeine content of a cup of coffee. A cup of coffee as you wake and another one mid-morning should then more than suffice in getting you through a day. As the day progresses, start weaning yourself off the coffee by opting for low-caffeine tea or other caffeine-free hot drinks instead that will relax you instead of keep you up at night.
Coffee is without a doubt one of life’s greatest blessings. While drinking too much, too frequently can have an adverse effect on your well-being, moderate coffee consumption is not only extremely enjoyable but also good for your health as well.
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