Is Caffeine Actually Good For You? [Slidell Memorial Guest Post]

As GreenEyedGuide, I love sharing the science behind common ingredients in energy drinks and other health supplements. In this guest post, Slidell Memorial shares the benefits of getting caffeine from coffee.

As a heart, health, and cancer center that provides several medical services, we at Slidell Memorial Hospital are periodically asked health-oriented questions such as, ‘can caffeine really be good for your body?’ Ultimately, how could this caffeinated, delicious nectar of the heavens be good for you? Aren’t most enjoyable pick-me-ups harmful to us?

Coffee can actually be good for you—but just like everything else; it can only be beneficial in moderation. ‘Moderation’ differs by person, and health issues can vary your ideal coffee intake level. For instance, patients with heart disease that visit our heart center might put extra stress on their hearts if they drink several cups in one day (or a single sitting). Therefore, if you have a health problem, you should consult with your doctor about what your optimal intake levels should be.

7 Ways Coffee Can Benefit You

There are numerous ways in which coffee can aid in balancing your overall health.

  1. Elevates Your Mood

A happy body stems from a happy mind, and coffee is an excellent way to elevate your mood. Several studies have claimed that it can lower depression levels and boost dopamine production… but for some, the mood elevation solely comes from the delectable warm drink and the ‘time out’ that’s taken to relax and enjoy it.

  1. Counters Diabetes

A Harvard study found a connection between the lowering of blood sugar (which can cause Type 2 diabetes in large amounts) and moderate coffee intake. Surprisingly, this is completely irrelevant to caffeine, though, because decaffeinated coffee appeared to have an even larger impact. Researchers accredit this result to the antioxidants that decrease levels of blood sugar.

  1. Provides Antioxidants

Coffee, with or without caffeine, is absolutely packed with antioxidants. These microscopic disease-fighting miracles aid in counteracting the oxidative effects that result in numerous diseases (aside from Type 2 diabetes) such as macular degeneration, cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s, cancers, and other chronic diseases.

  1. Makes You Live Longer

Another study conducted by the genius minds at Harvard discovered that people who drank between three and five cups a day (this is literally measured in cups—not enormous mugs) “may be less likely to die prematurely from some illnesses than those who don’t drink or drink less coffee.” This is likely to be related to the addition of antioxidants, cardiovascular benefits, and decreasing of blood sugar levels. As a heart center, Slidell Memorial fully understands just how important antioxidant-rich food and drink are, such as coffee.

  1. Protects Your Heart

Drinking a couple of cups per day can avert heart attacks and strokes by bettering endothelial function. This is very important because insufficient endothelial functioning could make you wind up visiting our heart center. It can also help steer you away from heart disease. Although this seems to work better in women than men, both genders are able to lower their risk of heart disease and events with moderate coffee intake (even though green tea works just as well).

  1. Boosts Your Liver

The liver really is underappreciated for the massive role it plays as the hero of the body. The brain and heart receive the majority of the news coverage, but without a healthy liver, you’ll be sure to lack a number of critical functions.

According to recent studies, coffee seems to be hepatoprotective (protective of the liver), but only when filtered. Filtered coffee removes cafestol and kahweol that unfiltered coffee such as espresso, does not (this can lead to fatty liver disease—particularly when mixed with alcohol).

  1. Protects Against Certain Cancers

Let us preface this by stating that coffee does not prevent cancer. Although, it can help protect you from certain kinds by supplying protective functions. Moderate coffee intake has proven in certain studies that it can aid in warding off cancers such as colon cancer, endometrial cancer, and prostate cancer.

All in all, coffee can be healthy, but only if you pace yourself and avoid the extremely sugar drinks.

Now you know—coffee has numerous positive health impacts on the body. However, this is only the case when it’s drunk in moderation. You should also steer clear of candy that’s disguised as coffee because it can be tremendously unhealthy. For instance, a Cinnamon Dolce Latte from Starbuck’s contains an enormous 40 grams of sugar! Their bottled Dark Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino tops that with a whopping 48 grams of sugar. If you are considering switching to a hot chocolate for your caffeine fix, the white hot chocolate at Starbuck’s is one of their worse sugar-laden offenders—containing a monstrous 62 grams of sugar.

All in all, coffee can be healthy, but only if you pace yourself and avoid the extremely sugar drinks. If you have underlying cardiovascular problems, contact us today to schedule an appointment here at our heart center before you enter a new coffee-laden diet.

coffee-beans

Slidell Memorial Hospital is a 229-bed acute care community hospital located in the heart of Slidell, LA. We provide access to the latest treatments, technology, and expert physicians, including Emergency Room, Cardiac Care, Cancer Center, orthopedic specialists, and Outpatient Rehabilitation, among many others.

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Caffeine in Workout Supplements and the 5 Levels of Fatigue [YouTube]

This presentation covers the effects of caffeine when it’s consumed before, during, or after a workout. We also review how the Five Levels of Fatigue helps people determine which caffeine products (if any) are right for them. In essence, my Five Levels of Fatigue system helps people avoid caffeine toxicity and dependency because it teaches them tricks for matching how tired they are with how much caffeine they really need. For gym rats and athletes, knowing how to use the Five Levels of Fatigue keeps them from using caffeine after a grueling workout when what the body REALLY needs is rest (not caffeine).

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RESOURCES:

http://greeneyedguide.com/2015/03/12/energy-drink-of-the-month-march-2015/ ; http://www.caffeineinformer.com/the-caffeine-database ;
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EVUGB58 ;

BroBible on Energy Drinks – All the Facts They Got Wrong

BroBible may be have expert insights on some matters, but their article on energy drinks proves biology and food science isn’t in their wheelhouse. Here’s the point-counterpoint to all the misleading statements in their article:

BroBible’s infographic from “Here Are All the Terrible Things That Energy Drinks Are Doing To Your Body”

BroBible's misleading infographic on energy drink
BroBible’s misleading infographic on energy drink “science”

First of all, what is a “health expert”. A doctor? A registered dietitian? A health blogger?

As someone who literally wrote the book on energy drinks and their ingredients and has researched the food science and biochemistry behind them for 10 years, let me dissect some of their misleading statements. (I’d go through them all but “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”)

MISTAKE ONE – Caffeine doesn’t “immediately” or “quickly do anything.

Read more

Energy Drink of the Month — July 2015: Hiball Energy Coffee

Succeeding in the energy drink market can be both challenging and liberating: while it’s challenging for a brand to overcome negative perceptions associated with energy drinks, there’s freedom and possibility in developing a novel energy blend with a unique flavor and sweetness profile. However, in developing an energy drink that more closely resembles coffee than soda, there are a whole new set of challenges. People can be rather particular about how their coffee tastes, and a quick glance at a coffee flavor wheel demonstrates the multitude of different flavor characteristics available. How do you develop a product that pleases both energy drink consumers and coffee drinkers alike? Read more

Open letter to Time regarding energy drink article in “The Answer Issue”

Greetings Ms Nancy Gibbs and Time Staff,

Normally, I find Time Magazine articles engaging and insightful but the article “Energy drinks have doctors worried—but business is booming” by Ms. Alexandra Sifferlin was severely disappointing.

Did you know that the top-selling energy drink has less caffeine and less sugar per serving than a tall mocha from Starbucks? The Issue Contents page features the question, “Should your kid drink Red Bull”, but Original Red Bull has 80 mg caffeine, 27 g sugar in 8.46 fl oz can versus the 90 mg caffeine, 35 g sugar in tall (12 oz) cafe mocha. This is not to say Red Bull is without its hazards. In fact, the biggest hazard with Red Bull is the alarming frequency with which this drink is mixed with alcohol! Unfortunately the dangerous combination of alcohol and energy drinks was completely omitted from this article. Read more