Wake. Roll. Stand. Walk. Kettle. Water. Coffee tin. Cafetiere. Two spoons. Hot water, not boiling. Gently stir. Wait……………….and plunge.
So archaic, so basic, so simple. The Coffee Ritual.
But in this era of ‘clean eating’ how can something that is so good not be bad for us? How often do we hear that we should cut out caffeine, because it is a toxin poisoning our bodies?
We all know that coffee wakes us up. Scientific research shows that caffeine increases alertness, concentration, vigilance, improves mood, reduces perception of pain and increases time to fatigue. These effects can be so positive, that in elite and professional sport, we actively harness this potential to legally improve athletic performance.
But is your coffee habit actually good for you?
- There is a broad range of CGA in coffee that you can buy
- Coffees which are roasted to a lesser extent or which contain a proportion of unroasted coffee have more CGA
- Surprisingly, there was no difference in CGA between instant coffee in a jar and coffee made by a cafetiere
- Decaffeination seems to have little or no effect on the CGA content
More fascinating caffeine body facts:
- Caffeine is absorbed rapidly and totally in the small intestine in less than 1 hour
- In women, the metabolism of caffeine is slower during pregnancy, as well as when taking oral contraceptives. This means that the effects of caffeine a felt for longer.
- Cigarette smoking doubles the rate of caffeine clearance by increasing the liver enzyme activity, which may be one of the explanations for the higher rate of caffeine consumption among smokers!
- Coffee reduces the absorption of Levothyroxine (a common medication for hypothyroidism which should ideally be taken on an empty stomach)
- Excessive caffeine intake may increase ‘unstable’ bladder in women i.e. suddenly being desperate for a wee
- Dehydrating effects of caffeine are not likely to have adverse consequences for healthy adults who normally drink caffeine
Any negatives? The effects of caffeine in coffee is variable, depending on the sensitivity of each individual. This is because caffeine is primarily broken down in the liver by an enzyme called cytochrome P450 oxidase. Depending on your genetics, some people have more of this enzyme than othersSome people find they get jittery after a few sips. Other side effects include insomnia, irratibility, headache, abdominal cramping and diarrhoea.
So, it’s best to know your own body and how much caffeine you can tolerate. If you have a good tolerance, limit yourself to a maximum of 6 cups per day. Certain groups such as pregnant women and children should limit the amount. Pregnant women should have no more than 200mg of caffeine per day (approximately 2 cups of coffee).