I’ve been trying to cut down my coffee intake but not really doing a very good job.

  • It’s not that caffeine is bad in itself, but it’s best used as a stimulant — so if you’re drinking a lot of coffee, your body gets used to a consistent level of caffeine and therefore it’s no longer an effective stimulant (the same goes for caffeine’s diuretic qualities).

Some new rules for coffee:

  • Drink 1 coffee per day — either in the morning or just before your work out. This way you still get to enjoy a coffee (which I still believe is one of the best ways to start the day) but you don’t waste that caffeine boost, your body gets an opportunity to really benefit from it.
  • Black coffee only (you can add some pouring cream to take the edge off, never milk). Big frothy lattes are bad — the large amounts of hot milk are hard for your body to digest (milk is tricky at the best of times) and gives you a big insulin spike that will give you a quick peak and then a deep dip. While some people might balk at the high fat content in cream, your body needs fat for cell repair and muscle growth. Cream tastes good too.
  • Never drink a frappacino… opt for an iced americano instead. Have a look at what goes into a frappacino (or equivalent blended ice drink from most coffee chains). The base syrup is like a glue that somehow binds the ice together to give it that smooth consistency. Try blending the ice without the syrup — it doesn’t work. Imagine what that glue is doing to your body. Most coffee chains will be able to make you a black coffee with ice — add a bit of cream and you’re good to go!

If you’re not a coffee drinker but still looking for the benefits that a shot of caffeine can give you, it’s worth checking out a product called “Super Green Tea Diet”. Sounds dodgy but if you look at the ingredients it’s a surprisingly good combination of supplements and reasonably priced. Best to take two before your work out.