Coffee: the elixir of life

Coffee: the elixir of life

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Coffee. For some it is the elixir of life, and for the majority, the preferred fuel to get the human body going. Statistics show coffee consumption has gradually increased over the years peaking at 4.87 million 60 Kg bags being sold in the 2017/2018 season in Canada alone (that’s 292,200,000 Kg’s of coffee FYI). The earliest references to coffee date back to the 10th century, with more mainstream evidence documenting its consumption in the 15th and 16th century Arabian Peninsula. The drink has found itself in a rapid state of growth over the decades by quickly moving from just personal consumption to public coffee shops/houses. These shops were once referred to as “schools of the wise” for their ability to stimulate conversation and the exchange of ideas.

What are the benefits of coffee?
First, depending on where you get your information, coffee seems to have conflicting risks and benefits. However, after reviewing some of the latest scientific literature on coffee and its potential benefits, the research suggests your morning cup offers significant health benefits.

One meta-analysis including almost 160,000 participants, found coffee consumption was associated with lower odds of developing metabolic syndrome, a disorder that represents a cluster of conditions including: high blood pressure, high levels of LDL cholesterol, high blood sugars and excessive weight gain in the waist [1].

Logically, one might ask:, if coffee has been shown to decrease the odds of developing metabolic syndrome then can coffee improve some, if not all, conditions of metabolic syndrome? The answer appears to be ‘yes’.  A randomized trial was performed with obese women in which the treatment group received the equivalent of 1 and ¾ cups of coffee (400 mg) per day. It was found that body weight, body mass and fat mass, and waist-to-hip circumference ratio of the treatment group decreased, compared to the control group. In addition, the treatment group had decreased cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels[2]. These results not only indicate consumption of coffee may reduce obesity, but that it may also reduce the odds of developing metabolic syndrome.

Furthermore, a meta-analysis of potential studies that included 26 articles and just over a million participants, 50,000+ having Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM), was performed to examine the relationship between coffee and caffeine consumption and T2DM incidence (the occurrence, rate, or frequency of a disease). When compared to the lowest levels of coffee intake, there was a 29% reduction in risk of T2DM incidence associated with the highest levels of coffee intake. Similar associations were also found with decaffeinated coffee intake and caffeine intake. To continue, a dose-relationship was also found, which suggests the incidence of T2DM decreases by 12% for every incremental increase of 2 cups of coffee/day[3]! Further, another meta-analysis of seven cohort studies, including 205,349 participants and 44,120 cases of hypertension, shows an increase of 1 cup of coffee per day was associated with a 1% decreased risk of hypertension[4]. Finally, a smaller study found coffee has also been associated with lower levels of C-Reactive Protein, a common biomarker representing systemic inflammation throughout the body[5].

Now, I should note that a daily triple-triple from a coffee shop is NOT associated with the above benefits. Refined sugar is not good for our bodies and it is a common condiment in coffee. Recent research suggests dairy may not be the good for our bodies either. Therefore, I have included three recipes to help keep you fueled without the above ingredients.

? Fresh coffee with 1-1 ½ tsp MCT oil

? Onnit Cafe’s Burn Fat-A-Latte Coffee Recipe
? 2 Cups Onnit Coffee
? 1 Scoop Vanilla Hemp Force
? 1/4 teaspoon MCT OIL
? 1 tablespoon WAC Butter
? 1 teaspoon Colostrum
? 1 teaspoon Grassfed Butter
? Dash of Fresh Grated Cinnamon

? Keto Coffee
? one 8-ounce cup of organic coffee
? 1 scoop bone broth collagen powder
? 1 tablespoon grass-fed butter
? 1 tablespoon coconut oil or MCT oil
? cinnamon to sprinkle on top
? Blend till well-combined

Take home message:
Coffee can be attributed to:
? Decreased incidence of T2DM
? Decreased odds of developing metabolic syndrome
? Decreased hypertension
? Decreased Inflammation
? Reduction in body mass, fat mass, waist-to-hip circumference ratio
? Lower LDL levels

[1] Shang, F.; Li, X.; Jiang, X. Coffee consumption and risk of the metabolic syndrome: A meta-analysis. Diabetes Metab. 2016, 42, 80–87.
[2] Haidari, F.; Samadi, M.; Mohammadshahi, M.; Jalali, M.T.; Engali, K.A. Energy restriction combined with green coffee bean extract affects serum adipocytokines and the body composition in obese women. Asia Pac. J. Clin. Nutr. 2017, 26, 1048–1054.
[3] Jiang, X.; Zhang, D.; Jiang, W. Coffee and caffeine intake and incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus: A meta-analysis of prospective studies. Eur. J. Nutr. 2014, 53, 25–38.
[4] Grosso, G.; Micek, A.; Godos, J.; Pajak, A.; Sciacca, S.; Bes-Rastrollo, M.; Galvano, F.; Martinez-Gonzalez, M.A. Long-Term Coffee Consumption Is Associated with Decreased Incidence of New-Onset Hypertension: A Dose—Response Meta-Analysis. Nutrients 2017, 9, 890.
[5] Yi Zhang & Dian-Zhong Zhang (2018) Is coffee consumption associated with a lower level of serum C-reactive protein? A meta-analysis of observational studies, International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, DOI: 10.1080/09637486.2018.1433640

Anthony Barsby

As our Human Performance Specialist, Anthony provides clients with comprehensive and customized lifestyle coaching through face-to-face consultations and online mentoring. A Certified Exercise Physiologist, Anthony administers fitness assessments and designs exercise programs that address each individual's goals and needs.