Tea and coffee are among the most widely consumed beverages in the world. Tea is the most consumed beverage next to water, with 2 billion people drinking it every morning.
Both coffee and tea contain other health-promoting ingredients that may outweigh the drawbacks of caffeine.
Among them are beneficial antioxidants and, according to researchers, coffee, because of the volume consumed, not because of its high amount, is the primary source of antioxidants in the American diet. The antioxidants may even help neutralize the harsher effects of the caffeine that coffee naturally contains.
Black Coffee in the Morning, and Green Tea in the Afternoon
While the research suggests you can have upwards of five cups of coffee per day without adverse effects, I believe this may be too much for many, especially with adrenal fatigue being so common. One way to balance the risks and benefits would be to limit your coffee consumption to one or two cups in the morning, and drinking green tea in the afternoon. Also remember that to achieve therapeutic benefits from coffee, it needs to be:
- Organic: Most coffee produced today is heavily contaminated with pesticides. It’s actually one of the most heavily sprayed crops grown. So, any coffee you consume should be organic, pesticide-free coffee.
- Fresh whole bean: You’ll want to purchase coffee in whole bean form and then grind it yourself to prevent rancidity. Pre-ground coffee may be rancid by the time you drink it.
- Properly dried and roasted: The coffee should smell and taste fresh, not stale. If your coffee does not have a pleasant aroma, it is likely rancid and poor quality. Darker roasts may provide greater health benefits and be easier on your stomach than light roasts.
- Black: Drink your coffee black, without sugar or cream. Add sugar and you’ll certainly ruin any of the benefits discussed above by spiking your insulin levels and causing insulin resistance.
- One last caveat: Pregnant women are advised to avoid coffee altogether, as caffeine can significantly impact the growing fetus. It is able to freely pass through the placenta, and one 2008 study31 found that just two cups of coffee ingested during pregnancy may be enough to affect fetal heart development and reduce heart function over the entire lifespan of the child.
Since caffeine does not provide any benefits to your baby, only potential hazards, I strongly recommend pregnant women avoid ALL forms of caffeine, including coffee and caffeinated teas.