By Drew Schroeder, Wellness Specialist at Twin Towers Connection.
Coffee gets a lot of negative press but moderate coffee drinking (three to four cups of coffee per day) can have a variety of health benefits.
Keep in mind that a cup is 8 ounces and coffee drinkers should try to stick to “healthy coffee”- avoiding cream, sugar, or milk as much as possible. Instead of creamer consider using unsweetened almond or soy milk, and try adding vanilla, unsweetened cocoa powder or cinnamon to create your own unique blend.
Health Benefits of Coffee
Coffee beans are loaded with antioxidants that become even more potent after the bean is roasted. This type of antioxidant paired with the magnesium in coffee, can impact blood sugar levels and is thought to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Adding coffee to a well balanced diet positions this drink as one of the most healthful beverages you can consume on a daily basis.
2. Improved Brain Function
Coffee can be shown to vastly improve brain functions, such as: memory, mood, reaction times, and cognitive function. The caffeine found in coffee provides energy and when consumed at a safe level will not have adverse effects. Calculate your daily dose here.
3. Improves Physical Performance
Online resource, Healthline, cites studies that reveal coffee can improve physical performance during a workout by increasing adrenaline levels and releasing fatty acids from fat tissues. Caffeine has also proven to increase epinephrine (“fight or flight” hormone) which makes our bodies ready for physical exertion.
Having a cup or two of coffee 30 minutes before a workout can help fat cells break down body fat, providing a natural alternative to a “pre-workout” supplement.
4. Helps Keep You Hydrated
While water is still #1 when it comes to hydration, black coffee contains 99% water. Decaf is your best option if you’re looking for an alternative to water.
Transitioning To Drinking Black Coffee
Taking your coffee without cream and sugar is a struggle for many people, but it’s an adjustment worth making. Like any new habit, incremental changes and repetition can help you make the switch.
Cut back your addition of cream and sugar on a gradual scale to adjust your taste buds. If you drink multiple cups per day, consider only taking your first cup with the sweeteners, and sticking to black coffee for any additional cups during the day.
Personally, I made the transition when I began simply stirring my brew at the holidays with a candy cane for sweetness. After a few days, the candy cane was forgotten and I’d transitioned away from any additives.
Whatever your approach, you’ll be better off ditching the extras to get the most health benefits out of your morning brew.
Drew is a Wellness Specialist at the fitness & wellness center at Twin Towers, The Connection. There you will find a team expertly trained to create workout routines and exercises that are specifically designed for those aged 50+. The Aquatic Center includes a 75-foot heated pool, aquatic bikes, and a whirlpool.