Coffee Appreciation

A Healthier Year, A Healthier Me (with the benefits of Coffee)

Coffee and Caffeine

It’s another new year! To wake up early is probably one of the popular habits people want to develop. You probably have thought about it too, and that’s commendable! 

If you’re aiming for a healthier you this year, keep reading. If you just cannot ditch a cup of joe regularly, just keep reading. Here are some tips and suggestions to improve your morning cup!

How coffee wakes you up 

The number of instances you reach for a cup of coffee when you want to wake up is just impossible to count by now.

Naturally found in fruits, leaves, and coffee beans, caffeine has stimulant properties that can wake you up and help you focus. Specifically, caffeine blocks adenosine, which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brains, which is responsible for sleepiness. They have similar ring structures and caffeine becomes a molecular mimic that fills in and blocks adenosine receptors. This causes the body to reject rest even if it’s tired.

To attempt to simplify it for the case of coffee and sleep, here is a sample situation:

Let’s pretend that Caffeine (from coffee) and Adenosine are two people. Although they look a bit similar in their physical features, they’re not in the same circle of friends. Adenosine likes to sleep, while Caffeine likes to be more active. They are both invited to a party. Caffeine becomes the life of the party and in some instances, acts as if he’s the bouncer. Caffeine wouldn’t allow Adenosine to enter the party, even if Adenosine is just there to fetch their other friends. Caffeine does let Dopamine, Serotonin, and Adrenaline inside the party though. But as time passed by, Caffeine got a little tired and wasn’t as alert anymore, leaving Adenosine free to enter again. 

When Adenosine finally gets inside the party, that is when you start to feel sleepy again. 

A healthy amount of caffeine makes you alert. If your body responds to it well, it can actually have advantageous effects on your body– especially on moods, thinking, and mental performance. 

However, not everyone can consume coffee as much as others do. This is why some people choose to drink decaf. Their bodies don’t respond well to caffeine and therefore experience some side effects. Their caffeine sensitivity does not have easy effects, so it often leads to deciding to switch to decaf–which means they could still enjoy smelling their favorite aroma without having to have body reactions that are hard to manage. 

It varies, though. Some are professionally advised to lessen caffeine intake, or some consciously decide to do so when they think their heavy caffeine consumption is not the best for their bodies anymore. It’s always best to get just the right amount. Just like everything else. *wink*

The health benefits of your morning cup of coffee

An article from Harvard School of Public Health says that coffee is a source of Caffeine, Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Magnesium, and plant chemicals: polyphenols including chlorogenic acid and quinic acid, and diterpenes including cafestol and kahweol. Furthermore, according to a Cleveland Clinic, coffee beans are rich in antioxidants–they protect cells against damage. 

Coffee even helps in the production of dopamine (dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps us feel pleasant feelings. 

Johns Hopkins Medicine even published a list of benefits of drinking the right amount of coffee. It stated that if you’re a coffee drinker (again, the right amount), it’s less likely that you would develop heart failure and Parkinson’s disease. Not only that, but researchers also found that 26% of coffee drinkers were less likely to have colorectal cancer, and sometimes even decreased Alzheimer’s disease risk, especially for women. 

At this point, you may be asking: If that’s the case, then how much coffee can I have per day? 

According to John Hopkins Medicine, three to five cups of coffee per day is the safe amount for women, with a maximum intake of 400mg of caffeine, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. And if you’re an expecting mama or breastfeeding, you might have to check with your doctor first! It’s best to be sure with what you intake.

Tips for a more fun and healthy morning coffee

Common question: My morning coffee routine is really an essential part of my day. How do I make it healthier?

There are plenty of ways! Here are our simple suggestions to make your coffee cup a bit more healthy than it usually is. The following are simple tips you can do to make the morning coffee routine exciting:

(This segment right here is dedicated to the health-conscious readers out there…. Just kidding. It’s for everyone!)

  • Be brave in trying more options. Almond milk is one healthy option. Oat milk too! They tend to be lower in fat and calories. And you might just find newer favorites along the way!
  • Try adding more cinnamon, vanilla, or cocoa. You can opt for natural flavorings if you want. This can add more fun and dimensions to your cup. Cinnamon also offers nutritional benefits! And best of all, these taste great!
  • Drink slowly, pal. No one’s chasing after you! Try to drink your coffee a bit slower. You allow it to be digested properly if you do so. After all, your coffee time is your relaxing time!
  • Measure what you pour. There are days when you just really want to just get on with your day so you just don’t care that much. But a simple additional step in your morning routine can help you track your drink intake. For example, you should practice measuring the amount of milk and creamer you put in your coffee (and other flavorings too). You don’t only get to have a consistent flavor and texture for your coffee, but you can also ensure just the right amount every time. Include this simple step. Do it everyday and you might just find yourself measuring automatically.
  • Pair your coffee with healthy snacks. Like energy bites, banana pancakes, and egg muffins. Then you can look forward to an energized and active day ahead of you. 

You know you, you do you

The bottomline is that you should pay attention and listen to your body. Just like almost everything else, getting more than what’s just sufficient sometimes leads to unfavorable circumstances. But, you can do it the way that best suits you and your lifestyle.

Here’s to a healthier and fresher start of the year!