It was the Best of Grinds, it was the Worst of Grinds: A Tale of Two Beverages
Whether for ritual, taste, tradition, or stimulation, coffee is frequently a part of daily life. As with the majority of foods, literature supports both health benefits and detriments of regular coffee consumption.
A recent meta-analysis study (covering 47 years of studies and just shy of 1 million participants) showed a “dose-response” relationship that is beneficial for health (reduction in cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality) at 3 and 4 cups per day respectively. In other words, 1-2 cups did not show detrimental health impacts, and 3-4 cups showed health benefits. Additionally, “moderate doses of caffeine” have shown to be preventative of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
At KINETICOACH, we have 2 simple rules regarding coffee and caffeine:
If we don’t get sufficient sleep (quality or quantity), or if we feel run-down, we skip the coffee (or have decaf--yes we know there are trace amounts of caffeine in decaf). Caffeine can be a slight immunosuppressant, but its effects are negligible in normal doses. When you’re immune system is already compromised due to illness or fatigue, however, caffeine’s immunosuppressant properties can act as a further stressor, potentially leading to full illness (when you would have otherwise not succumb), or to further impacts to sleep.
We don’t drink coffee (or caffeine) after 12pm to avoid disrupting sleep patterns. If you’re regular shift worker, stop coffee/caffeine consumption 8-9 hours prior to when you forecast going to sleep. Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others, and can therefore drink caffeine later in the day without impacting sleep. But that tends to be the exception, not the rule.
This guidance comes from a decade of application. It works for us. Our goal is not for you blindly to conform to it, but to use it as a launching point for self-awareness. Note how you sleep when you drink coffee later in the day. If you feel run down and drink coffee, note if it furthers fatigue later in the day or the following day. So enjoy your coffee, but as with our other nutrition guidance, stay aware of how it makes you feel.
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