3 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Morning Coffee

Coffee is a super common way people start their days in most parts of the US.  And while many people love coffee there a few things most of us don’t know about this popular beverage that we probably should.

Legend has it that coffee was originally discovered by a goat herder who noticed his goats would jump around after eating the coffee plants berries.  He tried some too and must have gotten pretty wired.  The rest as we know is history and after thousands of years of coffee drinking here are 3 things you probably didn’t know about coffee.

1) A Cup of Coffee Isn’t What it Used to Be

When Americans first starting drinking coffee the average size of cup of coffee was 6 ounces.  That’s about the size of a common tea cup.  This also the size of a cup of coffee used in almost all studies done on caffeine to date.

However, now a days a 6 oz cup of coffee is pretty rare.  Most coffee shop mugs, for example, are at least 12 oz.  Many are in the 14-16 oz range.  And who hasn’t noticed the 20 oz coffees sold at most gas stations.  Furthermore most people don’t fire up the coffee pot just to have 1 little cup of coffee.  Most people I talk to drink at least 2-3 cups most mornings.

Why is this important?  Well, when you consider that 1 cup of coffee is considered pretty harmless, it’s also been documented that too much caffeine contribute to sleep problems, heart problems, anxiety and a host of other health problems.  So, while a cup or two of coffee at 6 oz may well be just fine, most of the people out there are easily going into the 4-8 cup arena without even knowing it. Yikes!

 

2) Caffeine is Actually Viewed as a Toxin by the Body

What organ is responsible for detoxifying the body?  If you said the liver, you would be correct.  The liver does all the heavy lifting when it comes to breaking down toxins in the body and it also breaks down toxins in the order of worst to least troublesome.

So guess what the first thing the liver breaks down is?  Caffeine.  Shoot.  It takes care of caffeine before alcohol and even chemo drugs.  Now if that isn’t depressing I don’t know what is.

It is important to note though that while a large dose of caffeine is a problem caffeine’s effects on the body are very dose dependent so smaller amounts won’t be near as much trouble for the body handle.  Just be smart and don’t drink a whole pot each day.  Your liver will thank you.

 

3) Small Amounts of Caffeine Can Help Boost Testosterone

Finally some good news about caffeine.  In small doses caffeine helps up-regulate cAMP production.  This is good news because increased levels of cAMP cause the body to produce more testosterone, something that has been shown to be rapidly declining in modern men.

For anyone curious what testosterone is for it helps build muscle, burn fat, boost libido (in men and women) and keeps a mans mood stable.  Pretty important stuff I’d say. So to help out your testosterone production small amounts a caffeine a few times a week is probably a good thing.

 

Conclusion

Based on what I’ve read the message with coffee, and caffeine in general is pretty clear: moderation is the way to go.  And in this case I’d recommend erring on the side of caution and keep that caffeine intake low.  1 cup of coffee a day probably won’t cause any problems unless you are very sensitive to caffeine but going much beyond that and you could run into problems pretty quickly.

Overall I think 1 cup a day (like half a coffee mug) is best for most people.  Heck, even taking a day or 2 off just to be on the safe side is probably a good idea.

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Austin EricksonAbout the Author

Dr. Austin Erickson is a chiropractor with offices in Glenwood City and the 4 Corners near New Richmond, Wisconsin. He is an expert at combining chiropractic treatment with nutritional advice to achieve excellent results. He has cured himself of psoriasis and autoimmune related arthritis using his protocols. Connect with him on Twitter and Google+

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