HAPPY NEW YEAR! Hope 2016 is filled with love, happiness and Glorious Wellness.
Around about this time we like to scale back on the things in which we’ve over-indulged in past weeks: alcohol (lots of my clients are having a dry January, are you?); chocolate; cheese; carbs and for some reason caffeine. It gets lumped into the ‘must give it up’ category in January. Which is odd, because no-one I know over-indulges in coffee at Christmas but we still tend to exclude it as part of the January health kick.
But wait. What if your daily coffee wasn’t such a bad thing? That would make January more bearable, right?
I’m a committed coffee lover and I’ve been doing some digging on it recently. There’s a ton of conflicting information (and media headlines) about it.
Here’s my take on it.
On the plus side, a moderate amount of coffee makes you more alert, more productive, sharper of mind and can help overcome fatigue albeit temporarily. Recent studies from Monash University have shown it may protect against liver disease and there are also some early indications it could be useful against Parkinson’s disease.
On the downside, coffee is a stimulant so is not to be slurped all day long from dawn to dusk. It quickens the heart rate, raises blood pressure, can interfere with sleep and lead to adrenal fatigue if you overdo it. So if you have high blood pressure or any other condition where an increase in heart rate or blood pressure might stress the heart, avoid coffee altogether. Ditto if it makes you feel racy or anxious or if you're pregnant.
My 3 Glorious Wellness rules to coffee consumption:
- If you choose to drink coffee, have 1 or 2 cups a day maximum. Quality not quantity.
- Have coffee in the morning. If you must have it later in the day, make your last cup at 3pm, no later. It takes up to 5 hours to metabolise half the caffeine in coffee. So if you drink it later in the day it can seriously interfere with sleep. Same rule applies to other caffeinated drinks like tea, green tea, cola, even decaf coffee. Stick to water & herbal teas after 3pm. I love rooibos in the afternoon and camomile at night – I KNOW, I sound like a grandma….
- Hydrate before you caffeinate. Make like the Italians and always have a glass of water with your coffee to counteract the mildly diuretic effects of caffeine.
I gave up coffee in December when I did a pre-Christmas detox (to get my brownie points in early..!). It was nice to be released from the habit for a while. I’ve started drinking it again, not because I need to but because I want to. I love a good coffee.
So, as with most things, moderation is the key. The 80/20 rule applies:
eat and drink healthily most of the time and allow yourself the flex and freedom to indulge now and again which = a good coffee each day, as long as you drink water with it….
Don’t worry too much about the odd coffee. Consider it a treat. Savour the ritual. Enjoy it. And avoid the cakes, biscuits & muffins on display in cafes trying to tempt us.......
Until next week.