Is Coffee Healthy?


A question I get all the time from clients is whether or not coffee is ok. I love coffee. I brew coffee in a French press every morning and drink it with a splash of unsweetened almond milk. I will also drink about 16 ounces of water to fire up my metabolism, flush out toxins and feel alert. 

Coffee is great pre-workout. It improves performance and mobilizes fatty acids to be used as fuel. Research has even shown drinking coffee daily can reduce your risk of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

So I say yes to coffee. However, keep these things in mind: 

  • A dependency on caffeine for energy can be masking a greater health issue such as sleep deprivation, nutrient and/or vitamin deficiency, chronic dehydration, hormone imbalance, etc.
  • Too much caffeine (over three cups a day) can cause strain on the adrenals, increasing the stress hormone cortisol, anxiety, and disrupting sleep. These side effects are all common obstacles to fat loss.
  • You may have a genetic predisposition to metabolize coffee slowly. If you were born with the slow enzyme, caffeine is processed and removed more slowly and you are more likely to experience health problems. You are probably a slow metabolizer if you get the jitters or can't fall asleep even up to nine hours after having a cup of coffee.
  • Coffee does not count towards your daily water intake. Stay hydrated with a minimum of 2-3 L of water throughout the day. I wrote a whole post on hydration and how much water you need each day, you can read it here

Make these easy swaps to save thousands of calories a year:

  1. Use stevia instead of refined sugar and/or artificial sweeteners. Eliminating added sugar from your diet is one of the best things you can do to improve your body composition and health. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to serious health problems including a heightened risk of cancer. 
  2. Choose flavored beans instead of flavored syrups. Coffee brewed from flavored beans contains no added calories or sugar. Coffee flavored with sugar-laden syrups is full of unnecessary calories (ex: Pumpkin Latte, Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino)
  3. Choose black or brown colored coffee over light brown. If you like cream in your coffee, just a splash should do the trick. You don't want your coffee resembling vanilla ice cream.
  4. Choose a juice instead of coffee after 2pm. Drink a vegetable-based juice full of energizing vitamins and nutrients for an afternoon pick me up and enjoy a more restful night's sleep.



Berardi, John, PhD, and Ryan Andrews, MS, MA, RD. “Cell Structure and Function.” The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition. 2nd ed. Toronto: Precision Nutrition, 2015. 33. Print.