What we drink matters for our health. Added sugars in soda, energy drinks, water and other flavored concoctions may contain upwards of 12 or more teaspoons per serving! Caveat Emptor…BUYER BEWARE!
Yes, we humans definitely need hydration. Our fluid needs are even more important than food…3 days without fluid and sayonara! Coffee and tea are NOT fuel but they are fluids and that’s vital for life. There are no calories in black coffee or tea but there are powerful ingredients including caffeine that may seem like jet fuel, especially when we don’t get it!
How do you take your coffee; light and sweet, regular, iced with 2 flavor shots? There are 23 grams of sugar in just one ounce of some popular French Vanilla Syrups, that’s nearly 5 teaspoons of added sugar. The daily recommended MAXIMUM limit for added sugars is 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men. That added flavor shot is 1 lousy teaspoon less than the max! If you enjoy different flavors in your coffee, try a coffee made with oil infused beans. These coffees have the same great flavor as the sugary syrups, minus all of the added sugar! This way you can save those daily grams of sugar for something else…like a scone or a muffin, which, by the way is birthday cake no matter how you look at it.
Sugar laden drinks are a major contributing factor to obesity and obesity DOES lead to many chronic diseases including but NOT limited to heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Getting back to what we drink…coffee is considered a bitter herb, aiding in digestion; thus the usual ‘espresso’ after a big meal in Italy had a health purpose.
Bitters have also been known to reduce hunger and stabilize blood sugar. Coffee contains theobromine, theophylline, and caffeine; all factors that help increase bile flow for better digestion. With improved digestion, nutrient absorption, assimilation and elimination are systematically improved as well.
Both coffee and tea contain other powerful anti-oxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties as well. Current research indicates we may be healthier both in our bodies and MINDS with a few cups per day of both coffee and tea!
The caffeine can be both good and bad…know yourself and pay attention to whether you feel better or worse physically, mentally and emotionally after a cup of ‘joe’. Black tea and green tea have less caffeine than coffee. Not only is tea less caffeinated, it is more relaxing than coffee because it contains a compound called theanine. Theanine effects our brainwaves and promotes relaxation. Theanine, may also counteract the acts of caffeine, another reason that those who don’t react well to coffee may want to go out on a limb and try tea. Tea may also reduce cholesterol levels and improve insulin sensitivity, possibly reducing the risk of type two diabetes.
Some researchers have found that the consumption of coffee and tea can boost your short term memory! What? Are you serious? What was I talking about again??? Coffee may improve your athletic performance too.
Unbelievable right? REMEMBER the catch though; skip the sugary syrups or you will surely offset the benefits!
One more thing; CAFFEINE can decrease blood levels of iron and zinc with some individuals and that’s no good. Count your total cups (1 cup=8 ounces) of caffeinated coffee and tea and you may want no more than 400mg of caffeine per day as recommended by the Mayo Clinic. Click the links below to get more information from the bosses….the RDN’s, Happy National Nutrition Month my fellow nutrition experts and the co-author of this post; Desiree Hubbard, thank you!
Bottoms up kids!