Most of us love a good cup of coffee in the morning to get us started, and there are benefits to drinking coffee, particularly filter coffee, instant coffee isn't quite so great.
Caffeine is known to improve cognitive function, helping you to think clearly. It is also known to boost your metabolism by 3% to 11%, and can help your body make fat available to be used as energy. The key benefit is that Coffee can help improve what's called your working memory.
What is working memory?
Most of us will know it as Short Term Memory. It is the function of our brain where we retain information for use in the short term, so as an example...
You bump into an old friend in town, get chatting and your friend tells you their phone number, your phone is back at the office so you cant save it and have to remember it and save into your phone when you get back to the office. It is that process of retaining information for a short period which constitutes Working Memory.
The Dark Side of Caffeine
Despite coffee being great for waking you up in the morning, giving you some energy and even helping to a lesser degree with weight management there is a dark side.
Caffeine is a Psychoactive substance and has side effects on the body and mind.
Caffeine is in a family of chemicals known as Diuretics, this means that it ramps up the body's processes for eliminating water from itself, which may lead to dehydration if you've drunk too much coffee, this can lead to headaches and increased heart rate as the blood becomes a little more viscous due to the lower levels of water in the blood. Other side effects include insomnia, stomach issues, aggravates stomach ulcers, and can lead to muscle tremors. So whilst it is helpful for short term improvements in metabolism and mental focus are the potential risks really worth it.
Exercise as an alternative
Exercise has been found to have much of the same positive effects on the body as caffeine, including the same level of improvements in working memory after 20 minutes of exercise. Exercise also has longer lasting benefits for improving your weight, particularly if you get some exercise regularly. In addition exercise also helps improve your mood.
If you enjoy Walking or Running outdoors the benefits for mood are only enhanced by being out in the natural and green environment.
So what's the conclusion?
For those of us who like coffee, move over to filtered coffee for the nutrient benefits, but drink it in moderation to avoid experiencing the side effects. But at the same time make sure that you're getting at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise a day, or at least spread your exercise routine out over the week.