Coffee and caffeine can be a fuzzy topic. It is good, bad, or just okay for you? Let’s look at the facts. Caffeine is a compound that stimulates the central nervous system. It temporarily heightens concentration and wards off fatigue. Within 30 to 60 minutes of drinking a cup of coffee, caffeine reaches peak levels in the bloodstream. The effects can take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours to wear off. Americans are taking in about 200 milligrams of caffeine each day. According to the Mayo Clinic, up to 400 mg/day is safe for most adults. Just to get an idea, here are the caffeine levels in 16 ounces in some common drinks:
Starbucks Grande Coffee
|Home-Brewed Coffee||275 mg|
|Rockstar Energy Drink||240 mg|
|Black or Green Tea||60 – 100 mg|
|Mountain Dew||72 mg|
Notice that Starbucks coffee does tend to have higher caffeine levels than your coffee from home, so be aware of that when you are counting your cups!
Benefits: There is evidence that coffee has some positive effects on the body. The American Dietetics Association states that drinking coffee will increase cognitive function, provide antioxidants, and may ward of diseases. If you add milk to your coffee, that is an additional source of Vitamin D and calcium. So, yay.
Drawbacks: A lot of the coffee we consume is loaded with sugar and creamer. Also, coffee is a diuretic, which means it makes our bodies lose water more quickly. So of you are drinking coffee regularly, make sure you are incorporating lots of water too! Finally, people with high blood pressure or of old age should be cautious about taking in too much caffeine.
Bottom Line: Drinking coffee can do some good for our bodies. As long as we aren’t adding ridiculous amounts of sugar and creamers, a cup or two a day is okay. As with any food, moderation is key! Be sure to balance out coffee with lots of water throughout the day, and of course check with a doctor or RDN about any specific health condition.
As for me, I greatly look forward to my iced coffee in the morning (black with a little soy milk) and I don’t plan on giving it up any time soon! So if you choose, sit back, relax, and enjoy your morning cup 🙂
How do you take your coffee?
Do you have a favorite Starbucks drink?