Healthy Caffeine Fix
When it comes to weight loss it’s often said that you shouldn’t drink calories. The reason for this is that being in an energy deficit makes it harder to nourish your body adequately and if you guzzling lots of energy dense drinks that leaves less room for healthy, nourishing food.
If you have followed my Facebook page (just look for Ben Coomber and click like) you’ll know that I have had a long running battle with caffeine.
The research on caffeine indicates that there are some health benefits from drinking caffeine and good quality teas or coffees.
However, caffeine does increase production of certain adrenal hormones that, when coupled with a typical high stress lifestyle can be damaging to our health.
So, I need to ask you this.
How healthy are you? Do you truly feel incredible every day?
How much natural and consistent energy do you have each day? Not nervous energy but the kind of energy that comes from having a well-balanced life, diet and sleep cycle.
Do you leap out of bed ready to take on the day or can you not operate without at least one cup of coffee?
Or, do you need a coffee before anything and then another coffee at 11am to keep you going until lunchtime where you have another coffee and then one at 5pm because your brain is shutting down and you can’t think straight?
Is one coffee not enough to give you the lift that you need? Do you feel anxious or jittery?
If you don’t have stable natural energy levels, of you get regular ‘brain fog’ and can’t sleep through the night I strongly urge you to consider cutting down on your caffeine, but do so gradually. Withdrawal can be hell.
But, if you enjoy coffee, can keep it to one or two cups a day and not have to rely on it just to feel ‘normal’ then you’re good to go.
About those calories
Black coffee or espresso contain about 3-4 kilo calories per typical serving. It’s just coffee and water after-all.
Tea, also contains caffeine albeit slightly less than coffee but a black or green tea with no milk comes in at just 2 kcal.
It’s not the coffee that’s so energy dense. It’s what we add to it.
30 ml of whole milk contain about 18 kcal. Skimmed is about 14 kcal. 1 level teaspoon of sugar adds about 16 kcal which all adds up to a modest total of about 35-40 kcal per cup of coffee.
However, we all know that Starbucks don’t sell cups, they sell buckets. Plus, a level teaspoon of sugar, really? Let’s try a heaped teaspoon at about 15g, plus whipped cream, caramel syrup and goodness knows what else you might be having in your bucket and you can be looking at as much as 350kcal per mug.
So, even if you’ve just been to the gym and smashed out a 60 minute heavy leg session and are carefully tracking your calories to maintain the smallest deficit possible to illicit a steady loss of 0.5 lb of body fat per week that 350 kcal might be better saved for your post workout meal.
Putting it into simple terms. Caffeine might be affecting your health adversely if your lifestyle and diet aren’t already well balanced. This includes stress management and sleep.
If you don’t experience any of the negative effects of caffeine then a couple of cups of black coffee a day are fine and taste nice, don’t deprive yourself.
But, the fancy buckets they sell in coffee shops are laden with extra calories which might sabotage all your good work. Stick to the Americano or, better yet a green tea.