Focus T25 Challenge Pack special – limited time offer!

We are having a great time with T25 in our fit club. But don’t feel left out, the beautiful thing about T25 is that it’s made to do at home with minimal equipment! And I love Challenge Pack specials as it’s a great way to kick start your nutrition. A Challenge Pack just for T25 is downright sweet!! So much so that I will open up an On-line Challenge group here shortly just for T25. I want to keep it to a small group so that we can keep everyone accountable, so let me know if you’re interested in joining for August. If so, the below Challenge Pack has your name on it.

GET IT DONE. GET IT NOW.

And a common question I get over and over is….how long are the workouts?  Just remember that T not only stands for Shaun T, but it’s also for TIME!! And yes, the work outs are only 25 minutes long. And yes, it’s very effective!  Shaun T says over and over that he just wants you to focus for 25 minutes and if you do that, you will get results.

What is FOCUS T25?

  • In-home workouts designed to deliver an hour’s results in just 25 minutes a day.
  • The latest creation by fitness expert and former track star Shaun T—who brought the world INSANITY®.
  • Fast-paced routines that are jam-packed with dynamic, hi-intensity moves designed for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

What is the target audience?

  • Busy people who want to work out less time but still get great results.
  • Those who enjoy a high-intensity, no-nonsense program that makes every minute count.
  • Men and women who want to work out just 25 minutes a day to get in the best shape of their lives.

What do people love most about FOCUS T25?

  • Even those people with incredibly tight schedules can always find 25 minutes a day to work out.
  • Major studies have shown that 30 minutes of exercise can be just as effective at burning fat and even more efficient than 60 minutes of exercise.
  • There’s always a modifier on screen, so literally anyone at any fitness level can GET IT DONE with FOCUS T25.

So if you have any additional questions please feel free to contact me or click the JOIN NOW IT’s FREE link above to create your free Team Beachbody Account. Why? Because you get free on-line tools from Beachbody, makes us friends in the Beachbody WOWY on-line gym,  and allows me to keep you updated on new Beachbody events and products. So what you waiting for, it’s FREE!!

Shawn T’s New Focus T25 Removes the No. 1 excuse

Can you guess what the number 1 excuse to not work out is? If you said “Time”, or better yet, “no time” you would be correct. So Carl Diekler asked Shawn T to put together a program that removes that excuse, while allowing folks with all fitness levels to get results like they never have before. So welcome…Focus T25!!!

Focus T25 is the first workout of it’s kind to allow you to burn as many calories in 25 minutes, as you do in 1 hour!  In 25 minutes a day, you can GET IT DONE! No more excuses.

And to repeat, focus T25 will allow folks from all fitness levels to get results…from those that never experirenced Shawn t’s Hip hop Abs or Insanity…to folks to have done it all including Asylum!

So with this in mind, I will be putting together an accountablity group for those that want to join but can’t physically be with us in our local fit club. No worries, let me know, I’ll put the Challenge group together, make sure you have the right tools and we can do this together. No more excuses!!!

To get started, click the JOIN NOW IT’s FREE to make me your coach, and the SHOP link for T25 is now live!!!

 

Release years of toxins from your body with Beachbody’s Ultimate Reset!

I’ve been talking about synthetic chemicals and how to protect yourself by avoiding them for a while. But the truth is they are everywhere and even with the best efforts to avoid them, we are saturated with them. I will refer you to the great book “Hundred Year Lie – How to protect yourself from the chemicals that are killing you” to get more information. But it’s not all doom and gloom. You can take steps to limit the exposure, and even better news, you can release years of toxins from your body.

Along with the goal to find a detox, I was also gaining body fat the last couple of months and overall feeling terrible and unmotivated to work out. So I decided to purchase the Beachbody Ultimate Reset and start the year off on a strong note.I’m happy to report I’m on day 15 of the Ultimate Reset and no migraine headaches and no explosive ….um….yeah. The promise of “a gentle cleansing of the colon” holds true!!! I’m down 9 pounds and that has been huge for me.  But some history… After getting great results with the Body Beast last November, I thought the extra body fat I gained could quickly get knocked out. But after a stomach flu and then finding an excuse to not work out, the body fat kept gaining. It didn’t help that I kept eating the high level of calories that are required to supported Body Beast…so there I was at 183 lbs.

Remember I lost 50 pounds with P90x 2 years ago and reached an all time low of 162. I eventually leveled out to 165-168 for the next two years. I then used Body Beast to get that upper body I never really had and reach 178, mostly lean muscle mass. But the path I took to 183 is all fat. I know 4 to 6 pounds might not sound like much, but when the pants no longer fit right, and darn it…that 6 pack I got really close to defining is layered in new fat…ugh. I just felt like crap.

So I’m super excited with the results. I love the recipes that come with the program and supplements are all natural. Here is a great video from the creator of Shakeology and the Ultimate Reset explaining this in more detail.

Now a reminder, you cannot do intensive work outs while doing the Rest. Why? A couple of reasons. The main one is to achieve the befits of a cleanse, and rest plays a huge part in this process. Second,working out using the low-calorie Reset is counterproductive. It’ll trigger all kinds of stress hormones, including cortisol, and catabolism (the breaking down of muscle for fuel) is almost guaranteed.  So they call for rest, mild exercise like walking or Tia Chang, and clean eating. For those familiar with the great book “Fit For Life” written by the Diamonds back in the 70s, then the eating lifestyle is pretty darn close. I love love love Fit For Life and still highly recommend that book today.

I thought I would end with a great recipes from the Reset that I just love. I was never a beet lover, but this recipe made me a believer!!! So much I double/triple batch it to last me into the week.

Roasted Root Medley

My favorite recipe from Beachbody's Ultimate Reset

My favorite recipe from Beachbody’s Ultimate Reset

  • 1/4 medium sized yam, washed and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1/2 large carrot, washed and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/2 large beet, washed and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1/4 yellow onion, peeled and cut into large wedges
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Himalayan salt (to taste)
  • Optional recommended by Tom (1/2 teaspoon cumin)

Preheat Oven to 400 degree F. In a bowl, toss in all ingredients together. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until tender, turning once or twice to prevent burning. Serves 1

Beachbody’s Black Friday Special!!!

Missed the Turbo Fire Special a few weeks Back? Trying to find that next Black Friday deal? Well look no further!! Beachbody proudly offers the 2012 Team Beachbody Black Friday thru CYBER MONDAY SALE EXTRAVAGANZA!
The fun begins this Friday, November 23rd, around 9:00 AM PST/12:00 PM EST and ends on Monday, November 26th around 9:00 PM PST/12:00 AM EST. Remember, all offers have a limited quantity available and will no longer be available once those quantities have been sold.

SALE DOES NOT START UNTIL FRIDAY! So the links I’m providing will not be active until that time. However, in the meantime, click the JOIN NOW IT’S FREE link in my logo banner to create your free Team Beachbody Account if you don’t already have one. You can review each of the products in the SHOP section of your Team Beachbody Account and message me to help find the best fit for your needs and goals.

Offer #1: P90X + 3 Shakeology sample packets for just $99 (a $38 savings!)

Offer #2: TurboFire for just $53 (a $67 savings!)

Offer #3: 10-Minute Trainer for just $59.90 (a $20 savings!)

Offer #4: Power 90 for just $44.90 (a $15 savings!)

Offer #5: Hip Hop Abs for just $24.95 (a $35 savings!)

Offer #6: Body Gospel for just $24.95 (a $55 savings!)

Offer #7: Beachbody Squishy Ball for just $3.95 (a $9 savings!)

My Body Beast inital review

Ever since I lost 50 pounds with P90x, I’ve been of the mind set to start a new work out program in a caloric deficit mode, eating a high protein to carb ratio diet and include plenty and plenty of cardio. As P90x Phase II and III approached, my calorie intake would increase as would the good carbs.  That was great for losing tons of weight and fat. But now I’m at the point where I want to build some bulk and taking a serious look at Body Beast, which does things a bit different. A lot Different! I have to admit this takes me out of my comfort zone having to bump up my daily calories intake from 2000 to 3000 and limit my cardio to once a week starting Phase 1! Body Beast gets you going right away consuming a lot of carbs and calories for phase 1 and 2. Only in Phase 3 does it tone down the carbs and calories and includes more cardio. So I was planning on making a hybrid for Body Beast out of the gate when fellow Beachbody coaches Eric Hall and Brandon Henderson intercepted and laid down some intervention. I think Eric’s advice is just golden so I’m going to just quote him here:

My only concern is that depending upon one’s body type, you want to watch the amount of high intensity cardio done while trying to bulk up.  Too much will deplete your glycogen stores in your muscle, and you will be challenged to go big on your next workout on the Body Beast.  One day a week of cardio is plenty.  Again, don’t underestimate the power that strength training has on your cardiovascular system and metabolism.
Honestly, and now I’m going to sound like Beachbody themselves…but probably best to just do the workout program as scheduled without modification to truly test it’s effectiveness.  I always felt that hybrids are for after you have gone thru a program first, then hybrid the second or third time thru.
Also, YOU mentioned something about not minding getting a bigger upper body?  And what sacrifice the lower body? Not gonna happen.  Building lower body strength will give you upper body strength and size as well.  You have to develop all the way around and killer leg workouts are KEY to putting on upper body size…TRUTH!  I say that because I don’t want you going light on the legs and heavy on the upper and not seeing the results you want :-)

That’s just brilliant, ain’t it? So along with that advice, I’ve had a chance now to run through 3 Body Beast workouts (Lucky 7, Chest/Tris, Back/Bis) and it reminds me of the first time working through P90x, but times 10! The work outs are well paced and the dynamic Set Training really took my work out to a new level. I think Sagi does an excellent job explaining what to do, and he’s always about keeping it safe. Now don’t take this next point wrong as I LOVE LOVE Tony Horton. But Sagi is no Tony Horton and that is a good thing. Yes Sagi talks motivation and might get a bit carried away…but he’s not trying to be a comedian. I found that those in our test fit group that did not like Tony’s cheezyness (For the record I love Tony’s cheezyness, it keeps me motivated. Plus I met Tony and he’s as much a goof ball in real time as he is in the DVDs) really took a liking to Sagi’s approach and willing to cut him slack when he gets a bit, um, excited.

But following the schedule still seems scary to me. But as timing would have it, my good friend John DeGiglio just wrapped up his 90 days of P90x. He took the time to work with me, understand the schedule, nutrition guide, and then performed a complete 180 in his life and stuck with P90x even though he has some heavy duty real life issues come up in his life. But he stuck with it!  And after 90 days he lost 30 pounds!!! He blew past his original goal 2 times and will continue to make new goals as he starts Insanity!!!

So my conclusion is I need to man up! Starting on Monday, I will follow the Lean Schedule as outlined by the Sagi, and give it what ever it takes for the next 90 days. This will be an interesting journey and I plan to provide some updates.

I also created a Google docs form to help calculate the necessary calories for each phase of The Body Beast. So if you want to get a feel of the caloric requirements for your body type, and get a good idea of what to expect nutrition wise, then feel free to utilize my Body Beast Calorie Calculator.

So you are probably wonder at this point if Body Beast is for you.  Keep in mind this is the first and only all-encompassing bodybuilding, nutrition, and supplement systems on the market. And it’s designed to do one thing: get you BIG.  Commit to the program for 90 days and world-class bodybuilder Sagi Kalev can help you pack on 10 pounds of pure muscle. After 3 days I’m won over and I know you will be too!!

Also, order Body Beast from me and you’ll also get:

A FREE bonus workout DVD, “Lucky 7.” It’s a full-body workout with Sagi, made to accelerate your results. Plus, an opportunity to get a FREE exclusive Body Beast athletic shirt!

Give me a yell or click on the banner to the right to review the 3 options to purchase Body Beast.

  • Option 1 is just the DVDs. That is what I did and in hindsight was a mistake. I didn’t think I would be interested in the supplements as I’m hooked on the vegan Shakeology and I’m very very very strict about knowing the ingredients. But I’m happy to report that Sagi is all about clean eating and using supplements with no junk. No artificial sweeteners or colors, and uses the highest quality of whey protein that is neutral in taste. It’s designed to be used with your other sources of liquid fuel thus allowing you to control the ingredients.
    • 12 workouts:
      • Build: DVDs 1-4 Lay the foundation for a huge new you. Give every muscle in your body a major pump with Super Sets and Giant Sets.
      • Bulk: DVDs 5-9 Force Sets, Progressive Sets, Combo Sets, and Multi-Sets build on the size you gained in Phase 1. Now the focus shifts to muscular hypertrophy, the technical term for the muscle cells enlarging, bringing about explosive muscle growth.
      • Beast: DVDs 10-12 With fat-burning cardio, relentless circuit-training, and intense core work, you’ll be amazed at your increasing capacity to lift heavier weights and grow bigger, more defined muscles.

      You’ll also get these valuable tools:

      • The Book of Beast. Get huge without wasting a second. This info-packed program guide gives you tips on proper form and safety, explains the science behind growing your muscles, breaks down the nutrition you need to reach your goals, and even boosts your motivation.
      • “How to Eat Like a Beast” Eating Plan. Exceptional bodies are made in the kitchen. This comprehensive guide provides a calorie calculator, portion charts, food lists, and suggested supplements to help you bring out your inner Beast.
      • 90-Day Daily Workout Calendar. We’ve done the work for you, so you always know which exercises to do, when. Just follow along and chart your progress.

      EXCLUSIVE: Order Body Beast on Team Beachbody and get a FREE workout DVD, Lucky 7. This full-body workout includes seven exercises and seven pyramids—for seven times bigger muscles. A $19.95 value, yours FREE!

  • Option 2  is the same above and Huge Stack.
    • PLUS 2 SIZE-BUILDING STEROID-FREE SUPPLEMENTS:
      • 30-day supply of Beachbody® Hardcore Base Shake. Monstrous, carved muscles start here. With an exclusive blend of high-quality proteins, this base shake was formulated to help maximize new muscle growth and reduce muscle breakdown—at the same time, quickly and naturally.*
      • 30-day supply of Beachbody Fuel Shot. Kick-start your recovery after even the most punishing workout. Fuel Shot delivers performance-enhancing nutrients into muscle fiber, so you can blow past fatigue and recover faster.*

      GET A BONUS DVD WORTH $19.95, FREE:

      • Tempo. Get a first-hand understanding of growth-enhancing hypertrophy with two intense workouts. Tempo Sets work your chest, tris, back, and bis so hard, you can actually feel your muscle tissue grow.
  • Option 3 is same as Option 1 but also including Beast Stack.
    • PLUS 4 SIZE-BUILDING STEROID-FREE SUPPLEMENTS:
      • 30-day supply of Beachbody® Hardcore Base Shake. Monstrous, carved muscles start here. With an exclusive blend of high-quality proteins, this base shake was formulated to help maximize new muscle growth and reduce muscle breakdown—at the same time, quickly and naturally.*
      • 30-day supply of Beachbody Fuel Shot. Kick-start your recovery after even the most punishing workout. Fuel Shot delivers performance-enhancing nutrients into muscle fiber, so you can blow past fatigue and recover faster.*
      • 30-day supply of Beachbody M.A.X. Muscle Acceleration Xtreme Creatine. Get a healthy dose of power and growth with high-grade pure creatine monohydrate. No fillers, preservatives, or untested ingredients—just the boost you need to add a few extra reps, speed your recovery, and fuel muscle growth.*
      • 30-day supply of Beachbody Super Suma. Amp up your body’s own ability to produce testosterone and build muscle strength, size, and endurance. Made from Suma Root, Super Suma is the safe, natural way to help aid protein synthesis to repair spent muscles faster.*

      GET A BONUS DVD WORTH $19.95, FREE:

      • Tempo. Get a first-hand understanding of growth-enhancing hypertrophy with two intense workouts. Tempo Sets work your chest, tris, back, and bis so hard, you can actually feel your muscle tissue grow.

So are your ready?? Get ready to do WHATEVER IT TAKES!

Body Beast by Beachbody

First, I forgot to thank everyone that voted for my mom. She did not win the grand prize but she is still very much excited with her story and hopefully everyone else can benefit as well. Next time you hear someone say “oh, I’m too old, I’m too inactive, I’m too this….” just remind them of my mom’s success story!!

Now on the the big news today. Beachbody has release a new Shakeology flavor called Chocolate Vegan! I will provide more details on this over the weekend.

But the big new product coming out…and I do mean BIG, is Body Beast!  I’m having mixed emotions about this program as I don’t know if this is the direction I want to go. I’m much more interested in gaining athletic conditioning and performance over looking big.  However with that said, I did purchase this since I need to stay on top of these things as a Beachbody Coach! :)

Body Beast was developed by Sagi Kalev, the champion bodybuilder (“Mr. Israel”). In this program you will learn some old-school and some new-school techniques on how to get the best looking body in the shortest amount of time.

Let me know if this is something that interest you, as right now this is only available exclusively through….well through me!  This is only available through the Team Beachbody network at this time.

Vote for my Mom (MARY C)!! She’s a Shakeology grand-prize finalist!!!

I posted back in November that my mom (Mary C) won the monthly Beachbody Challenge. We now just found out that she has been selected for the Shakeology grand-prize Finalist!  What a great inspiration she is at age 70 to take charge of her health.

So she needs your help to win the $25,000 and trip to the Beachbody Coach Summit in Las Vegas !!!

How Can I help??

Glad you asked! The steps are pretty simple:

  • If you don’t already have your free Team Beachbody Account, just click on my JOIN NOW IT’S FREE link to create your free account.
  • Go to the Beachbody Challenge Voting page and cast a vote for my mom MARY C
  • You are allowed to vote for my mom and one man every day until Midnight May 18th

Did I miss the boat?

NO! The Beachbody Challenge is an ongoing event! Real people with real results continue to submit their success story and qualify to win big bucks just like my mom! So that means if you have a success story,  just started, or thinking about getting started, you can still qualify for the Beachbody Challenge. The process is pretty simple. Just go to the Beachbody Challenge and Commit to the program you will be using. When you have completed your success story, come back and submit your after pictures and story and now you are qualified to win $$$!!!! it doesn’t get any more real or authentic then my mom, who was unable to do traditional workouts from winning! If she can do it, you can do it! Let me know how I can help you get the results you want!

Better Shakeology Protein Balls recipe

I was really happy with my Shakeology Protien Ball recipe that I recently posted.

But I still found the need to tweak it. I tried adding crushed almonds, or unsweetened coconut flakes…all good stuff. And folks have been asking if using Unsweetened Almond milk would be ok. And that got me thinking about how I use to make my own Almond milk! I mean I have no proof that Almond milk you buy in the store is bad or highly processed as I suspect it is. But that’s all I can do at this point is be suspicions….and why not…the food industry really gives us no choice. First I find out that I have to really be careful when buying Stevia, only to buy the Sweetlead brand because all others are using a chemical process to “purify” it. And then we just learned that Agave Nector is actually a highly processed “un-natural” product. And of course we know that soy based processed items undergo a massive chemical process to extract and purify.
So what is a suspicious health conscious person suppose to do? Make your own Almond Milk! Take control of the ingreidents that are going into your body.
The recipe to make Almond Milk is very easy. All you need is…
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons of 100% pure maple syrup. (Not the processed crap)

Now the normal recipe calls to blanch the almonds first. I never do as I love the gritty fiber that comes along for the ride when I use almond milk in my smoothies or recipes.   You then blend the almonds and syrup until it turns a white foamy look. Next,  the recipe calls to use a cheesecloth to remove the almond refuse…which again I do not do. Matter fact I want all that Almond refuse!

So I now take the 1 cup of Almond Milk and use that in my protein ball recipe! I also add one tablespoon of Chai Seeds and I have a really great protein ball. It holds its form well and taste great!!!

Nutritional Facts for each ball (I was able to make 15 all together):

  • 180 calories
  • 7 gr sugar
  • 10 gr protein
  • 4 gr fat
  • 24 gr carbs

What is the Beachbody Ultimate Reset?

It’s a comprehensive, no-starvation, inner body tune-up. In just 21 days, the Ultimate
Reset can help you gently restore your body to its original “factory settings,” to help
you:
• Have more energy and greater focus*
• Experience better digestion and a more positive mood*
• Enable your body to function more efficiently*
• Help you lose weight*
• Improve your overall health.*

Why Reset?
Our environment has become more and more toxic. Our bodies absorb pollution and
harmful chemicals all our lives, along with the air we breathe, the food we eat, and
the water we drink. These toxins can get stored in our bodies, clogging our cells and
slowing down their natural functions.
It’s not enough just to work out and eat right. At Beachbody, we realized we had to
take a break from the everyday and find a way to get those toxins out of our bodies.
Along with getting in shape on the outside, we had to start getting healthy on the
inside. We decided it was time for a Reset.

What the Beachbody Ultimate Reset is NOT:
• A starvation diet. (You’ll eat three filling, healthy meals every day.)
• An abrupt cleanse that’s hard on the body. (The supplements work together
gradually to gently shift your body’s internal settings.)*
• A laxative-based, colon-focused cleanse, which fails to truly detoxify the
whole body. (You won’t be running to the bathroom every hour!)
To learn more, find out what to expect during the Reset, and read Success Stories
from test group participants, go to my Web site and click on the Beachbody Ultimate Reset banner. Or contact me directly and I’ll be glad to answer any questions you might have.

Get ready to restore your inner health!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

So is Coffee good or bad for you??

Seems like every week a new report comes out showing the benefits and evils of consuming coffee.  Personally I believe drinking small size cups of coffee with no added junk is perfectly fine and actually has some advantages for athletes. It’s the oversized, liter size Starbuck mugs serving up deserts that have a some resemblance to coffee flavor that is the problem. 

I just came across two excellent articles by Steve Edwards that pretty much lays out the same thought and I thought I would share. Here is a link to his 10 things to love and hate about coffee.  Below is his second article.  – Enjoy!

Article: The Latté Lowdown: 10 Things to Like and Not Like About Coffee
By Steve Edwards
Depending on how you interpret statistics, coffee is the most consumed beverage in the world. Together with its brethren, tea, only soda measures up in a popularity contest. Because they all contain caffeine, they’re often lumped together in one group, which is a pity because they couldn’t be further apart. Both coffee and tea are natural tonics steeped in lore and tradition. Soda, on the other hand, has nothing natural about it. It’s a purely man-made concoction designed to elicit a drug-like response and cravings.


Coffee Beans


Coffee and tea may often be referred to as “drugs,” but that is a misnomer. They are natural herbal elixirs, more akin to echinacea than ibuprofen. A quick search of the National Institute of Health’s database shows 8,617 studies on coffee alone and 25,164 on caffeine as of the time of writing this article. The overwhelming majority of these studies are positive. Humans have been drinking coffee for longer than recorded history, and research confirms that it has very few downsides. Soda, on the other hand, has only been around a few generations, and the first long-term studies on it have just started to appear. The appalling results link both regular and diet sodas to myriad diseases and decreased life span. So, to repeat: In no way should these beverages ever be related.

Just because coffee has tradition and science on its side doesn’t mean you should have a 64-ounce trucker’s mug permanently attached to your wrist. As with all “healthy” foods, supplements, tonics, or herbs; common sense—if not downright restraint—should be employed with use. Let’s take a look at 10 things to like and not like about coffee.

  1. Coffee can keep you awake. This can be the desired effect, but if it hampers your ability to sleep when you want to, give it a miss. While coffee has all kinds of cool benefits, none of those are as beneficial as sleep. During the various stages of sleep, our body releases many powerful regenerative hormones, making it the greatest natural performance aid around. Furthermore, a 17-year-old study out of England, featuring 10,000 participants, showed those who cut their sleep from seven hours a night to five or less faced a 1.7-fold increased risk in mortality from all causes and more than double the risk of cardiovascular death. Sleep first. Then, consider a cup of java.
  2. “Insert your favorite flavor”-accino doesn’t make it coffee. For millennia, coffee was consumed in small cups and, perhaps, enhanced by a touch of sugar or milk. Only since the Starbucks® revolution, has it been possible to order what was formerly a cup o’ Joe and have it delivered as something that was formerly a milkshake. The majority of most coffee house menus are filled with items that aren’t really coffee, but rather coffee-spiked dessert. Coffee and tea have zero calories. A spoonful of sugar and dash of milk contain around 40 calories. The average drink at Starbucks contains 300 empty calories or more, turning most people’s conception of coffee into something closer to soda. So before ordering your next Choco-Vanilla-accino-Frappé, consider that even one soda a day greatly increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
  3. It’s a magic elixir. And now for some good news. A 20-year-old study that followed some 84,000 women and 44,000 men concluded that coffee had a bevy of benefits. Published in the May 2, 2006, issue of Circulation, the study concluded that drinking coffee isn’t harmful to cardiovascular health, as had been long assumed, and may even be beneficial. From Harvard Health, “The latest research has not only confirmed that moderate coffee consumption doesn’t cause harm, it’s also uncovered possible benefits. Studies show that the risk for type 2 diabetes is lower among regular coffee drinkers than among those who don’t drink it. Also, coffee may reduce the risk of developing gallstones, discourage the development of colon cancer, improve cognitive function, reduce the risk of liver damage in people at high risk for liver disease, and reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Coffee has also been shown to improve endurance performance in long-duration physical activities.” Need I say more? I’m just getting started . . .
  4. Coffee can reduce the pain of exercise. An article published in the April 2009 edition of the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism shows that coffee can kill some of the pain associated with rigorous exercise. “Caffeine works on a system in the brain and spinal cord (the adenosine neuromodulatory system) that is heavily involved in pain processing,” said Robert Motl, kinesiology and community health professor at University of Illinois. These results seemed constant whether or not the subjects were habitual caffeine drinkers. So much for the knock on caffeinated pre-workout supplements!
  5. You’re less likely to get type 2 diabetes. It’s not all about caffeine. A slew of studies report that coffee lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes. The July 6, 2005, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at data from many of them and concluded that their findings were, indeed, true. One of those, from the February 2006 issue of Diabetes Care, found that decaf lowers the risk of diabetes as well, suggesting that something other than caffeine is likely responsible.
  6. It can increase your sports performance. This probably isn’t too surprising since, for many years, caffeine was on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned substance list. Coffee increases many processes in the body that can lead to better performance. Among its ergogenic (performance enhancing) benefits are better mental focus, increased ability to use fat as fuel (which spares your glycogen stores), and increased ability to release calcium stored in the muscle, leading to greater power output, not to mention the one I referenced in number four. And you don’t need a trucker’s mug to do it. Studies at the Australian Institute of Sport report that athletes get the full caffeine effect with as little as 1 milligram of caffeine per kilogram of body weight, or about 1 cup of coffee for an average human.
  7. Coffee makes you smart. A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in August 2006 followed 676 healthy, older men from Finland, the Netherlands, and Italy for 10 years and measured their cognitive function. Those who drank coffee had lower rates of age-related cognitive decline than those who didn’t, with maximum protection seen in men who drank 3 cups of coffee a day.
  8. You’re less likely to get prostate cancer. Men are advised to have regular prostate cancer testing done once they hit the not-so-ripe-old-age of 40. Turns out, coffee is one of your greatest allies in the fight against it, especially when you drink a lot of it. A 2006 study conducted on 50,000 men over a 20-year period concluded that those who drank coffee were 60 percent less likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. And here’s where tea drinkers might listen up too. “Caffeine in coffee doesn’t seem to be the link, since the same reduction was seen for consumption of decaffeinated coffee,” stated Kathryn Wilson, a research fellow in epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. “It has something to do with insulin and glucose metabolism. A number of studies have found that coffee is (also) associated with a reduced risk of diabetes.” It’s also worth noting that 6 cups a day seemed like the magic number, as that’s where the risks were lowest. A follow-up in 2011 has further confirmed this study.
  9. Six is the magic number for cancer. In 2007, almost 94,000 women participated in a study that found that those who drank caffeinated coffee daily had a 10 percent lower risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer, while those who drank 6 or more cups daily had an almost 40 percent reduction in risk. This time, caffeine seems like the key, as researchers were able to uncover the mechanism by which caffeine helps lower the risk. Caffeine molecules were already known to behave as a natural sunscreen, but they also found the stimulant to have a positive effect on DNA.
  10. Coffee reduces your chance of having a stroke. I raise your six and give you eight. A 2008 study of more than 26,000 male smokers in Finland found that the men who drank 8 or more cups of coffee a day had a 23 percent lower risk of having a stroke than the men who drank little or no coffee. Other reports suggest the effect applies to healthy nonsmokers, too. This was backed by researchers at UCLA and USC who examined data on coffee consumption and stroke prevalence among more than 9,000 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. At a 2009 conference, they reported that the likelihood of having a stroke was highest among people who didn’t drink coffee and lowest among those who drank the most coffee: 5 percent of people who drank 1 or 2 cups a day suffered strokes, whereas 2.9 percent of people who drank 6 or more cups suffered strokes. So much for moderation.

Turns out there’s a good reason coffee is not just popular to drink but has an almost cult-like following; it makes life better. And it seems that we knew it long before we could prove it. Just like the British and their beloved tea, coffee is a part of our culture and our history. From literature, to art, to music, and cinema, life wouldn’t be the same without a steaming hot cup of Good Morning America®.

In closing, I’d like to leave you with a few pearls of wisdom from one of coffee’s most outspoken fans—artist, musician, and film director David Lynch. “I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it, don’t wait for it, just . . . let it happen. Could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot, black coffee.” —Special Agent Dale Cooper, Twin Peaks.

Resources:

  • Abel, Ernest L et al. “Daily coffee consumption and prevalence of nonmelanoma skin cancer in Caucasian women.” European journal of cancer prevention the official journal of the European Cancer Prevention Organisation ECP 16.5 (2007) : 446-452.
  • Conis, E. April 10, 2011. Coffee Studies Should Warm Your Heart. Los Angeles Times.
  • Ferrie, Jane E et al. “A Prospective Study of Change in Sleep Duration: Associations with Mortality in the Whitehall II Cohort.” Sleep (Rochester) 30.12 (2007) : 1659-1666.
  • Hu, F B et al. “Coffee consumption and coronary heart disease in men and women: a prospective cohort study.” Circulation 113.7169 (2006) : 1341-1345.
  • Gliottoni, Rachael C et al. “Effect of caffeine on quadriceps muscle pain during acute cycling exercise in low versus high caffeine consumers.” International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism 19.2 (2009) : 150-161.
  • Tarnopolsky, Mark A. “Effect of caffeine on the neuromuscular system—potential as an ergogenic aid.” Applied physiology nutrition and metabolism Physiologie appliquee nutrition et metabolisme 33.6 (2008) : 1284-1289.
  • Van Dam, Rob M, and Frank B Hu. “Coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review.” Jama The Journal Of The American Medical Association 294.1 (2005) : 97-104.
  • Vasanti S. Malik, SCD, Barry M. Popkin, PHD et al. “Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Risk of Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes.” Diabetes Care November 2010; 33(11): 2477-2483.
  • Wilson, K M et al. “Coffee Consumption and Prostate Cancer Risk and Progression in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.” JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2011) : djr151-.

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