Coffee is a habit of many peoples workday starting from when they get up and often continues well into the day but does this seemingly harmless habit that gives us such a boost affect our diet, health or fitness?
Coffee is a stimulant with the stimulation coming from 'caffeine' found in many drinks both hot and cold it's an addictive stimulant. Caffeine however is not only found in stimulation drinks, coffee & tea, it has an active role in many weight loss pills and fat burners! The reason for this is the physiological affects it has on the body which are similar to light cardiovascular exercise without actually doing it.
It's what you put in it!
To be honest as far as the diet is concerned coffee won't tip your calorie count over the edge, well not if you don't put anything in it anyway. Black coffee has about 4 kcal and it's only when we add sugar & milk that we increase the count. A coffee with milk is likely to come in at about 15 kcal and with sugar 30 to 45 plus do you have something with your coffee, maybe a biscuit? Most people probably like to have a snack with their coffee and this is where the habit becomes detrimental to out diet.
So that's just one coffee but most habitual coffee drinkers hardly ever have one, in fact sometimes two or three before they have left the house!
Is coffee bad for me?
No, at least not in moderation, there is nothing wrong with having a coffee and i'd never ask a client to take it out of their diet if they enjoyed it but you can certainly cut it down to one a day and you can also take out sugar, now you have a sensible drink with not too many more calories than cordial.
However if you are having more than 300mg (about 4 coffee's) of caffeine then this will start to become a problem, the physiological affects normally produce a low after the high and caffeine artificially keeps your heart rate high! It's this reason you find it in diet pills and fat burners, it has a positive affect on calorie consumption by raising certainly physiological functions of the body, thus burning additional calories.
Will it help my workout?
Coffee provides a stimulating kick to the body and you might of heard of the use of caffeine before a workout! This can help give you a stimulating boost and prepare your body for training which when combined could lead to increased calorie burn during the session.
I personally can't see to much benefit and it can be borderline unsafe for high risk populations, those with high blood pressure for example certainly should not take this approach.
To sum up!
- Don't quit coffee, enjoy it in moderation
- Cut down to one per day
- Don't consume after midday
- Cut of the snacks with your coffee
- Reduce the sugar
- Drink it black (only 4 kcal)
- Avoid that second cup!!