While traditionally, Australians were considered tea-drinkers, our coffee consumption over the years is constantly on the rise.  Perhaps this is because Australian coffee baristas are considered to rival some of the best in the world.  Who does not love the smell of coffee when passing by a coffee shop, even if you don’t drink it, the aroma is tantalizing.

The annual domestic coffee consumption in Australia reached almost 1.87 million 60-kilogram bags. On average, Australians consumed around 1.91 kilograms of coffee per person in 2019, out of which 1.39 kilograms were roast coffee and around 0.53 kilograms were instant coffee.  While instant coffee still exists, roasted coffee is almost three times as popular. 

There is no doubt coffee is an efficient way to get the day started strong–but does the temporary energy boost lead to an energy loss in the long run?

This articles touches on some interesting data, highlighting a few new findings.

Is coffee a diuretic?

There is no surprise that coffee contains caffeine – that’s the main reason people drink it in the morning and rely on it for a midday pick-me-up. You might have also heard that caffeine, although a lifesaver when you are tired, is a diuretic that can cause dehydration. But is it really?

Many recent studies have found that caffeine is a very mild diuretic at most; a review of 10 studies at the University of Connecticut found that 12 out of 15 cases showed that people went to the bathroom the same amount, regardless as to whether the water they drank had caffeine in it.  This study also claimed that there was no difference between males who consumed coffee versus water. It is all still up for debate, but there is an easy solution for those worried their coffee habit is dehydrating their skin. Simple just drink more water.

Coffee also contains antioxidants. We all know that eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help improve your skin health, but research into the actual process of how antioxidants are absorbed and utilised in the body is still ongoing. However, we do know this: free radicals cause signs of ageing, like fine lines, wrinkles, and brown spots. Antioxidants (whether consumed orally or applied topically) fight free radicals, and thus, help to fight signs of ageing.

The benefits of coffee

Dr. Justin Marchegiani is a functional medicine doctor based in Massachusetts.  He is an amazing educator and I often view his educational programs which are incredible.  When it comes to coffee here is a brief summary of some of his observations:

Our brains have an inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine, which helps to calm and relax. Coffee decreases adenosine–the compound that decreases energy and alertness–thereby increasing energy!

This adenosine-dampening effect helps boost energy and focus and can be particularly useful for burning fat. Taken before a workout, caffeinated coffee (averaging between 150-300 mg of caffeine per cup) helps increase lipolysis: fat burning. There are also many people who opt to swap coffee for breakfast to remain in ketosis: a cup of coffee with healthy fats (grass-fed butter, coconut oil, MCT oil, pastured egg yolk) can be a fat-burning yet quite satiating meal replacement that helps you stay in ketosis while keeping you full and alert.

High-quality coffee is quite nutrient-packed. B vitamins, a lot of alkaloids, and antioxidants are especially abundant in coffee. There are also several studies that indicate coffee may be neuro-protective, providing protection from neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia.

So, if you enjoy coffee invest in good quality, preferably organic – in the strength of your choice and enjoy a cuppa this Easter break. You can catch the full article in the upcoming autumn issue of APJ, which will be out soon, where we also discuss the impact of coffee on adrenals, sleep, hydration, and the skin in great detail.