I was reading yet another study today (while drinking my coffee) that drinking coffee ‘might’ add years to your life. As a confirmed coffee lover I’m always drawn to read these articles. Today’s article started with the quote "Our findings suggest that drinking four cups of coffee each day can be part of a healthy diet in healthy people". This wasn’t quite the earth-shattering conclusion I’d hoped for.
I’m studying with Precision Nutrition at the moment and found the following coffee information nugget particularly interesting when I happened upon it recently. Do you know we all have a gene in our liver for making a particular enzyme that breaks down caffeine? But because of small genetic differences, some of us have the enzyme that breaks down caffeine quickly, while some have the enzyme that breaks it down slowly.
In people with the fast version of this enzyme, caffeine is processed and eliminated quickly leaving behind the antioxidants found in coffee which can help protect against free radicals.
For people with the slow enzyme the caffeine lingers longer, which can cause health problems.
Now straight off I can think of a friend with the slow version of that enzyme. If she drinks a coffee in the morning she will have the caffeine jitters all day and subsequently will be lying awake all night – no doubt asking herself why she had that coffee. Whereas I can happily have 3 cups before midday without any ill effects and still get a good night’s sleep.
So it would seem with these studies which say x amount of cups a coffee a day or healthy or maybe not healthy – it really depends on the individual.
If you’d like to read a little more about the highs and lows of coffee have a look at Precision Nutrition’s ‘All About Coffee’ article by Brian St. Pierre http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-coffee