August 7, 2006
It has many names, and comes in many forms: cup of Joe, morning thunder, mud, and go juice. Drive around any part of the state and you are sure to find many coffee houses offering any number of special concoctions to get you started in the morning, or to help keep you going as your already long work day becomes longer. For being such a popular cultural drink, coffee has gotten a bad rap over the years, and like most other foods it’s time to flip the coin to the other side and look what the experts have to say today.
According to an 18-year-study involving 126,000 people conducted at Vanderbilt University, along with similar studies in France and Denmark, the findings are quite interesting. It seems that coffee is filled with antioxidants that help the body reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease by 80 percent, colon cancer by 25 percent, cirrhosis of the liver by 80 percent, and cuts the risk of gallstones by half. It may also offset the effects of smoking, liver damage due to heavy drinking, manage asthma, stop headaches, boost mood, and prevent cavities. It seems that there is an antioxidant called Trigonelline, which gives coffee its aroma and the slight bitter taste that has both anti-bacterial and anti-adhesive properties that actually helps prevent cavities.
Diabetics can benefit from a group of antioxidants called Quinnes containing Chlorogenis acid, and Tocopherols that may improve insulin sensitivity, and aid in glucose metabolism.
Coffee has also been beneficial in aiding athletes giving them higher energy levels to allow longer and more intense training sessions, and may also allow stronger muscle contractions. In addition to the body the brain also responds to caffeine with studies showing students scoring higher in testing who drink coffee prior to taking exams, (unfortunately you still have to it the books as well). No longer the negative drink, coffee now resides next to green tea in positive health benefits.
The recommended dose is two cups per day, anything less may not be effective, and anything more … well you just may turn into a raging bull!
The down side of the morning beverage is that it can cause increased nervousness, hand trembling, rapid heart rate, raise cholesterol levels, and may contribute to artery clogging.
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Remember caffeine, although legal, is still a drug, so don’t over due it. Moderation seems to be the key here. If you experience any of the adverse effects listed above you should consider an alternate source like tea. There are many people who think drinking coffee counts as your water intake for the day. This is not true, water is water and you need a minimum of 60 four ounces a day to stay hydrated!
Henry Kliebenstein is an International Sports Sciences Assoc. certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Therapist, and Specialist in Performance Nutrition, training in his private studio in Truckee, and can be reached by calling 587-3886 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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