Coffee: A Vice or a Virtue?

A couple years ago, when I went to the doctor for a yearly physical, she asked me, “How many cups of coffee do you drink a day?” I lied and told her that I only consumed 4 cups a day, which made her cringe. To be honest, I sometimes consume up to 5-7 cups of coffee a day. Physicians often discourage such high levels of caffeine intake. However, is drinking lots of coffee really that bad?

Recently, I’ve found that coffee is a great aid in losing/maintaining my weight, and here’s why:

1. Coffee boosts your metabolism. You read it right, folks. The caffeine in coffee will get your metabolism going! As long as you don’t load your coffee with sweeteners (sugar, milk, etc.), your coffee will help you burn more calories than you will consume.

2. Coffee (without sweeteners) is low in calories. As I briefly mentioned in the last point, coffee contains almost no calories. In fact, a grande coffee from Starbucks is a mere 5 calories, containing only around 1 gram of protein and 300 grams of caffeine.

3. Coffee improves your immunity. Recently, I found out that coffee contains antioxidants that will boost your immune system, possibly enhancing your body’s ability to fight off cancer and other illnesses.

3. Coffee will push your workouts to the next levelIf you’re like me, when I workout in the morning, the first few minutes of my workout are sleepy and very inefficient. Some folks, like myself, have found that drinking coffee 30 minutes prior to your workout will not only wake you up, but make you generally more energetic.

4. Coffee is a good snack substitute. I have a serious sweet tooth, so my desire to snack is inevitable. However, I have found that when I’m having an unnecessary snack craving, I can curb that desire with a cup of hot coffee, sweetened with zero-calorie organic stevia.

Warnings:

1. Consuming caffeinated coffee can lead to cravings. Unfortunately, because the caffeine in coffee increases your metabolism, it can also make you hungry! So, when drinking coffee, be aware of the benefits, but also be aware of the possible drawbacks.

2. Coffee is not a sufficient meal replacement. Just because I recommend drinking a cup of coffee, I don’t recommend replacing your breakfast with coffee. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and you can’t let your body miss out on that nourishment.

3. Caffeinated coffee is addictive. Technically, caffeine is a drug. That’s why, folks who enjoy coffee, like myself, often addicted. This isn’t too much of a problem, if you are not loading your coffee with sweeteners because those sweeteners will negatively affect your body more than the coffee itself will.

Do you drink coffee? Have you found any pros/cons of drinking coffee that I haven’t mentioned?

The featured photo was taken by Jakub Kapusnak. Find more of his work at unsplash.com.

 

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