Coffee has many health benefits and is one of the most well-documented substances for improved physical and mental performance. However, there are some key points you need to know in order to make the most of your coffee.
1) Make sure you don’t have adrenal dysfunction first! If your adrenal glands are already overworked and you have low cortisol, coffee won’t give you the benefits you want. This is because coffee works by stimulating your adrenal glands to produce cortisol, which compounds the problem leaving you with more adrenal strain, less cortisol and worsening all of the effects of adrenal dysfunction (e.g. more tired, not feeling any boost from the coffee, gaining weight, feeling low mood or anxious, having mental fog, getting digestive issues, etc). You need to avoid coffee until you heal up your adrenal glands!
2) L-theanine: To maximize your mental sharpness and cognition, isolate the improved performance benefits, and get rid of any of the “jitters” from coffee, take L-theanine with your coffee. People who get jitters are “slow metabolizers” of coffee because of a gene variant called CYP-1A2, which is actually quite common. L-theanine is an amino acid and constituent of green tea that has been shown to promote relaxation by inducing alpha waves in the brain. It has been shown to work synergistically with coffee or caffeine to improve cognition.
3) Combine with GOOD FATS! Mixing good fats like grass-fed butter, ghee, coconut oil or MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil with your coffee prolongs the effects of your coffee and gives it a “sustained-release” effect. If you have a sensitivity to cow’s milk products (dairy), try using ghee instead of butter because it doesn’t have casein (protein of milk that is responsible for the sensitivity issues). Coffee already causes fat burning and the good fats multiply that fat burning effect because of the ketones produced. The ketones also stimulate additional mental focus and sharpness.
4) Prioritize the QUALITY of your coffee. Coffee is sprayed heavily with pesticides and has many mycotoxins and you don’t want toxic chemicals in your body for obvious reasons. You also don’t want to negate the benefits of coffee by having your body have to do so much extra work to process these chemicals and eliminate them from your system. No instant coffee! The ideal choice would be an Organic coffee, single strain, small batch, and from a high elevation location. At the very least, get an Organic coffee. Using a French Press ($15-20) to brew your coffee is a cheap and easy way to get started.
5) No later than 2pm! The half-life of coffee is 6-8hrs on average so if you are having it after that time you will be stimulating your nervous system into the night preventing you from falling asleep or causing interrupted sleep.
6) After meals for digestion. Coffee will help you to digest your meal better so if you want to capitalize on that effect, have it after your meal.
7) BEFORE a workout or game. Using some of the points above, a good quality coffee (not instant or cheap stuff), with good fats mixed in, and taken with L-theanine 15-30min before your workout or game, will really kick up your mental and physical functioning and help you perform at your best.
Try these out and let us know what you think!!