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We all love a perfectly roasted coffee, but over the years we’ve often heard a lot of conflicting messages about whether coffee actually is good for you – or if we’re just determined to believe it is because it’s so damn tasty!

Well, lucky for you (and me) the latest study published in 2017 revealed that… drumroll please…. coffee consumption was found to be of more benefit than harm (YAAAS!) – with 3 – 4 cups a day indicating the strongest correlation of reduced risk across 67 unique health outcomes.

In fact, drinking coffee in this capacity saw the greatest risk reduction in all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality and cardiovascular disease. In other words, those who were drinking more coffee, were experiencing less ‘early deaths’ and heart disease (Poole R et. al., 2017). Plus, those consuming these higher numbers of coffee were also experiencing 18% less risk of cancer. So if you’re feeling guilty after one or two – don’t stop there! #treatyoself and grab another cuppa.

Before you get too carried away though, it would be irresponsible for us to assume this was entirely due to the subject’s coffee intake, and not a number of other cards in the deck, but for now let’s just revel in the fact that coffee intake triggered a positive response overall, versus a negative – can I get a high five!

What now? Well, if you’re anything like me and want to be ready to drop a #knowlegebomb the next time someone challenges you to a debate – some reasons for this may be due to coffee bean’s high level of antioxidants. Which are important in our body and help to reduce ‘free radicals’. Let me explain.

Free radicals can come from the environment we live in (e.g. cigarette smoke) or be created within our body which are completely natural and normal ‘errors’ made by the body. For example, free radicals can contribute to ageing (eek, wrinkles!), arthritis and high blood pressure, just to name a few. Reducing these free radicals has been associated with reduced inflammation and risk of cancer, meaning you can think of coffee and its antioxidants as part of our bodies cleaning service. Phew, all these years of coffee drinking are justified!

But of course, someone debating with you will no doubt throw in a weak rebuttal about energy drinks – here’s one I prepared earlier:

“What about energy drinks and other sources of caffeine like caffeine tablets? If you’re saying coffee is ‘good for you’ then you’re also saying, so are those!”

Which is clearly wrong. And we take our coffee seriously here, so listen up –  #knowlegebomb #no2

As per the Food Standards Australia New Zealand, a cup of instant coffee has about 60-80 mg of caffeine while a brewed cup of coffee can have anywhere from 60-120 mg. We then compare this to a caffeine tablet, such as No-Doz, which contains 100 mg of caffeine per tablet. On the other hand, energy drinks vary in caffeine content but for example, a 250ml can of V contains 78 mg of caffeine.

So, while the caffeine content is not too dissimilar to having a cup of coffee, it does not have the same health benefits. Especially when you see people double dosing on energy drinks and tablets in short succession. Ultimately, this is because tablets and energy drinks have caffeine in its isolated form (it’s just caffeine). Whereas when you have a cup of coffee, the caffeine is coming from the coffee bean, and you are getting all of the other things that come with the bean, such as antioxidants.

So all in all, if we are doing a comparison about where to get your caffeine fix, coffee is the winner. However, as with any caffeine containing product, be sure to listen to your body. Caffeine might reduce risk of some diseases, but it can also cause us to feel jittery, anxious, or nauseous – depending on the individual. Additionally, caffeine is not always appropriate for all health conditions and/or pregnant/lactating women. So if you are unsure always consult your local GP.

What is important though, is if you love the drink and have no adverse side effects – you no longer have to answer to any #judgymuch comments about what number coffee you’re already on before lunch! Ain’t nobody got time for that!


Naomi Fitzpatrick

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