Coffee: A Short Primer for the Health-Conscious

by | Aug 15, 2017 | Nutrition | 0 comments

Let’s be honest, coffee is a pretty big part of many of our lives.

If coffee didn’t exist, many of us would be walking around like really unpleasant and sluggish zombies.

But, for those who tend to be health conscious, coffee can be a controversial subject. Some people swear that coffee is good for you while others believe that it is essentially like an unnecessary drug.

With this in mind, this guide will cover three big topics regarding coffee and health:

  1. Coffee as a workout stimulant;
  2. The proper way to make your own coffee for maximum benefit;
  3. What coffee a health-conscious individual like yourself should drink.

Coffee and Workouts

The answer of whether you should drink coffee as a workout stimulant rests in when you decide to exercise.

If you’re one of those who (somehow) wake up extra early in order to exercise, coffee before the workout is a great idea. Studies have shown that coffee is linked to increased workout and overall athletic performance.

For maximum effect, you may want to drink coffee 30-75 minutes prior to the start of your workout and then hydrate properly.

But, with this said, night-owls who tend to work out at night or after work may want to stay away from using coffee as a stimulant. This is because the stimulant effect of caffeine has a tendency to keep people awake, and sleep is sort of important.

The other reason night exercisers should stay away from coffee is a bit more, well, unpleasant. In many cases, too much coffee can create a laxative effect. If you’re like most people, you like to spend your nights sleeping in bed and not in the bathroom.

So, if you value your sleep time and want to limit your time on the commode, stay away from coffee before evening workouts.

Two Ways to Make the Best Coffee

Some people have more time on their hands than others (not that this is a bad thing).

With this in mind, let’s go over two of the best ways to make healthy coffee.

First, is the quick and dirty way.

Regardless of the way you intend to make the coffee, you always want to make sure you buy fresh beans because they generally taste the best shortly after being roasted. After your purchase, be sure to store your beans in a tight container to preserve its freshness.

Next, you should always grind your own coffee, as coffee begins to lessen in quality directly after being ground. Once you’ve done all this, use clean water and a clean filter with a drip coffee machine. This is the least involved way of actually brewing the coffee.

For those with more time, you should consider cold brewing your coffee.

This method is better for health-nuts as it makes the coffee less acidic than hot-brewed coffee. For this method, after grinding the beans, fill a sterilized mason jar with 1/8 coffee grounds and 7/8 water. Stir the mixture and let it sit for approximately 24 hours. Next, pour the mixture through a sieve a few times to remove the remaining grounds.

Then, all you need to do is pour it in a glass and enjoy!

What Coffee Should You Buy?

As stated before, you should always buy unground coffee and grind it yourself, but, this presents the question about what coffee to buy.

While it essentially comes down to taste, you should ALWAYS make sure that the coffee is 100% coming from the same place.

Some coffee companies like to mix coffee sources to make it cheaper to make. For example, if you like the taste of Kona coffee, you should go for 100% Hawaiian Kona medium roast coffee from roasters like Hawaii Roasters.

For cold brewing, the same philosophy applies, one source coffee is the best coffee. You should just keep in mind that the same coffee will taste different when it is cold brewed compared to when it is hot brewed.

Since many cold brewers tend to go for darker coffees, you may want to try Kona Coffee’s Hawaiian Kona Extra Fancy Coffee. These and other quality coffees can be found on sites like Amazon as well as some grocery stores.

Now, you should be equipped with the knowledge of how to drink the best coffees in the best ways. Just don’t overdo it, coffee may be good, but for health-conscious people, water is your soulmate.

Coffee can be your side-piece.

John Vivian

John Vivian

John is an owner and co-founder of CrossFit Toronto and Primal Athletes, and a Certified CrossFit Trainer Level 3 (CCFT).
John Vivian

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