The Best Part of Waking Up [besides all your new Instagram notifications]
There’s nothing as intoxicating as the scent of fresh-brewed coffee. Okay, maybe the Nordstrom annual sale? Poor coffee; it gets a REALLY bad drip (ha ha ha). Everyone now equates hedonism with sin; that just because coffee is yummy/addictive, it’s “bad for you.” I’m here to shatter this mug of hate. COFFEE IS YOUR FRIEND.
- Coffee is chock full of antioxidants; potent chemicals that prevent/mediate cell damage. Cell damage = aging, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune disease, heart disease, cancer, etc. Coffee is adept at controlling blood sugar, possibly preventing neurodegeneration (although I couldn’t tell you where my car keys are at any given moment), abating liver disease.
- Coffee keeps things moving. As a natural smooth muscle relaxant, coffee keeps your tummy, er, mobile. Many women fear public bathrooms/going to the bathroom at work (I, myself, abandoned this fear after having to drive to and from Gainesville [Go Gators] 800 times/year. Miss ya, Florida’s Turnpike reststops) so coffee is an excellent method to ensure you can go according to your schedule (the effect is almost immediate).
- Coffee is an ergogenic aid. It makes you exercise harder better faster and stronger, like Kanye. You’ll have a better memory (temporarily), more energy, better reaction times, and you won’t be tempted to roar at anyone on the street in a coffee-less rage (nobody talk to my mom before her coffee if you plan on retaining all of your limbs).
- Coffee has shown modest, though clinically insignificant, effects on increasing metabolism and therefore may help with weight loss.
- Coffee has MINERALS AND SHIZZ. Magnesium, riboflavin, niacin, and panthothenic acid. It’s basically a gold mine.
- Coffee has, like, 5 calories per cup. No carbs. No sadness.
Where you may run into a mudslide (of coffee) is when we talk about what you ADD into the coffee. After speaking with a coffee connoisseur at Cafe Curuba in Coral Gables (btw, they have vegan energy bars and gluten/dairy-free polenta chocolate cake TO DIE FOR), she was almost offended by folks adulterating their coffee with anything other than ice. In her opinion, a REAL coffee is so robust and exquisite that it doesn’t require milk or sugar. I tend to agree, but I realize that some people simply cannot handle the black ESSENCE in its rawest form.
If you’re going to add anything to coffee, make it be a modest amount (¼ cup – ½ cup) of unsweetened almond/brazil nut/cashew/hemp milk, organic 2% milk, anti-inflammatory spices like cinnamon and cardamom, and either stevia drops or raw sugar (1 packet = 16 calories and 4 grams of sugar. I promise you won’t die).
We should also discuss portion control, as with everything in our diets. 1 cup of coffee? Fine. Two? Fine. Three? Eeeehhhhh. Having too much caffeine can disrupt your sleep, even if you haven’t drank any close to bedtime, because since caffeine is a drug with a half-life, it takes time to be fully metabolized. Too much coffee can displace water in your diet, and tends to act as a mild diuretic and leave you dehydrated. I like to double fist my coffee with water (alternating sips of each) to make sure I’m staying hydrated. The heart arrythmia business has been largely disproven, but I don’t recommend drinking coffee if you’re anxious. You’ll be shaking like a salt shaker. My sister once accidentally drank an ENTIRE colada [this is equivalent to, like, 4-5 espressos] because she didn’t realize it was meant for sharing (like, why did they give me all these tiny white cups with my espresso shot?) and was twitching for hours. #GringaFail.
Caffeine can also cause indigestion if you have a stomach condition, IBS, or are recovering from any stomach illness/alcohol hangover. It’s probably best to avoid during pregnancy or if you’re trying to “reset” your diet [I hate the word “CLEANSE”]. Just some words of caution.
Other than that, I’ll be at Cafe Curuba with my cold-pressed brew and avocado toast on the reg, fillin’ up on antioxidants and stalking the dogs walking by outside.