Caffeine – Friend or Foe?

Most people love a nice cuppa Joe. It tastes damn good and makes you feel fantastic but is it good for you? Are there health benefits to coffee or is it as bad as some people will tell you? Which side of the coin does it land on?

The answer? Both!



First of all there are huge health benefits to a good cup of coffee. Assuming you use freshly ground beans and NOT the instant rubbish you will get a big dose of antioxidants. It also contains magnesium and potassium which helps your body use insulin. This is great for losing weight and even helping to prevent type 2 diabetes. Couple this with the fact that coffee actually helps to break down fat cells and we’re winning in more ways than one. There has also been numerous studies which have shown coffee to protect against different types of cancer, strokes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. You could also argue that is stops countless arguments and keeps new parents sane through sleepless nights and screaming kids but that’s another story altogether.

The bottom line is that Coffee stimulates your central nervous system. It makes you feel energetic and awake when otherwise you may not. But that also brings the problems.


You see, we have a regular system of energy flow. As we progress through the day/week/month/year we naturally become fatigued, get tired and need to sleep. Should we do too much or not recover for long enough we will get into sleep debt, systems will be stressed, immune system compromised and your health will start to suffer. Ironically, most of the health benefits we get from coffee are completely reversed when we don’t get enough sleep and could actually result in increased fat storage, heart disease, high blood pressure and even stroke.


Coffee allows to get into recovery debt and for those who drink it regularly this debt builds up quickly. By stimulating the central nervous system with coffee we mask the bodies in-built controls and signals to rest up and sleep.





As a general rule I would recommend having one cup of coffee per day. And none of that instant rubbish. Freshly ground beans always. On the odd occasion you could have two or even three cups per day as long as it’s not too often but always before 3pm as caffeine will stay in your system for around 7 hours. (and we want it out before going to bed)


One last tip is to aim to have NO COFFEE AT ALL for one to two days each week.  By taking this caffeine break you will allow your systems to reset.


By dialling in your caffeine consumption you also give yourself a secret weapon. Should you come up against a particular busy period, kept up all night with your children or maybe wake up with a hangover then caffeine can be a real god-send. It’ll perk you up when you need it.

When you’ve been overdoing it with your coffee intake it just won’t have the same ‘pick me up’ effect.
Let’s wake up and …. Well you know how the end of that goes.