Whether it’s part of your morning routine or an afternoon pick-me-up, you already know that coffee has the ability to alter the way you feel and your ability to perform. When harnessed correctly, coffee can be a helpful part of a healthy lifestyle, enabling you to push harder to achieve your health goals. Here’s a look at 5 reasons why coffee should work its way into your diet:
Caffeine is well known as a performance enhancer. From the energy drinks athletes advertise, to pre-workout supplements familiar to the average gym-goer, caffeine is relied upon as a natural way of enhancing energy and focus. Coffee, along with being the obvious choice for flavor reasons, also doesn’t contain the chemicals and other added substances that can be found in other energy drinks. As a natural way to boost your energy, drinking coffee 20-30 minutes before exercising can help you do more and go longer in pursuit of your fitness aims.
Coffee can also help curb your cravings. Caffeine, like most stimulants, is an appetite suppressant– just one that’s far more safe than others. Whether you’re trying to reduce your snacking, or your following an intermittent fasting-type diet plan, coffee can be a huge help. By saving coffee for a time when you are feeling cravings, you can still give yourself a tasty treat while hopefully cutting back on unwanted calories.
It’s Low Cal
Sometimes overlooked is the fact that coffee, when taken black, is extremely low calorie (around 5-10 cal per 8 oz mug). This makes black coffee a far healthier alternative to sugary sports or pre-workout drinks. As with anything that becomes part of your diet, it’s important to consider what you’re replacing that you would’ve consumed otherwise. For example, by switching out a morning cup of OJ with a mug of coffee you are saving around 150 calories and 30 grams of sugar each day. While that alone won’t be enough to lose much weight, it can be one easy change that can contribute to an overall healthier diet that helps you achieve your goals.
One of the more overlooked health benefits to coffee is its ability to aid in recovery. People consuming caffeine after a workout can increase glycogen production in the muscles, which speeds up their repair time and reduces inflammation. Both of these contribute to less soreness and, in theory, the ability to repeat exercises or workouts closer together, thereby speeding up the time it takes you to progress.
Health Benefits from Coffee-based Drinks
Variations on traditional coffee drinks, modified for the purported health benefits, have gained popularity in recent years. One of the most prominent in that category has been the butter coffee trend, with Bulletproof Coffee being the most popular among them. Aimed at serving those adhering to ketogenic (high fat, low carb) diets, these coffee are blended with grass-fed butter, ghee and something they refer to as Brain Octane Oil (an extract from coconut oil). The high fat content is meant to increase coffees ability to keep you feeling full while slowing the release of caffeine. The thought behind this is that since fat is slowly digested, the associated caffeine will be metabolized over a longer period of time, thus reducing the possibility of any spikes or rapid drop-offs in caffeination. Other types of canned and ready-to-drink coffees with nutritional supplements like added protein have been brought to market recently, aiming at capturing the health conscious consumer as well.