How to Have a Healthier Cup of Coffee
In this article, we look at what you need to know about consuming caffeinated beverages like coffee in a safe and healthy way.
March is National Caffeine Awareness Month, so it’s the perfect time to take a closer look at your caffeine consumption. Studies show that about 85% of Americans consume at least one caffeinated beverage per day. If one sounds low to you, you may be one of the 68 million Americans who consume up to three cups of coffee on a daily basis. We know how you feel!
While caffeine isn’t necessarily bad for you in moderate amounts, it has the potential to negatively impact your health if you don’t consume it correctly. Here’s what you need to know about consuming caffeinated beverages like coffee in a safe and healthy way.
1. Keep an eye on your caffeine intake.
How much caffeine is in your daily cup of joe? The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend a maximum intake of 400mg of caffeine per day – that’s equivalent to about 4 or 5 cups of coffee. Consuming more than the recommended amount of caffeine may lead to unpleasant symptoms such as anxiousness, headaches, nausea, and the jitters.
2. Reconsider your brewing method.
The brewing method you choose impacts the caffeine content of your coffee. French press coffee has the highest level of caffeine, around 80mg to 100mg per cup while a traditional coffee machine brews at around 30mg to 50mg per cup. Try out different coffee recipes to see which brewing method works best for your caffeine tolerance.
3. Consume caffeine with food.
Consuming caffeine on an empty stomach can increase your risk for adverse effects like anxiety, heartburn, or indigestion. Try mixing unflavored collagen protein into your coffee or sip your cup of joe with breakfast. Foods that are rich in carbohydrates like bread and fruit are a great option.
4. Be mindful of your dental health.
A cup of coffee wakes you up and gets you ready to face the day, but it can have a negative impact on your dental health if you aren’t careful. Coffee contains tannins, naturally occurring plant compounds that can stain your teeth. If coffee is part of your morning routine, drink it before you brush your teeth.
5. Don’t drink caffeine too close to bedtime.
A daily cup of coffee can actually be good for your health, but if you drink it too close to bedtime it could interfere with your sleep. Caffeine suppresses adenosine, a chemical your body naturally produces which makes you sleepy. Research suggests drinking caffeine within 6 hours of bedtime can decrease your total sleep by one hour. If you’re particularly sensitive to caffeine, you may want to avoid other caffeinated beverages like soda and tea in the evening as well.
If you’re a daily coffee drinker, you’re certainly not alone. Because it’s National Caffeine Awareness Month, however, it might be time to take a closer look at your habits. As long as you’re being smart about your caffeine intake and how you consume it, caffeine can be a positive part of your day.