Why coffee is not only good for you but your boss as well. Grab a cup and read on.
I was just skimming through an old newspaper article from The New daily, relating to the change in trends, less smokers and more coffee drinkers, when I noticed an alarming statistic. Apparently the average Australian pays around $8.00 per week on takeaway coffee. The good news for me is that I am not average, “Phew!” No one wants to be average. The bad news is I am well on the wrong side of average, assuming that more than $8.00 per week is on the wrong side (Is it?). Frankly, I thought about my own consumption and then thought about booking myself straight into The Bobby Ford clinic for caffeine addicts (apparently there isn’t one).
After the initial heart flutter when I reached for my wallet and found it felt all of a sudden strangely empty (or perhaps the flutter was just the effects of last coffee), I did what all good deniers do and began searching furiously for all the reasons why coffee is the key to my salvation. What I found was very interesting.
Coffee and Corporate Culture – A lovely rich Arabica blend
Coffee has rapidly become not only part of our general culture, but very much part of our corporate culture. Not only are we enjoying a weekend coffee but it’s part of our staple corporate diet. Whenever you hold a meeting now, you check for a whiteboard and whiteboard markers, a good internet line, that the phone works for a conference call and that there are coffees all around.
Coffee and corporate conversation
- I want to discuss your performance, let’s grab a coffee.
- You want a job with us? Let’s grab a coffee and have a chat.
- I can’t get started until I’ve had a coffee.
- I need a break, let’s go grab a coffee.
- Coffee, Coffee, Coffee – Wired. BANG!
Sitting is the new smoking tsk tsk
Recently I read that sitting is the new smoking. There is alarming evidence to suggest that sitting for long periods of time, so that’s 95% of the corporate world, is having a huge impact on our health. Not just diminishing lung capacity and wilting muscles though lack of exercise, but diabetes and other internal organ diseases and all sorts of horrors too numerous to mention. So it’s time to stand up, walk somewhere and get yourself a coffee. But wait – could it be that in 10 or 20 years’ time I’ll be reading that coffee is the new sitting.
Is my future one of being shunned by my colleagues as I sit in a corner near my rubbish bin, overflowing with empty takeaway cups, drinking my coffee, furtively glancing around, turned up lapels on my jacket shoulders hunched to guard against the cold, hoping no one recognises me, the mere shell of a man I once was?
“Look at him with his filthy coffee cup – argh, disgusting habit.”
could it be that coffee is actually the key to universal wisdom and I am unlocking a golden gate?
Check this out
For best results – Drink a coffee and then have a quick snooze
Does that make any sense at all? Apparently so. Based on an article I read recently, research suggests that drinking a coffee and then taking a nap for 20 mins immediately after is a great combination – unless of course you’re operating heavy machinery. Apparently caffeine blocks the effects of a molecule called adenosine, which in high enough levels in our system has the effect of making us feel tired. Caffeine takes 20 mins to work through our system and to make us feel alert. So here’s the drill. Need a snooze. Drink a coffee now, sleep for 20mins immediately after and off load your accumulated adenosine, by which time the caffeine is kicking in. The caffeine will have even less adenosine to compete with and will have a bigger impact on your alertness. Also, a 20 minute sleep is unlikely to take you into a deep sleep where it is much harder to wake up and get kicking again.
“a Japanese study found that people who took a caffeine nap before taking a series of memory tests performed significantly better on them compared to people who solely took a nap, or took a nap then washed their faces or had a bright light shone in their eyes. They also subjectively rated themselves as less tired.” Scientists agree: Coffee naps are better than coffee or naps alone
I’m not sure about you, but I always start the day by shining a bright light right into my eyes.
Coffee not only tasted good, makes me feel great, but hey, it’s good for me
I told you I would be able to find some pretty good reasons why coffee and its consumption was in my best interest and here they are:
Coffee can make you smarter – fact or falsehood?
My reading suggests that there is some good marketing going on here, but regardless, the fact that caffeine makes you more alert seems to improve your mood, your reaction time, memory and general cognitive function. Now all of that has to be good in the workplace.
Trim, taut and terrific as well as wide awake
There is evidence to suggest that coffee can help you burn fat because it increases heart rate and metabolism. Research suggests that caffeine mingled with your physical training can improve the effects of that training. (Although, I am not sure I can endorse the effects of increasing you heart rate via any means other than that which comes from natural physical exertion.)
Doctor Coffee – Oh won’t you cure my ills ?
Research has connected coffee with significantly low rates of Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease and even countering the effects of alcohol-induced liver disease.
Your health shop in a cardboard takeaway cup
There is a bunch of nutrients and antioxidants in coffee, including Pantothentic Acid (Vitamin B5), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (B3), Thiamine (B1), Potassium and Manganese. Lord knows what they all do, you can do your own research, but it’s an impressive list. I think even my vegetable garden would thrive on a few cups of coffee a day.
Put all this together and what do you have – the ultimate upside. Coffee reduces your risk of dying, yes dying. Wow. Eternal life in a paper cup.
Just pausing for a moment while I go and grab another coffee (supersized) and add on another 50 years life expectancy.
Ok, you don’t believe me still. Well here is a quote from the Harvard School of Public Health.
“Is there any research that suggests coffee may have some beneficial health effects?
Yes, research over the past few years suggests that coffee consumption may protect against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver cancer, and liver cirrhosis. And our latest study on coffee and mortality found that people who regularly drank coffee actually had a somewhat lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease than those who rarely drank coffee; this result needs to be confirmed in further studies, however.” Harvard
What’s the takeaway (apart from a skinny flat white, of course)
Although we know too well that the results of research and the associated rock solid recommendations we are given by the researchers and those in positions of credible authority is subject to change as often as the direction of the wind, as it stands, the most current body of research suggests that the positive effects of coffee on your health and wellbeing far outweigh the negative. Although I am not comfortable with my level of expenditure, I have completed enough research to be comfortable that my coffee habit is not only safe, but beneficial for me and my employer. Yahooooo!
Of course there are some potential negatives with coffee. If you already have a heart problem, then drinking a strong coffee and pushing it up a beat or two is not in your best interest. If your drinking lots of milk with your coffee then your probably taking on extra calories you don’t really need. Lastly, if you take a coffee late in the evening, for some people that means your wide awake when your head it’s the pillow. But I’m not going to lose sleep over that one.
I hope you enjoy your next cup of coffee guilt free and you give the team an encouraging nod and a wink when they have theirs.
Some other interesting reading
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Many thanks to my nephew James Westmore for his wonderful artwork and to Rosie Broadfoot for her continued enthusiasm for editing my posts.