Knowledge.
  • Food & Nutrition — August 21, 2017
    Coffee & Alcohol: What’s the go?

    Caffeine

    There is no problem for the average person to enjoy a latte (or flat white, or espresso… you get the drift). The issues arise when our bodies consume too much caffeine which triggers a response of stress, and instructions to produce adrenaline. When adrenaline is produced, our bodies respond in the following ways;

    • Our blood sugar elevates to help us escape the perceived danger (signaled by stress)
    • Our blood pressure and pulse rate increases to get more oxygen to the muscles which are tense in anticipation
    • Reproductive functions slow down so our bodies can save the energy for far more important matters – like survival
    • Cortisol communicates to our bodies by letting it know that there is no fuel (food) available

    Once we’re in this state it is very hard to maintain a calm, clear and relaxed approach to just about anything. Our bodies also respond to this stimulant by using sugar stores rather than fat stores – so weight loss is very challenging.

    So – enjoy that one coffee per day, preferably with a friend, but just recognise when your body has had enough. Instead of the auto-pilot 3pm coffee– try a herbal tea or a walk around the block with a glass (or two) of water and see how that feels.

    If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, Doctors advise to stick to one coffee a day, or choose de-caf. And always ask whether your de-caffeinated coffee is cold water filtered, as the alternate product is treated with chemicals to remove the caffeine (yuck).

    Alcohol

    No matter which way we spin it, alcohol is a toxin. Every individual should consider the effects of alcohol on their bodies, and in which situations a glass of wine is enjoyable. What we do know is that limiting alcohol intake to 2 standard drinks, with at least 2 alcohol free days per week is the key to a happy body and a healthy liver. It is also important to consider the sugar content in your drink, especially for mixed drinks – soda and fresh lime or lemon are best.

    If you are pregnant or breast feeding, it is recommended that alcohol is avoided. For more information visit the Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website.

    Adapted from The Fit Mother Food Philosophy
    Authors: Sarah Poole & Chloe Lorback
    Endorsed by: Kate Save, Accredited Practicing Dietician

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