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02.16.21 | Sage Advice

Your Daily Cup of Coffee: Helping Your Health or Harming?

Coffee is an indelible part of most people’s morning routines. If you don’t feel human before you’ve had your first cup of coffee, you’re not alone. A study conducted by the National Coffee Association found that 64% of Americans drink coffee, and a New England Journal of Medicine article “Coffee, Caffeine and Health” called coffee the most widely consumed psychoactive agent in the world. But is getting your coffee fix helping or harming your health? Let’s take a look.

Helpful Benefits of Coffee

First things first: what is “the right” amount of coffee to consume? Lucky for us die-hard coffee lovers, Harvard Health Publishing describes moderate coffee consumption as three to four cups per day. As is our unofficial motto at Sage Collective, everything is best consumed and enjoyed in moderation. 

Diane Vizthum, M.S., R.D., research nutritionist for Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine also comments: “Caffeine is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about coffee. But coffee also contains antioxidants and other active substances that may reduce internal inflammation and protect against disease.”

In fact, according to Heathline, one cup of coffee includes the following amounts of daily recommended dosages for vitamins: 11% of riboflavin (vitamin B2), 6% of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), 3% of manganese and potassium and 2% of magnesium and niacin (vitamin B3). So if you’re a moderate coffee drinker (3-4) cups, you do the math… it’s like taking gummy vitamin supplements, right?

Coffee is also believed to lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, lower risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, lower risk for certain types of cancer (such as liver and colon), lower risk of stroke, help fight off gallstones and even help you live longer. 

Harmful Health Effects of Coffee

Now here’s where we talk about the other side of moderate consumption: overconsumption of coffee. Whether you exceed your daily limit of 4-5 cups, or whether you’re a novice coffee drinker who hasn’t built up a caffeine tolerance, coffee drinking could produce negative effects.

Negative effects of coffee overconsumption include increased blood pressure, headaches, nervousness, restlessness and anxiety, dizziness, heartburn, muscle tremors, pounding heart, dehydration, frequent trips to the bathroom and insomnia. Noticing a pattern? Most, if not all, of these negative side effects are directly induced by too much caffeine. 

The solution? Trade your next cup of coffee for a glass of water, or try decaf for a while. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: coffee consumption is great, but only in moderation. So drink away, all ye lovers of that good morning cuppa joe, but remember when to stop.

A clear mug of black coffee sits on a plain white surface, with coffee beans scattered around it
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02.04.21 | Outside Learning

How Better Self Control Leads to Life Longevity

What does good behavior have to do with life expectancy? More than you might think.

U.S. News recently reported on a study conducted on 1,000 New Zealanders, from newborns to 45 years old, tracking the correlation between self control and health in middle age. The study tracked self-control through behaviors related to goal-orientation and restraint in thoughts, behavior and emotion. The study’s analysis of health in middle age took into account both body and brain.

Overall, the study concluded that those who practiced better self control “aged more slowly,” resulting in better health outcomes during their middle-aged years. So why exactly does this correlation occur? Self-control is also directly related to self-regulation. The study considered the impact of a person’s ability to delay gratification. For example, were participants able to forego short-term indulgences in favor of long-term rewards? (i.e., would they give up the immediate gratification of a ‘smoke break’ in order to have better lung health later on in life?) 

Most importantly, while self-control and self-regulation may also be influenced by DNA makeup and unique life circumstances, individuals do have the capability to learn better self-regulation skills. Knowing the long term effects of such behavior on one’s body and brain health, the development and cultivation of these skills throughout life becomes critical.

You can read more about the study and its findings in the U.S. News article here.

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