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  Diet & Nutrition

July 2012
Waking Up To Coffee More Readily
Ishi Khosla
 
If you thought, your favourite cup of coffee was unhealthy, think again!

Even while the south Indian filter coffee remains a hallowed tradition, the recent past has seen the evolution of a new coffee culture in urban India.

The Café Coffee Days and Baristas have indulged us plenty, and as things go, soon Starbucks too will be here with choice flavours. It can be safely said that Indians are learning to wake up to coffee.

The scenario notwithstanding, most people believe coffee to be somewhat toxic, and view coffee drinking as an addiction or an indulgence. It is seen as an easy way out of the battle with fatigue. Coffee drinking is also faulted and cited variously in relation to poor digestive health, disturbed sleep pattern, infertility, hypertension, incidence of cancers of the bladder and pancreas and issues with bone and cardiovascular health.

Coffee’s Caffeine Table
Drink Serving size (ml) Caffeine content (mg)
Coffee (drip method) 150 115
Coffee (percolator) 150 80
Instant coffee 150 65
Espresso 30 40
Decaffeinated coffee 150 03

So, What Is Your Shot Like?
  • Coffee contains more than 400 chemicals besides trace amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  • The main stimulant is caffeine.
  • A regular mug contains approximately 100 mg of caffeine.
  • The caffeine content varies depending on how strong or light a cuppa you choose to have.
  • Caffeine hikes your adrenaline level, stimulates central nervous system, increases heart rate and leaves you very alert.
What Are The High Scores?
  • Caffeine’s negative contribution, if any, to cardiovascular health and incidence of strokes, is being discounted by some recent studies. They say that such caffeine-linked health issues do not show up as cause for concern, even in people who drink more than four cups of coffee a day
  • Numerous studies report that regular coffee consumption over long periods of time may reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Coffee is shown to increase energy expenditure modestly – a pointer that caffeine may also be beneficial in weight loss programmes.
  • Coffee has popped up as a major source of dietary antioxidants with an inhibitory property vis-à-vis inflammation. The latter lowers the risk of inflammatory diseases in postmenopausal women.
  • Preliminary studies also suggest that coffee plays a protective role against liver cirrhosis.
  • Caffeine being a natural stimulant, it may have a positive effect on athletic performance. People who ingest high caffeine load an hour before exercise have been assessed as using less muscle glycogen; it is also an indication of increase in endurance.

    
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