Category Archives: coffee

How coffee protects the brain

I am guilty of being a coffee lover. I am so bad that when I see someone on TV carrying a cardboard cup of the brew, I am tempted to make some for myself. So, the following was good news for me.

Scientists have now proved that drinking certain types of coffee can be beneficial to brain health, but how does this popular brew support cognitive function? A new study identifies some of the mechanisms that allow coffee to keep mental decline at bay.

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Photo by Leah Kelley on Pexels.com

According to data from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, MA, about 54 percent of all adults in the United States drink coffee on a daily basis.

While drinking coffee can bring both benefits and risks for a person’s health, a 2016 study from the University of Ulster in Coleraine, United Kingdom, concluded that the health benefits of moderate coffee consumption “clearly outweigh” the potential risks.

One of these benefits is that coffee seems to protect the brain against cognitive impairments and boost thinking skills. Continue reading

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7 Coffee Facts You Need to Know

As a coffee drinker and coffee lover, I enjoyed this post and thought you might, too.

Tony

Athletic Performance Training Center

Apparently, Saturday, September 29 was National Coffee Day.  I missed it.

I’ve touted the benefits of coffee and caffeine in past articles and blog posts (Please see Coffee, Caffeine, and Exercise, among others).  Here’s an informative article from The Ladders’ Meredith Lepore.  Read it with your daily cup of java.

It seems like every day there is a new study telling us either that coffee is slowly killing us, making us healthier, making us smarter, making us dumber, helping us grow wings, etc., However there are a number of studies that have come out recently that reveal some very interesting facts about your daily cup of joe. In honor of National Coffee Day, this Saturday, check out these 7 facts about coffee.

It can make everyone you work with so much more appealing

A recent study that appears in the Journal of Psychopharmacology finds that if you have coffee…

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Caffeine From Four Cups of Coffee Protects the Heart With the Help of Mitochondria

I am a coffee drinker and always happy to learn of positive effects to be gleaned from drinking it. As a matter of fact, I pretty much concentrate on decaf, though, because I don’t like to introduce any foreign chemicals into my system if I can help it. Also, I read an article about caffeine withdrawal symptoms that scared me.

Summary: A new study reports caffeine concentration, the equivalent of four cups of coffee, can promote the movement of a regulatory protein into mitochondria. This can enhance mitochondrial function and protect heart cells from damage.
Source: PLOS.

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They found that caffeine induced the movement of p27 into mitochondria, setting off this beneficial chain of events, and did so at a concentration that is reached in humans by drinking four cups of coffee. NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.

Caffeine consumption has been associated with lower risks for multiple diseases, including type II diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, but the mechanism underlying these protective effects has been unclear. A new study now shows that caffeine promotes the movement of a regulatory protein into mitochondria, enhancing their function and protecting cardiovascular cells from damage. Continue reading

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How About a High Energy De-Caf Coffee Drink?- Mr. Lazy Cook

A couple of things to lay out before we start here. First, I don’t drink coffee with caffeine as I try to keep drugs of any kind out of my system. Second, I am a regular bicycle rider and always on the lookout for new sources of energy.
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The other morning I had a new situation. I had a date for early afternoon to attend a play. In addition, we had reservations for brunch at noon. From this schedule, I was not going to have a lot of time to get in a bike ride. So, I thought I would rise at first light and take out the bike for a ride ahead of walking the dog and my social schedule for the day.

Normally, I start the day with what I call my rocket fuel. It is a smoothie that contains all my vitamins. You can read about it in A super breakfast smoothie.

On the morning in question, my reservation about my smoothie was that it takes 15 minutes to make and another 15 minutes to drink. I didn’t want to spend 30 minutes doing that. I wanted to be riding my bike. On the other hand I was concerned that having just awakened from a night’s sleep, my energy reserves were low. I sure didn’t want to black out. I hadn’t eaten in over nine hours.

So, what to do instead to give me a quick shot of energy. I like my coffee in the morning, but since it is decaf, I don’t expect a boost from it. Here is the beginning of a light bulb going off in my head. As recently as April, I got turned on to coconut oil as a wonderful source of nutrition. Check out Why should I try coconut oil? for more details. Since that time I have been using coconut oil in every way I could think of to cook in, shave with, etc. Coconut oil has a lot of healthy fat in it which provides energy. I decided to add a tablespoon of coconut oil to my coffee. Continue reading

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The Coffee Cannabis Connection

Lots of people drink coffee not quite as many, I reckon, are involved with cannabis on some level. So, how do they interact in us? Here is a fascinating study on just that subject.

It’s well known that a morning cup of joe jolts you awake. But scientists have discovered coffee affects your metabolism in dozens of other ways, including your metabolism of steroids and the neurotransmitters typically linked to cannabis, reports a new study from Northwestern Medicine.

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In a study of coffee consumption published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, Northwestern scientists were surprised to discover coffee changed many more metabolites in the blood than previously known. Metabolites are chemicals in the blood that change after we eat and drink or for a variety of other reasons.

The neurotransmitters related to the endocannabinoid system — the same ones affected by cannabis — decreased after drinking four to eight cups of coffee in a day. That’s the opposite of what occurs after someone uses cannabis. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals that deliver messages between nerve cells. Continue reading

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Can coffee improve your workout? The science of caffeine and exercise

I confess I love coffee. I drink it every morning and after meals when I eat out. Mostly I consume decaf as I have read some horrifying studies on caffeine addiction and caffeine headaches. Also, I really don’t like to add chemicals to my system if I can help it. Here is an interesting study of the effect of caffeine and coffee on workouts from Medical Xpress.

Caffeine is one of the most researched substances reported to help athletes perform better and train longer and harder. As a result, professional and amateur sportspeople often take it as a performance-enhancing “ergogenic” aids for a wide range of activities. These include intermittent exercise such as football and racket sports, endurance exercise such as running and cycling, and resistance exercise such as weightlifting.

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But while most research looks at the effects of pure caffeine consumed as tablets with water, in the real world most people get their caffeine from coffee, energy drinks or other products like special gels or chewing gum. So will drinking a cup of joe before your workout actually make a difference? The answer could depend as much on your genes as what kind of coffee you’re drinking.

Scientists think caffeine affects the body chemical adenosine, which normally promotes sleep and suppresses arousal. Caffeine ties up the receptors in the brain that detect adenosine and so makes it more alert. Continue reading

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Does coffee help you live longer?

I love my morning coffee. I also love a cup of cappuccino after dinner when dining out, so, clearly I have a dog in this fight.

Scientists have found that people who drink coffee appear to live longer.

Drinking coffee was associated with a lower risk of death due to heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory and kidney disease for African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Latinos and whites.

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People who consumed a cup of coffee a day were 12 percent less likely to die compared to those who didn’t drink coffee. This association was even stronger for those who drank two to three cups a day—18 percent reduced chance of death.

Lower mortality was present regardless of whether people drank regular or decaffeinated coffee, suggesting the association is not tied to caffeine, said Veronica W. Setiawan, lead author of the study and an associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Continue reading

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Skip the coffee, take the stairs to feel more energized

I am a great believer in the benefits of stair climbing. Check out my post 5 Reasons stair climbing is good for you to read much more about it. Here are some neat further benefits of this simple, but not necessarily easy, exercise that you can do in lots of places.

A midday jolt of caffeine isn’t as powerful as walking up and down some stairs, according to new research from the University of Georgia.

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In a new study published in the journal Physiology and Behavior, researchers in the UGA College of Education found that 10 minutes of walking up and down stairs at a regular pace was more likely to make participants feel energized than ingesting 50 milligrams of caffeine-about the equivalent to the amount in a can of soda.

“We found, in both the caffeine and the placebo conditions, that there was not much change in how they felt,” said Patrick J. O’Connor, a professor in the department of kinesiology who co-authored the study with former graduate student Derek Randolph. “But with exercise they did feel more energetic and vigorous. It was a temporary feeling, felt immediately after the exercise, but with the 50 milligrams of caffeine, we didn’t get as big an effect.” Continue reading

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Hot cocoa and caffeine work positively for your brain- Study

As a big fan of coffee in general and the mocha drink in particular, this study struck a positive chord with me.

Deep down, we always knew it, but science is proving that cocoa and caffeine are indeed the best marriage ever. Clarkson University researcher Ali Boolani recently completed a study that explores the powers of these two dark delights.

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The assistant professor of physical therapy and physician assistant studies teamed up with colleagues at the University of Georgia to examine the “acute effects of brewed cocoa consumption on attention, motivation to perform cognitive work and feelings of anxiety, energy and fatigue.” Continue reading

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Coffee drinkers have better arteries – Tufts

Drinking three to five cups a day linked to lower risk of arterial plaque.

I enjoy coffee and have some every morning. I drink decaf because I don’t like to introduce unhealthy chemicals like caffeine into my system. That’s just me. I am not trying to proselytize here, just get the facts down, because the latest from the Tufts Health Letter interested me as a coffee drinker and blogger who covers health.

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“Scientists may now better understand at least one way in which coffee could help to protect against cardiovascular disease. A large new Korean study reports that people drinking three to five cups of coffee daily were 41% less likely to show signs of coronary artery calcium than non-coffee drinkers. This calcification is an early indicator of the artery-clogging plaques (atherosclerosis) that cause coronary artery disease, which afflicts nearly 16 million Americans.  Continue reading

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Are we java junkies? – Infographic

I am a coffee drinker and coffee lover. I wrote about my cold brewing coffee in March. Also, check out my post from Harvard on coffee facts.

This is one of the most informative infographics I can remember seeing. Enjoy!

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Tony

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The Unfiltered Coffee Facts – Harvard Health Letter

The latest Harvard Health Letter offers some fascinating insights into our morning brew.

“Coffee is part of many people’s daily routine, whether it’s the morning pick-me-up or the evening complement to a satisfying dinner. And it’s no wonder: a hot cup of brew is comforting and flavorful. Even better, new evidence continues to associate coffee with health benefits, such as a reduced risk of an early death, as we reported to you in February 2016.

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“Our understanding of coffee is evolving. We’re learning more about it all the time,” says Dr. Eric Rimm, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The benefits
“Coffee comes from the seeds (or beans) of cherries that grow on the coffee tree. When you pour hot water over dried, roasted, ground coffee beans, you get the savory brown brew that so many people—54% of those 18 and older in the United States—drink daily. Continue reading

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7 Steps to Smarter Coffee Drinking – Infographic

First of all, bike riders are notorious coffee drinkers. Although I ride a bike plenty, I am not one of the caffeine crazies. However, I did just write a post on cold-brewed coffee. My daily consumption comes to little more than two cups a day. Draw your own conclusions. I just ran across this infographic and thought it had a lot of good information on the subject.

Here’s a fun little caffeine fact: Caffeine was on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) list of prohibited substances for many years. Athletes who tested positive for more than 12 micrograms of caffeine per milliliter of urine could be banned from the Olympic Games. This level can be reached after drinking about 5 cups of coffee. However, the IOC REMOVED caffeine from the banned list in 2004. Caffeine was taken off of the list of banned substances so that athletes who drink cola or coffee are not penalized.

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Tony

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What About Cold-Brewed Coffee?

There are a number of conversational ’third rails’ like, religion, politics, labor unions, etc., and I usually sidestep them. I wouldn’t be surprised  if coffee is another. So, let me say up front, I am not trying to change anyone’s coffee drinking habits. I just wanted to tell you about my own.

As regular readers know, I often back projects on the two crowdfunding sites, Kickstarter and Indiegogo like my Torch helmet and my HYDRA Smart Water Bottle, both for bike riding.

Now I would like to tell you about BOD’s BodyBrew a new cold brewing coffee system that I backed.

For the record, the extent of my ‘backing’ of this product was under $100 and my ‘reward’ limited to one of the coffee makers. I am not trying to sell you one and I get no royalties or further payments from BOD. That’s how crowdfunding works.

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So, what is cold brewed coffee? It is coffee brewed by substituting time for heat. In other words, you pour cold water over it and come back 12-24 hours later and you have a batch of coffee liquor with which to brew coffee.

The nourishing gourmet says, “You leave coffee in water for 12 hours or more, and then you strain it. You now have a coffee concentrate that will last at least a week. What more can you ask for?

“The advantages of cold brewing coffee, as I see it, are as follows.
Continue reading

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Moderate Coffee Drinking May Cut Premature Death Risk – Harvard

1439910737525I am a coffee drinker in moderation, so I only worry about the effects of caffeine on me. I have heard horror stories of ‘caffeine headaches’ that die hard coffee drinkers get. So I pretty much limit myself to decaf. I was happy to learn the latest from Harvard on coffee drinking.

People who drink about three to five cups of coffee a day may be less likely to die prematurely from some illnesses than those who don’t drink or drink less coffee, according to a new study by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers and colleagues. Drinkers of both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee saw benefits, including a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, type 2 diabetes, and suicide.

“Bioactive compounds in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation,” said first author Ming Ding, a doctoral student in the Department of Nutrition. “That could explain some of our findings. However, more studies are needed to investigate the biological mechanisms producing these effects.”

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The Amount of Coffee That Protects Against Dementia Precursor

Having posted on Alzheimer’s a few hours ago, I thought you should see this interesting post on coffee.

While we are on the subject, please be sure to check my Page – Important Facts About Your Brain (and Exercise Benefits)

Tony

Our Better Health

How coffee intake affects the chance of developing mild cognitive impairment.

Drinking one or two cups of coffee a day can protect the brain against a precursor to dementia, a new study finds.

More coffee, though, does not lead to a higher neuro-protective effect.

In fact, the study found that people who increased their consumption by a cup or two had twice the risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

MCI is a common precursor to developing forms of dementia, like Alzheimer’s disease.

Symptoms of MCI include minor memory problems and slowed thinking and judgement.

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The Italian study of 1,445 people also found that people not drinking coffee were at higher risk than those who drank moderate amounts.

The study’s authors write:

“These findings from the Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging suggested that cognitively normal older individuals who never or rarely consumed coffee and those who increased their coffee consumption habits…

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