Do you ever wonder about your daily beverages affecting your health? Do you think twice before you buy that pop or starbucks coffee? Most don't but maybe you should start.
In the US, coffee is the most consumed caffeine. Have you ever noticed the long lines at starbucks and dunkin donuts during the morning work rush? It is longer than Whole Foods, I can bet you that! Coffee and caffeine studies seem to change daily, one day they are good for you and one day it isn't. Confusing if you ask me! Here is the low down on caffeine for you.
Does it matter HOW you drink your coffee? Turns out, yes! Many times I see people pouring sugar and whole fat milk into their coffee. Not only does that bump up the calories but it also bumps up the "EMPTY calories" as well. Studies also show that boiled coffee may boost blood cholesterol levels but filtered coffee may not. If you are going to drink coffee, I suggest using a filter and drinking it black. A downside to drinking coffee is it can cause caffeine dependence syndrome. Sound familiar? Moderation is the key! Now, the plus side of coffee is that it's been associated with lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes and that it contains antioxidants which have been found to help reduce inflammation. Caffeine can also help aid in your workouts as well. I actually drink a cup of coffee before I workout everyday. It has been shown to help delay muscle fatigue, increase endurance (increased blood flow) and can help increase the metabolism.
Tea is the oldest method of caffeine and is consumed around the world. Tea is packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals. It is not as potent as coffee and seems to have more benefits. It has been shown to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, risk of cancer and help protect against neurodegenerative diseases.
Soft drinks are one of the unfriendly groups of caffeine in my eyes. Soft drinks are packed with high- fructose corn syrup and are considered to be "empty calories." These empty calories have no nutritional value, are packed with sugar and usually replace nutrient-dense foods. They have been shown to increase weight, increase caloric consumption, and increase many risks for medical problems. My advice? STAY AWAY and keep your kids FURTHER away.
Last but not least, energy drinks. I've always questioned these things. I'm not going to lie, I have tried them before and once I felt the effects of a speedy heart rate and faster breathing I freaked out and I never drank one again. It makes me cringe every time I see a child walking around with them because it is too soon to say what the long term effects will be. The primary ingredients in these drinks are sugar and caffeine. A big red flag, energy drinks are NOT regulated by the Food and Drug Administration... so basically companies can make anything they want and use any amount they want and sell it to any age. Scary, huh? Stay clear.
If you are looking to add more energy to your day, I say do it the all natural way! Eating a clean and whole food diet will help increase your energy levels. Make sure you are getting enough rest EVERY night and that you are drinking plenty of water. These 3 things combined will be the best and most natural way to create more energy in your day!
In good health,
Cristina Walterman, owner of CW Physique, let's you in on fitness and nutrition tips, recipes, exercises and much more. With over 8 years of experience in the industry, she loves to inspire and motivate individuals. She always practices what she preaches and leads by example.