Coffee and How to Drink It

My friends all know about my coffee obsession. Wait no, its more of an addiction. I’ve had mixed responses to my caffeine consumption, some say it dehydrates you and others claim its bad to drink caffeinated beverages. I say, coffee makes me a better person, keeps me going as a University student and it tastes delish. Whether or not coffee is harmful to the body or beneficial has been an ongoing debate in recent years and there seems to be many myths surrounding coffee consumption. But really, is coffee all that bad for you?

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According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, over 14 billion cups are consumed per year, in Canada alone. So no wonder coffee is a huge portion of the North American diet and is additionally, one of the greatest and most prevalent sources of antioxidants and natural caffeine. Coffee generally, according to more recent findings and research is great “in moderation” and as long as the consumer is well aware that adding milk, sugar and sweet syrups are the “bad guys” that cause the calorie count of your favourite beverage to climb.  I understand we all love the sweet coffee drinks and that they take the away the bitterness but these are where the calories come from.
Coffee, like I said, provides a huge amount of vital antioxidants, which are essential for a healthy body. Antioxidants help with the body’s protection against aging and certain serious diseases. For example, the benefits of regular coffee consumption are potential reduction of the risk of development Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease and other serious illnesses.
Its no doubt that a great cup of coffee can give you a boost of energy or wake you up in the morning. This is due to the significant amount of caffeine, coffee’s most well-known and effective ingredient. Caffeine, the same ingredient in chocolate and sugary fizzy drinks, awakens the mind and thus, puts the consumer in an elevated mood. Unlike certain other more questionable things, caffeine in coffee beans is a naturally occurring stimulant or diuretic. Essentially, from my understanding and coffee consuming experiences, caffeine can be a good thing in small, reasonable doses.
Coffee Drinking Tips
1. Coffee is not bad for weight loss or maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. As long as you aren’t going for high calorie frappucinos and opt for more sensible low calorie choices then coffee can be a great part of a good diet.
2. Learn to drink coffee black, or with minimal sugar, milk or creamer. This is the healthiest way to drink your coffee and also well maximize the drink’s natural benefits. Be sure to just add milk and minimal sugar if need be and only have your favourite specialty drink as a treat.
3.  Be careful about when you drink it. There is something great about the smell and feel of a warm cup of java first thing in the morning but its probably not the best idea at 9 o’clock at night. Excessive caffeine consumption can be detrimental to both successful sleep and your mood.
4. Supplement coffee with other things. Make sure to drink enough water to keep your body hydrated and give tea a try. Tea also contains the same type of positive antioxidants, caffeine to awaken the mind and is all natural too.
5. Savour the coffee. Instead of drinking 5 cups a day, have 1 or 2 really good ones and enjoy every sip of this delicious (and “healthy in moderation”)drink. Keep it to an amount that you feel is necessary, maybe 1-3 cups a day, maximum, or you’ll be bouncing off the walls.
 
Coffee can be really good for you just make sure to drink it in relative moderation and keep it is as simple as possible. So carry on coffee-obsessed students of UBC. Just don’t over do it!

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