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Sunday, August 18, 2013

In Need of a Wake-up Call?

Coffee Anyone?

Hello everyone! It's been ages!!! I've been extremely busy with...well...life, but I figured I should try to get back to blogging because...well...it's fun! :)  (P.S. Guess what still isn't working?? Attaching images!! grr!!)

So, who loves coffee? (jumps up and down!) This girl does!!! I love black coffee, flavored coffee, iced coffee, hot coffee, caffeinated, decaffeinated, baked into cookies and cakes, used as flavoring for icing, scented candles, etc.....absolutely love the stuff! Ever had a mocha flavored cupcake with nutella frosting??? AHHH-MAAZ-ING! Just sayin...

Since I started my training for the fitness competition, I have had to give up a lot in the coffee area of my life. :(  It's not that I can't live without it, but it IS delicious and it HAS helped me get that little kick start to my mornings in the past. So, what is so horrible about coffee that makes it so that I'm not allowed to have more than one black cup a day during my pre-competition stage? Well, let's look at the pros and cons of coffee, shall we? :)

Pros
  • According to recent studies, daily coffee consumption may help to lower the risks of strokes, heart disease, Parkinson's disease, prostate cancer, type 2 diabetes, depression (in women), cirrhosis, etc. Click here, here, and here  to be taken to the sources.
  • Coffee is full of antioxidants (it is "the biggest source of antioxidants in the modern Western diet") which may help boost the immune system Click here to find out about it
  • Coffee is a natural stimulant which not only helps you understand and retain information better, but it's also been proven to help you exercise up to fifteen percent longer due to its fatigue fighting powers.
  • It prevents one from feeling sore during workouts because it is a natural analgesic.
  • Coffee stimulates the pleasure center by increasing the level of dopamine in the brain.
  • It increases the metabolism and oxidizes fatty acids faster, leading to weight loss.
  • Studies have shown that coffee is a strong bowel stimulant and a mild diuretic
Cons
  • High coffee consumption  can lead to mild increases in cholesterol and heart disease
  • People who smoke metabolize caffeine faster, causing them to consume more caffeine which could prove to weaken their health along with the smoking later on
  • If under the age of 55, studies have shown that consumption of more than four cups a day could lead to early death (although, these studies also showed that those under 55 who drink high amounts of coffee daily also tended to smoke and poor physical fitness levels) Click here to find out more
  • The caffeine found in coffee is addictive. Cutting oneself off of caffeine can lead to headaches, irritability, and increased fatigue until the caffeine withdrawals have passed.
  • The dark color of coffee can stain teeth and the bitter scent of the coffee beans could cause bad breath
  • Since coffee contains a natural stimulant, high consumption of coffee can lead to feelings of anxiety and/or stress
  • Some studies showed that coffee can cause ulcers in the stomach lining if consumed in high amounts
  • Some studies have shown that coffee can increase sterility if consumed in high amounts
  • The flavorings and sugars normally added to coffee are extremely high in calories (one creamer cup of flavored creamer is 50 calories!!!!)
Clearly, the risks associated with drinking coffee all pertain to drinking too much coffee. So, how much coffee is too much? Study results concerning over consumption of coffee range from saying "no more than 2 cups a day" to "no more than 4 cups a day" and even "no more than 6 cups a day." One cup equals 8oz. of coffee. Six cups a day seems extreme in any situation! If you're at that point, I would definitely suggest scaling it back a bit!!!

So don't be afraid to reach for that morning cup o'Joe. Just be sure to limit yourself to one or two cups a day and everything should be fine! :)

*Still wondering why I can't have more than one cup of black coffee a day while I'm prepping for competition? Some of my uptake drinks already contain caffeine and consuming too much is obviously bad for one's health. Also, it's important to drink water more than anything during competition prep. and the coffee can get in the way of that. It can also mess up one's water weight near the end of the prep. phase right before competition.

Have a great day!!!