Is coffee something you feel you “need” every day or just an occasional social cuppa? Let’s look at how much coffee is best for optimal brain health.
From the research I have done, the answer to that question seems to range from none to one cup of freshly ground organic coffee per day. So that it doesn’t interfere with a good night’s sleep, it is best consumed before 2 pm. Though this will vary from person to person.
Why freshly ground?
Stored, packaged, ground coffee is more susceptible to the growth of mould which can also negatively affect our brains. No need for a special coffee grinder when a strong blender will usually do the job.
So that we aren’t ingesting the pesticides and herbicides that are detrimental to the brain.
Why is too much coffee not recommended?
The reason why coffee is not highly recommended for brain health is that the caffeine in coffee can be addictive, and any addiction is not good for the brain. If the brain becomes reliant on the caffeine stimulant to “kick start” it, then what happens on the days that the stimulant is not available or when we have too much? Will the brain still function at its peak? Will the excess caffeine also harm our bodies?
Yes, caffeine can boost brain function, including boosting alertness, energy, and feelings of well-being. However, overuse can cause negative side effects for the brain such as troubled sleep and irritability.
How to cut back?
If we become aware that we are drinking too much coffee, how do we cut back? Rather than go “cold turkey”, it is easier to SLOWLY find replacements for the extra not-needed cups. Perhaps try a
- dirty chai (coffee with chai spices) and then cut back to a chai latte once you get used to the chai taste,
- turmeric latte if you like turmeric,
- caffeine-free roasted cereal coffees and add some vanilla, cinnamon, or chai spices,
- herbal tea,
- bone broth, or
- homemade hot carob or chocolate.
The first step could be to simply switch to freshly ground or organic coffee. Remember, a step forward, no matter how small, is still a step forward.
In summary, the caffeine in coffee may be beneficial for boosting brain function for some individuals. However, too much can be detrimental to brain health. If necessary, slowly cut back to no more than one freshly ground, organic cup of coffee per day.