Like wine, coffee seems to have a tricky rep. Some sources make it sound like a healthy lifestyle’s worst nightmare, while others encourage multiple cups a day! So what’s a health-conscious, java-loving person to do? Well, it’s true, there are reasons for the controversy…
On the coffee hesitation side, it can be tough on your body. It travels through your system quickly (hence the bathroom trip you can count on soon after your cup) and can really irritate your bowels as it passes through. It can be used to relieve constipation but if you start to rely on your coffee to keep you regular, you might find yourself dependent on that daily dose.
On the same side of the coin, coffee's a major stimulant to your sympathetic nervous system (i.e. your ‘fight or flight’ response). If you keep your nervous system elevated, it’s going to have a yang effect, which means your system is going, going, going and since this happens to be the trend of most of our daily lives, it can contribute to inevitable adrenal fatigue and exhaustion. This effect can stress out your immune system, leaving you more prone to that nasty bug that’s going around and also prolong any healing that needs to happen in your body.
Okay, before the idea of coffee leaves a bitter taste in your mouth (pun totally intended!) I swear I’m a fellow coffee lover and I promise the last thing I want to do is leave it with a bad rep. I just believe in decisions made on both sides of the story.
As mentioned before, coffee will clear your bowels. It also aids athletes in their physical endeavours and writers in their mental performance. If you’ve heard of nutrients that coffee offers, it’s true, it does carry a number of nutrients, However, in order to find them you NEED to check your caffeine source. Are you going to find them in your Starbucks brew? You’ll have to do your research and figure out which suppliers and beans pass your own personal test of quality. You’re also more likely to reap the benefit of those nutrients if your coffee has been recently ground and consumed soon after brewing.
All in all, here’s my view on coffee’s place in a healthy lifestyle. YOU are the best judge. If coffee's leaving you with physical symptoms like anxiety, constipation and a strong feeling that you couldn’t function without it, you guys might not have the healthiest relationship and it’s worth considering a break. On the other hand, if you and coffee are getting along famously and you’ve never felt better, take those anti-coffee articles with a grain of salt. You’ll always be the expert on your own health you just need to make a point of really knowing what healthy means for you.
For more information on the wonders and limitations of coffee, Paul Chek is my go-to source: http://www.paulcheksblog.com/paul-cheks-coffeeespresso-tips-pt-1-of-3/
And for the cup of caffeinated magic itself? One of my current favourite suppliers is Monigram’s Coffee Roasters, if you happen to be near the Cambridge, Ontario area.