The Health Benefits of Caffeine
Caffeine plays a big role in many of our lives — but how does it impact our health? Rumors have been swirling that too much caffeine can negatively affect our health, but studies have shown that caffeine is mainly beneficial to our bodies. One large study showed people who drink 4-5 cups of coffee a day live the longest. While the results from this study point toward correlation instead of causation, perhaps drinking that extra cup of coffee will give you an extra year of life. Let’s take a deeper look into how caffeine affects our bodies and how we can use it to train optimally!
The Different Types of Caffeine
When we think of caffeine, most of our minds probably gravitate towards coffee. Dr. Alice Nguyen explains why coffee is beneficial to our health: “Coffee contains about 1,000 bioactive components. Some of them are antioxidants — some of them will actually upregulate phase two detoxification.” One other way people opt to consume caffeine is through caffeine pills, which have been found to be more effective for performance than coffee. If you’d prefer to stick with a good ol’ cup of joe in the morning (or three), you’re prioritizing your overall health by introducing the 1,000 bioactive components. Many of the coaches at STARK take caffeine pills as a pre-workout method, but Dr. Alice Nguyen sticks to her coffee to get her ready for her workouts.
The Benefits of Coffee
If you didn’t already have enough reason to enjoy your morning coffee — we’ll offer more scientific evidence that coffee is beneficial for your health. Studies have shown that coffee consumption reduces all-cause mortality as well as reduces inflammation, but caffeine in other forms does not. Further research has shown a decrease in depression and risk of suicide with coffee consumption. Coffee doesn’t appear to cause long-term hypertension — which is a common misconception.
People are often concerned that coffee intake will cause adrenal fatigue. If you’re already feeling fatigued and drinking coffee to remedy it, it’s important to remember that something is causing it in the first place. Coffee could potentially make your fatigue worse because you may not be sleeping or taking care of your body properly — but coffee would not be causing the fatigue.
This wouldn’t be a comprehensive look into the benefits of caffeine without an honorable mention of coffee enemas. Coffee enemas are used to stimulate the GI tract. These are a type of retention enema — meaning you’re supposed to fill up your colon as much as possible and for as long as possible. Fun fact: one of our employees was able to hold 32 ounces for 27 minutes! Dr. Alice Nguyen says doing a coffee enema once per week will provide optimal results, but it’s critical to ensure you’re doing it correctly.
What Type of Caffeine is Best?
Caffeine consumption can help reduce appetite, get more out of your exercise, and slightly raise your metabolic rate. If your current priority is to train and get the most out of your workouts, caffeine pills are the best option for you. Coffee is the best option for those who want to prioritize brain health, heart health, and life health. There’s not a magic fat loss effect to consuming coffee — but a caloric deficit paired with coffee will actually help improve fat burning. Coffee enemas are an excellent option for those who’d like to give their digestive system a little pick-me-up.
Most importantly, we recommend listening to your body before ingesting caffeine. Dr. Alice notes that some people don’t do well with caffeine, meaning their dopamine isn’t clearing as fast as it should. If you don’t feel well when you have caffeine — it’s more beneficial for your body to stay away from it! If you’re a caffeine lover, evidence suggests that the love is mutual. Keep drinking your coffee, and maybe you’ll end up living longer!