Health Benefits of Coffee! :)

I really, really love coffee.  I began drinking coffee when I was a freshman at Iowa, and since have developed an addiction.  Kelly and I would frequent coffee shops on a weekly basis to study (the source of my addiction). The good news is that my addiction is not bad.  (Huge sigh of relief because I will not kick this habit).

Flashback to 2009- Kelly and I enjoying coffee in the Amana Colonies. This is one of my favorite candid pictures.

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I love getting up early on the weekends and lounging under blankets and drinking endless amounts of coffee. While reading one of my Runner’s World magazines I stumbled on one of the best articles.  It simply stated the pros of drinking coffee and the myths that many people believe. End point- coffee is great, and can actually help your running performance.

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Research and studies have shown that caffeine before physical activity likely allows the runner (or any athlete) to run further and faster.  However, prior to testing this theory you must be comfortable with running whatever distance you are going to run without coffee.  Secondly, limit your coffee intake.  Coffee is a diuretic and will make you have to use the restroom!  I personally do not drink coffee prior to my morning runs because I get up around 4:45 am and am honestly too tired to make coffee.

With this being said, roughly 12 ounces of coffee about an hour before your run will yield the best results.  Drinking too much coffee can have negative side effects.  Personally, if I drink too much coffee without food I get a headache and feel lightheaded (things you do NOT want to happen on a run).  So just make sure to play it safe.

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A common myth is that coffee dehydrates you. Studies have proven that drinking as many as 5 cups has little to no effects on hydration.

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-Moderate coffee intake (3-4 cups daily) can significantly lower your risk for heart disease.

-Coffee drinkers who consume 2 cups of coffee per day lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 10-12%.

-People who drink 2 cups of coffee on a regular basis are also helping to protect their liver.

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-Coffee contains antioxidants, which can help lower oxidative DNA damage.

-Coffee can act as a mild antidepressant. People who drink 2-4 cups of coffee daily are 10% less likely to be depressed.

-The delicious aroma of coffee can help to reduce stress because of its volatile aroma compounds.  (Simply put- it smells ridiculously amazing).

-The antioxidants in coffee help protect the brain from cognitive loss and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

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As a coffee freak I did not need all of these reasons to drink coffee, but they certainly make me feel better!  I don’t know what it is, but drinking coffee simply makes me happy.

Below is one of my favorite coffee mugs from Tiffany’s. (I may be drinking out of it right now).  Some people collect stamps, bears, signs, etcetera… well I collect coffee cups.  Each country or cool city I visit I get a new coffee cup.  That is my strange addiction.

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