{Friday Musings} Coffee! Do stupid things faster with more energy!

I started drinking coffee in college.

A blend of half dining hall coffee, half hot chocolate in a brown, Styrofoam cup.

For me, it was a study aid. Not at all for taste.

When I graduated and moved to the big city, I started drinking more coffee.

With a Dunkin Donuts on literally every corner, the coffee was hard to resist. I would go buy a coffee just to walk around with a coffee–why not? I mean, I grew up in a place where you had to drive to get coffee. Walking to a coffee shop was a strange, new luxury that I eagerly incorporated into my daily routine.

Step One: Get off the T a stop early so that I can walk past a Dunkin Donuts before I head into the office.

Step Two: Order a large coffee with skim milk and three Splenda. Three. Yes, Three.

Step Three: Consume said coffee, and probably go get another at the hospital coffee shop ( back then I worked at Mass General).

My love affair with artificially sweetened coffee continued when I went to work at a cafe in the South End of Boston.

Working at the cafe, I would probably drink close to six cups of coffee per day, which means close to 18 Splenda packets per day.

That’s just ridiculous.

Eventually, I transitioned to stevia in my coffee.

Then, to no sweetener at all.

Now I drink about three cups of coffee a day, with coconut milk and nothing else.

Even when I was drinking a bajillion cups of coffee per day, the caffeine never negatively affected me. (The Splenda, on the other hand, played a huge role in my digestive woes of yore.)

I’ve self-diagnosed myself as a fast metabolizer of caffeine. This means that I can drink a fair amount coffee without feeling any jitters. Hence why I used to be able to drink six cups of coffee a day and still function as a relatively normal contributing member of society.

Being a fast metabolizer means that I have the opportunity to benefit from some coffee drinkage.

People who drink coffee live longer

Drinking coffee before a workout can help with your performance

Coffee has even been shown to decrease the risk of certain cancers.

The key is the amount of coffee you drink. One to three cups seems to be a good amount to reap coffee’s benefits, while more than three cups can bring out the bad side of our beany friend.

I think that one of the big problems with coffee consumption today is not the coffee itself, but all of the sugar that goes into our favorite  coffee beverages.

An iced peppermint, white chocolate mocha from Starbucks runs at about 500 calories, with 69g of sugar.  To put that in perspective, you’d have to eat 5.3 chocolate frosted donuts to get that much sugar into your system.

So. My advice:

  • Buy some high quality, fair trade, organic coffee.
  • Stick with either heavy cream or coconut milk (I find that thicker white liquid is better for cutting some of the bitterness)
  • If you must sweeten, try cinnamon, green leaf stevia (not Truvia), or a dash of honey or maple syrup.
  • Enjoy up to three cups a day, preferably before 2pm (so as not to interfere with your sleep patterns)

For more on Coffee, check out the Whole9’s Coffee Manifesto.

How do you take your coffee? How many mugs to you enjoy in a day? Feel free to share in the comments below!

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4 Responses to {Friday Musings} Coffee! Do stupid things faster with more energy!

  1. Craig June 4, 2012 at 6:37 PM #

    Thanks for sharing. Our stories mirror each other with the exception that I take my coffee bold and black. Nothing in it. However, our family is starting the GAPS Diet this week, and I’m leery of no coffee for a few days. Say a prayer!

    • Allison June 12, 2012 at 9:48 AM #

      Hi Craig! How is your GAPS diet going? Are you finding it harder or easier than expected to live with out that delicious nectar of the Gods…aka coffee?

  2. Tess August 15, 2014 at 2:44 AM #

    I worked my way through school working in nightclubs for years. I drank coffee all night long to get through the insane hours and have always been a several cup a day gal since.

    As someone who has been eating clean for years, I gave up splenda and cream and creamer long ago. I find I cannot enjoy my coffee anymore and leave 3/4 of it over every day. Dragging my behind everyday. Coffee never made me racey, but I feel tired and low energy everyday now.

    Boy would I love to enjoy a creamy cup of coffee again. And enjoy that pre workout coffee again!

    I use a lot of coconut, and organic coconut oil in cooking and have replaced many beauty products with it! It would make sense to use it in my coffee.

    Doesn’t coconut milk go bad like within a week? I have used it in desserts before, I think the can says use within a week. What is a “serving size” in coffee. Do you keep it in the freezer, and dole out a spoonful everyday? I would certainly appreciate your input! Thank you!

    Tess

    • Allison August 16, 2014 at 10:05 AM #

      Hi Tess!

      I use coconut milk from a can and transfer it to a glass jar to keep in the fridge. For me, a serving size is about 2 Tbsp (I like my coffee on the lighter side)– I generally recommend using as much as you want, because in the grand scheme of things, it’s not that much coconut milk. One can last me 3 to 4 days depending on how much coffee I’m drinking (I mix in some decaf) and what kind of coffee (if I make a dark blend, I tend to use more milk). I’ve never had a can of coconut milk go bad on me in 4 or 5 days.

      Make sure to shake the can really well to get the coconut cream and coconut water to mix– or you can let them separate and just scoop off the cream. I use Light Coconut milk in the summer because I can use it in both hot and cold coffee– the full fat coconut milk tends to solidify when you put it in cold coffee.

      Hope this helps! Feel free to reach out of you have any other questions!

Thoughts? Feel free to comment below!

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