As I sit here trying to recover from a long holiday weekend, it’s my trusty sidekick. It gives me a much needed boost of motivation and happiness. Just the thought of it raises my spirits. Oh how I love thee, cup of coffee.
Occasionally I’ll hear people talking about giving up their daily coffee habit. What?! Give up coffee? Uh, no.
Unfortunately for some, it may be needed for a medical reason. I honestly feel for them. But for me, and many other coffee-lovers, giving up coffee won’t be in my future. It’ll probably be a part of any success I have in the future. Mornings are hard! Momming is hard! Life can be hard! Why not get a little help from something as great as coffee?
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Besides just a personal love for the beverage (it’s like a dear friend!), there are many benefits of drinking coffee.
Wanna feel happier? Drink coffee.
Drinking coffee has been linked to lower levels of depression. A Harvard School of Public Health study followed 50,000 women for 10 years. Compared with women who drank one cup or less a week, those who had two to three cups a day had a 15% lower risk of depression. Those who drank four or more had a 20% lower risk.
Even the smell of coffee might reduce stress.
A 2008 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that just the smell of roasted coffee beans can release proteins in the brain associated with antioxidant production and stress reduction.
Coffee makes workouts seem easier.
A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that subjects who drank about 2 cups of coffee 90 minutes before an intense workout session said they actually enjoyed the workout and it felt much easier compared to without coffee.
This is attributed to the caffeine and coffee is a great, diet-friendly source of caffeine, assuming you drink it black. Adding any creamers or sugary products can pack on the calories pretty quickly.
Coffee-driven workouts are even more effective.
A Spanish study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism had athletes consume approximately 12 ounces of coffee before their workout. The researchers discovered that the athletes burned about 15% more calories for three hours after their workouts than the non-coffee drinkers. Get more bang for your exercise buck with a little help from coffee.
You could live forever! (Well, maybe not forever.)
Another advantage of drinking coffee is that it helps protect your body from diseases. Coffee contains high amounts of antioxidants, which protect against damage from free radicals. According to a 2011 study published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, black coffee consumption can contribute to lower rates of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain forms of cancer.
Even used coffee grounds are beneficial.
Don’t be so quick to throw out your used coffee grounds. There are many uses for them. Scrub your hands with a handful of used grounds and rinse with warm water to get rid of smells like onion, garlic and fish. Add them to your compost to infuse phosphorous, potassium, magnesium and copper into your soil.
Clean the ashes out of your fireplace by sprinkling damp coffee grounds over cooled ashes, wait 15 minutes and scoop out without the usual puff of ash dust. Repel ants from your yard and cats from your garden by sprinkling used coffee grounds over any area to want to stay pest free. You can even grow many kinds of mushrooms in used coffee grounds.
To get the most benefits out of your cup of coffee, experts recommend sticking to organic, whole bean coffee drank black.
Organic is important because coffee crops are some of the most heavily treated with chemicals and pesticides. Organic coffee isn’t treated with harmful or super-toxic chemicals so what you’re putting into your body on a daily basis is as clean as possible. It is also much better for the environment. This article from Living MaxWell goes into greater depth on this topic and is very informational.
Buying whole bean means that you grind the coffee right before use, keeping it fresher and more likely to keep important nutrients that could be lost over time. And of course, drinking it black removes any extra fat or sugar that could be added by creamers, syrups, sugars and any of that fancy stuff.
Find a great tasting coffee that you love and you won’t miss any of those add-ins. If going to black coffee ‘cold turkey’ is hard, gradually reduce your dependency on the add-ins and you’ll be drinking the healthiest version of coffee in no time.
My love of coffee really developed over the last few years and I’m so glad it did. Whether in the morning as a perk me up or early afternoon to get me through the “2pm slump” and into a great workout, sipping a cup is relaxing and energizing. It’s a wonderful little break in a sea of busyness.
When did your love of coffee begin? What’s your favorite kind and how do you drink it? Comment and share!
Sip your coffee and enjoy one of these 9 make-ahead breakfasts for lazy mornings.
(Personal note: I love using my french press. I had only used Keurig type machines and regular coffee makers but my older sister expanded my coffee horizons a few months ago by purchasing me a french press because she loved her’s so much.
It just uses hot water and coffee grounds, nothing to plug in. If you have a few extra minutes (takes 5-10 minutes to make the coffee), it’s worth the wait.
The final product is milder and contains more of the coffee’s natural oils. Contact me if you have any questions on using it. I had to get a lesson too. Give it a try! Comment below and let me know what you think.)