But first, coffee ☕️! Most of us can't start our day without a cup of coffee, tea or some other caffeinated beverage. We all know that coffee is great for a jolt of energy and extra concentration, but is coffee "good" for you?
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a stimulant, which is a substance that raises levels of physiological or nervous activity in the body, and can be found in coffee beans, tea leaves, cacao beans, kola nuts, guarana, yerba mate, and yoco.
Challenges with Caffeine
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as headache or fatigue
- Jitters and shakes
- Sleep difficulties
- Upset stomach
- Increased urine production causing dehydration
- Irregular heart beats
However, there are still some great benefits that result from caffeine!
Benefits of Caffeine
- Increased sports performance
- Increased alertness
- Weight loss (appetite suppression and calorie burning)
- Prevent cognitive decline
- Decreases risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
- Increases memory, especially long term memory
- Guards against certain skin cancers
It's clear that like anything else, coffee has aspects that are both good and bad for us. However, when mixed with healthier sweetness and drank in moderation, coffee can be an excellent addition to a fitness lifestyle!
How do we make our Coffee Healthier?
- Add 1 packet of stevia
- Add cinnamon
- Add unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- Add vanilla extract
- Put it in a post-workout protein smoothie – example recipe below
Iced Coffee Latté Smoothie
1/2 frozen banana
1-2 shots of espresso (depends strong you want it, or how much caffeine)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 handful of ice
1 scoop vanilla protein powder