Have another cup of coffee

Posted at 9 January 2018 in , by Graham Rock

Coffee: Black Gold

Coffee: arguably the worlds most important resource after water – it sustains us, energises us, brings us together, provides income for millions and just so happens to be very good for us.

Australia's coffee culture

Australia is a nation of coffee savvy punters, opting for freshly roasted, high quality coffee rather than the mass-produced, chemically preserved muck we’ve all been handed at a service station in the past.

On average, every Australian spends $594 on coffee every year (8). This is among the highest in the world; a statistic that is the increasing every year. Really, we have the Greek and Italian immigrants to thank for bringing their passion for espresso coffee (and food!) to the benefit of everyone. I think that’s the difference between Australia and other parts of the world, we already had a coffee culture before the big coffee-chains could move in and ruin it (they did try though!).

Coffee and Chiropractic

I often have patients tell me that they avoid or limit drinking coffee because they think it’s bad for them. No, no, no! Where did this myth come from anyway? Wherever it started – it is simply not true. Today we have been provided with a plethora of good quality research into the health benefits of coffee drinking.

Here are some reasons why you should be drinking between 2-4 cups of coffee a day:

  • Increased physical and mental performance (1)
  • Reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes (2)
  • Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke (3)
  • Reduced risk of many types of cancer (4)
  • Reduced risk of Alzhiemer’s and Parkinsons disease (5,6)
  • Reduced risk of liver disease and gallstones (7)

Dr Graham’s tips for enjoying coffee.

    1. Try not to use any sugar or sweetener in your coffee if you can avoid it. This will help you enjoy the complex flavours of your brew and limit your energy intake.
    2. Limit your milk (soy too) intake with your coffee. The more stuff you dilute that rich, golden brew with the less flavour you are getting from that magic extraction. Maybe try a long mac instead of a latte?
    3. Try different brewing methods. Espresso is, and will always be king in Australia, but more and more cafes are offering alternate methods of extracting the good stuff. Examples are a pour-overdrip filter, siphon, cold-drip and Aeropress. Try them, especially if you are not a massive coffee drinker as these methods tend to be sweeter and cleaner-tasting than the bold espresso coffees.
    4. Make coffee at home. It’s cheap and easy! All you need is some fresh roasted beans, a hand grinder, and your preferred extraction method – mine is a Gaggia Classic espresso machine. You can also roast your own green beans at home – I use a popcorn maker!

Important – you can always have too much of a good thing

Like anything, you can have too much of a good thing with coffee. The same research has shown an increased risk of some types of cancer and heart disease with those drinking more than six (6) cups of coffee per day. Another thing to keep in mind is that caffeine (found in coffee) can lead to withdrawal symptoms if you overdo it – just like a nasty hangover!

A big reason I think people avoid coffee is because of that magical ingredient – caffeine – that evil, nasty, drug-like molecule that turns us all into addicted, insomniac zombies. The reality is that caffeine is very safe in the small doses found in coffee and there are very few people who shouldn’t consume caffeine at all. The latest research shows it is even safe for pregnant women to consume one to two cups of coffee per day (9). However, if you DON’T want any caffeine, thats OK! DECAF coffee has been shown to have the same beneficial health effects as regular coffee, just make sure you get “Swiss Water Processed” beans to avoid the nasty chemicals used in some DECAF blends.

Coffee really is good for you

The bottom line is that (good quality) coffee contains a plethora of ingredients – including caffeine – that are proving to be beneficial to our longterm health and wellness and when consumed in moderation with a diverse diet it can be VERY good for you.

So the message I’m trying to get across today is that if you are not a coffee drinker, maybe you should be, and if you are a coffee lover like me – don’t feel guilty for ordering that second short black when you’re at your favorite cafe! Now, time for a coffee…

Blog post coming soon... Dr Graham's favourite coffee spots near Movement Studio - what are your recommendations?

References

1. Ganio M. S. et al. (2009) Effect of Caffeine on Sport-Specific Endurance Performance: A Systematic Review. Strength and Conditioning Research, 23(1):315-24.

2. Huxley R et al. (2009) Coffee, Decaffeinated Coffee, and Tea Consumption in Relation to Incident Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Arch Intern Med; 169 : 2053-63.

3. Wu J et al. (2009), Coffee consumption and the risk of coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis of 21 prospective cohort studies. Int J Cardiology, 137: 216-225

4. Arab L (2010). Epidemiologic evidence on coffee and cancer. Nutr Cancer;62:271-83.

5. Barranco Quintana JL et al (2007). Alzheimer’s disease and coffee: a quantitative review. Neurol Res;29:91-5

6. Costa J et al (2010). Caffeine exposure and the risk of Parkinson’s disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. J Alzheimers Dis;20 Suppl 1:S221-38.

7. Leitzmann M.F. et al. (2002), Coffee intake is associated with lower risk of symptomatic gallstone disease in women. Gastroenterol, 123:1823-1830.

8.http://www.bis.com.au/verve/_resources/Coffee_Away_from_Home_Extract.pdf

9. Peck J D et al. (2010), A review of the epidemiologic evidence concerning the reproductive health effects of caffeine consumption: a 2000-2009 update. Food Chem Toxicol, 48:2549-76.

The information provided on this Site is provided for information purposes only. If you are a patient using this Site, you should seek assistance from a health care professional when interpreting these materials and applying them to your individual circumstances.

If you have any concerns about your health, consult your general practitioner. Information provided on this Site does not imply endorsement of third-party services or products and cannot provide you with health and medical advice.

Graham Rock
Graham Rock
Dr Graham is a manual adjusting Chiropractor that utilises multiple techniques and modalities to get the best result for his patients during their appointments. Dr Graham also utilises several soft tissue techniques to compliment his patients’ musculoskeletal adjustments.
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