Just the word gets your heart racing, your mind churning out ideas and turns a neutral face into a slight smirk.
It’s one of the biggest drivers of the global economy – over 500 billion cups consumed each year, brewed and crafted in thousands of ways.
If you’re anything like me, you feel a little guilty drinking coffee every morning. Something that tastes and feels this great can’t be good for your body, right? If you share this sentiment, I’ve got some good news. Although not all good, coffee is beneficial in multiple ways for your brain and overall mood (things you already noticed, but science has also backed).
The caffeine in coffee can block the inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine. Because adenosine usually inhibits the central nervous system, blocking it causes an increase in norepinephrine and dopamine, which help you sustain focus, attention and interest in whatever you’re doing.
Coffee can protect you against dementia and Alzheimer’s. Multiple studies have shown that coffee is beneficial in both the short- and long-term for improving cognitive function.
Coffee was shown to decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Coffee is high in polyphenols, a strong antioxidant plant compound also found in red wine and chocolate. (All that tells me is to mix cacao with my coffee for a mocha, double down on those polyphenols).
It’s not all good, though. As Dr. Sara Gottfried has said, overconsumption of caffeine can put a lot of stress on your adrenal glands. If you’re experiencing health issues related to imbalanced hormones, you should consider cutting back on coffee consumption.
It’s important to keep a few things in mind when it comes to coffee. First, drink in moderation. Try to stick to one cup a day, or two for long days that require the extra boost. Extreme coffee consumption can be tied to insomnia, stomach issues, restlessness and other symptoms. Second, make sure not to drink coffee less than eight hours before you head to bed. Caffeine stays in your system for quite a while – if you drink it less than eight hours before bed, you can disrupt your sleep considerably.
Finally, consider the source of the beans you’re drinking. Our friend Dave Asprey at Bulletproof has been preaching the message of performance- and health-robbing mold toxins included in the average coffee most people drink. Check out this article where he outlines how to find the cleanest, most high-performance coffee in your area. Generally, you’ll want to get organic, single-origin, wet-processed beans that originate from Central America to have the cleanest cup of coffee available.