Wake & Bake

I got you with the title, didn’t I? Ha! Get your mind out of the gutter.

Today, I would like to talk about a good old fashioned cup of joe aka COFFEE. I need it, it needs me, with out it, there is no me. Look, if you’re a mom and you fully function without some form of caffeine I commend you, you deserve a medal of honor, you’re a goddess in human form! I know what you’re thinking, calm down Caitlin, it’s only coffee, but at this point my body relies on this substance in order to make breakfast, and I’m talking a bowl of cereal… I want to know why, don’t you? What’s inside a cup of coffee?

CAFFEINE, WATER, 2-ETHYLPHENOL, QUINIC ACID, DICAFFEOYLQUINIC ACID, DIMENTHYL DISULFIDE, ACETYLMETHYLCARBINOL… shall I continue? Do you see this list? It’s crazy to think how delicious this poison is going down into my empty belly and how beautiful it looks steaming from a Starbucks cup, accompanied by a glazed donut… Sorry, my mind is wondering, let’s continue…

Below I found an article that goes into detail on the ingredients in coffee, everything can be found here COFFEE … For the sake of time, take a look below:

Caffeine The world produces more than 16 billion pounds of coffee beans per year. It’s actually an alkaloid plant toxin (like nicotine and cocaine), a bug killer that stimulates us by blocking neuroreceptors for the sleep chemical adenosine. The result: you, awake.

Water Hot H2O is a super solvent, leaching flavors and oils out of the coffee bean. A good cup of joe is 98.75 percent water and 1.25 percent soluble plant matter. Caffeine is a diuretic, so coffee newbies pee out the water quickly; java junkies build up resistance.

2-Ethylphenol Creates a tarlike, medicinal odor in your morning wake-up.

Quinic acid Gives coffee its slightly sour flavor.

3,5 Dicaffeoylquinic acid When scientists pretreat neurons with this acid in the lab, the cells are significantly (though not completely) protected from free-radical damage. Yup: Coffee is a good source of antioxidants.

Dimethyl disulfide A product of roasting the green coffee bean, this compound is just at the threshold of detectability in brewed java. Good thing, too, as it’s one of the compounds that gives human feces its odor.

Acetylmethylcarbinol That rich, buttery taste in your daily jolt comes in part from this flammable yellow liquid, which helps give real butter its flavor and is a component of artificial flavoring in microwave popcorn.

Putrescine Ever wonder what makes spoiled meat so poisonous? Here you go. Ptomaines like putrescine are produced when E. coli bacteria in the meat break down amino acids. Naturally present in coffee beans, it smells, as you might guess from the name, like Satan’s outhouse.

Trigonelline Chemically, it’s a molecule of niacin with a methyl group attached. It breaks down into pyridines, which give coffee its sweet, earthy taste and also prevent the tooth-eating bacterium Streptococcus mutans from attaching to your teeth. Coffee fights the Cavity Creeps.

Niacin Trigonelline is unstable above 160 degrees F; the methyl group detaches, unleashing the niacin—vitamin B3—into your cup. Two or three espressos can provide half your recommended daily allowance.

So… even after all of this I still can’t get that venti vanilla frapaccino with two shots of espresso and whipped cream off my mind (man, I wish there was a 24 hour Starbucks close)… Which makes me think, is coffee good for you or not? Do I need to know my limits?

How Much Is Too Much

This graph shows the relationship between coffee consumption and the risk of dying during the 12-13 year study period:

As you can tell from the graph, the “sweet spot” for the lowest risk of death seems to be at 4-5 cups per day.

Two other review studies found that 4 cups and 4-5 cups were associated with the lowest risk of dying over the study periods.

However, I’d like to point out that the research isn’t settled on this. One recent study found that 4 or more cups per day were linked to an increased, but not decreased risk of death, in people under 55 years of age

So, after looking at this study, it seems like 4-5 cups per day may be the optimal amount to drink.

This amount is linked to the lowest risk of premature death, and a lower risk of numerous common diseases, some of which affect hundreds of millions of people.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that people need to drink coffee. Since this is a blog for mommies, I want to also include some factors for our expecting mothers.

In pregnant women, caffeine can cross the placenta and reach the fetus, which has problems metabolizing caffeine.

Some studies have linked a high consumption of caffeine in pregnancy to increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery and lower birth weight.

It is generally recommended that women limit their intake to 100-200 mg of caffeine per day (about 1-2 cups of coffee).

However, many experts recommend avoiding coffee completely during pregnancy. If you want to be absolutely safe, then this is a smart choice.

People who are caffeine sensitive, have certain medical conditions or simply don’t like coffee, should definitely avoid it.

Also, if you like coffee but it tends to give you anxiety or interfere with your sleep, then you may be doing more harm than good.

What’s the moral of the story? Basically, depending on who you ask coffee can be a wonderful sip from the fountain of youth or a deadly poison used to keep sleeping beauty in a comatose for centuries. For people who enjoy drinking coffee, there is very little evidence of harm and plenty of evidence of benefit.

Even though 4-5 cups per day sounds reasonable, many people can tolerate more than that without any problems. If you like drinking a lot of coffee, then there doesn’t seem to be any good reason to discourage it.

It’s up to you on how much coffee/caffeine you chose to intake every day, me on the other hand, I can’t wait to grab a large vanilla iced coffee in the morning.


What is in Your Cup? A Coffee Chemistry Primer


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