Moderate amount of coffee doesn’t dehydrate you

Moderate amount of coffee doesn’t dehydrate you

By Annabel Bligh, The Conversation

There is no evidence for a link between moderate coffee consumption and dehydration, according to a study in PLOS ONE.

The global population consumes 1.6 billion cups of coffee a day and it’s a common belief that coffee is dehydrating. But the tiredness, headaches, dizziness or light-headedness that can result from even mild dehydration is unlikely to be caused by the daily cup, researchers said.

Lead researcher Sophie Killer, a sports nutritionist, was particularly interested in the effects of coffee drinking on people’s daily balance of fluids. She wanted to know whether regular intake of coffee resulted in chronic low-level dehydration – something that may inhibit athletic performance and recovery.

Killer and colleagues studied 50 male participants in two phases. They were required to drink four mugs (200ml) of either black coffee or water per day for three days and then vice versa. Using a variety of well-established hydration measures – including body mass and total body water, as well as blood and urine analyses – the results showed no significant differences between those who drank coffee and those who drank water.

The researchers even go as far as to say that coffee has similar hydrating qualities to water when consumed in moderation.

There has been a raft of research into the good, the bad and the ugly sides of coffee consumption. Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant, ingested by most of us on a daily basis through coffee, tea and chocolate consumption.

It has been known since 1928 that caffeine is also a mild diuretic, so you might be forgiven for thinking that drinks such as tea and coffee which make you urinate more could lead to dehydration.

“Caffeine is only a mild diuretic,” Ian Musgrave, Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology at the University of Adelaide, said. “And our usual exposure to it is through drinking beverages such as tea and coffee that provide added fluid.”

Killer said “numerous studies have documented the body’s ability to develop a tolerance to caffeine’s acute diuretic effects.” And tolerance can be acquired in as little as four to five days of consuming caffeine regularly, even at low doses.

This means regular caffeine drinkers should not experience a need to visit the loo any more often than non-caffeine drinkers.

The debate over whether or not coffee is good or bad looks set to continue, but perhaps the key word in the findings is moderation. The study adds to a body of evidence that suggests that moderate tea and coffee consumption isn’t associated with significant adverse health effects.

The study comes a day after the advertising watchdog banned a multimillion-pound Lucozade Sport ad campaign for claiming it hydrated better than water.

But when it comes to coffee both Killer and Musgrave hope it will put to bed the old wives’ tale that coffee is dehydrating once and for all.

The Conversation

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Fancy Coffee Variations and How To Make Them

Fancy Coffee Variations and How To Make Them

If you are like many of us, you often swing by your favorite coffee shop and order coffees, cappuccinos, café mochas, lattes and espressos. And it isn’t the ambiance of the shop or the fancy coffee cups (or not) that makes you love the stuff, it’s the recipe of the coffee and of course the way it looks, that turns the trick. We all have a favorite style of coffee. Different types of coffee will taste different because of the origin and roast of the coffee bean, the grind, the amount of coffee used, the water, the temperature and a variety of other factors.

Maybe you, like I, have had a go at trying to reproduce the coffee goodness from the coffee shops at home, the way we imagine they are supposed to be done, but do we actually know the proper method to use to extort the captivating flavors perfectly? Below is a basic list of how to make those excellent coffees.

Cappuccino: This coffee product consists of equal parts steamed and frothed milk and a shot of coffee. The frothy milk is then poured on top of the coffee shot and dusted with nutmeg, cinnamon or chocolate powder.

Café Mocha: The easiest way to do this is to make it with quality hot chocolate, add a shot of coffee with steamed milk poured in and top with whipped cream, then lightly dust with chocolate powder. To achieve to best effect, use a clear glass-mug with a long stemmed spoon.

Latte: Foam and steam milk to 75 degrees (C). The ratio is worked out as half coffee and half milk. Slowly pour the milk down the side of the coffee cup or glass so it infuses with the coffee shot. The main difference between a latte and a cappuccino is a latte blends the milk and coffee together, whereas the cappuccino keeps the two apart.

Espresso: We have all had a foul espresso, right?. There are a number of possible causes for this, but the major cause of bitter espresso is using unsuitable coffee beans.

If you like espresso you are most likely a lover of all things coffee and know what makes a good coffee bean. So with this in mind, to make a good espresso coffee you need to follow these instructions:

• Finely grind the coffee beans
• You must use a special high pressure espresso pot, either a high pressure coffee machine or stove top model
• You must pack the espresso powder down firmly in the machine
• You must not try to make too much coffee at once
• You must see the crème (a golden-brown foam) floating on the top of the coffee shot
• You must use an appropriate espresso cup to keep the coffee warm as it is being drunk

When all is said and done, making coffee correctly is all up to you and the way your flavor buds take to the coffee taste. If you like coffee in a particular way, then make it that particular way. So do yourself a favor and learn the correct way to make coffees, lattes and espressos.

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What is Gourmet Coffee?

What is Gourmet Coffee?

The word Gourmet is used to refer to the fancier grade, cut, or quality of many of the foods and beverages we consume. Gourmet foods and drinks have long been considered as the regular fare for the rich and famous who can afford the higher pricing that often accompanies many of these finer food and beverage versions.

Coffee has been available in cheap, regular and gourmet versions for a long time and the consumption rate of coffee by people from around the world continues to increase every year. Gourmet coffee may have once only been served in the finest dining establishments and in the homes of primarily the upper class, but gourmet coffee is now widely available and affordable to nearly all economic levels and is found in a variety of settings today.

What Is Different About Gourmet Coffee Beans?

The beverage called coffee is made from coffee beans, which are found within the berries that develop and ripen on a number of smaller, tropical, evergreen bush plant species known as Coffea. After ripening, coffee berries are harvested and then undergo a processing which also includes cleaning, drying and fermenting them. What remains at the end of the process are coffee beans. The beans are then roasted to various degrees which cause them to change physically and changes the tastes they produce. Finally, the coffee beans are ground down into a fine consistency that is commonly known as coffee grounds, and packaged and shipped to destinations around the world where consumers can buy and brew coffee grounds to make coffee in commercial, hospitality, institutional, and residential settings.

The two most commercially grown species of the coffea plant that produce the coffee beans used to make the coffee that the world’s population consumes, are Robusta and Arabica. Gourmet coffee is made from the top tier coffee beans from the Arabica coffea plant. These top tier Arabica coffea plants are typically grown at very high altitudes (above 3,000 feet) with ideal soil and climate conditions. The coffee beans produced have fuller flavors, are more aromatic, and have less caffeine in them than other varieties of coffee beans such as Robustas. The coffee beans of Arabica coffea plants grown at lower altitudes are still noted among consumers as having richer flavors than the flavors produced by Robusta coffee beans, but it is only the top tier Arabica coffee beans that are considered to be gourmet.

Care Before Brewing

Some people prefer to grind their own coffee beans just before brewing them for coffee, especially the gourmet varieties, and prepackaged coffee beans that have not been pre-ground can be purchased in grocery and other types of stores. They can be ground using the grinding mills that are made available in most of the stores that sell the beans, but also with grinding machines in the home.

Both coffee grounds and coffee beans that have not been ground down need to be stored in air-tight containers and kept cool in order to prevent them from losing their flavor. The containers that coffee is typically in when sold are not the most ideal for storing coffee for a long period of time. When you arrive home after purchasing coffee grounds at the store, consider transferring the fresh coffee grounds to appropriate storage containers to extend the shelf life and full flavor. Specialized containers may be available at your local department store. Some people store their coffee in the freezer, to keep it savory longer.

Preparation

Coffee can be brewed in many ways, such as boiling, pressing, and steeping. Most of us brew our coffee using automatic coffee brewing machines and percolators which use gravity to pull hot water through coffee grounds. The hot water mixed with the oils and essences of the coffee grounds empties into a liquid holding container below. Filters are used to keep coffee granules from being emptied into the carafe or liquid holding container from which the brewed coffee can then be served, because most people dislike tasting the actual grounds. Coffee granules can be very bitter once the flavorable oils and essences have been removed through the brewing process. (Many plants and flowers love coffee grounds though, for anybody who is looking for a greener alternative to dispose of coffee grounds after brewing rather just throwing them in the trash.)

Of course, Gourmet coffee beans are only the beginning of creating a truly gourmet coffee experience for many gourmet coffee drinkers. Some people are quite content with drinking their gourmet coffee black, without adding anything like milk, creamer, sugar or other sweeteners or flavorings to their coffee. Many others want to enhance their gourmet coffee and drinking experience with tasty additions like milk that is whipped into a froth, sweeteners, or mixing in other flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, and mint, to name just a few. Big name coffee chains sell a wide variety of gourmet coffees with different tasty additions and flavors to appeal to gourmet coffee lovers. However, brewing gourmet coffee at home is usually much cheaper, and you can add what you want to your coffee to satisfy your refined, gourmet tastes.

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Alternatives To Giving Up Coffee for Health Reasons

Alternatives To Giving Up Coffee for Health Reasons

So you are a coffee lover, and you have all the gadgets and gismos to make that perfect cup. You know all the different coffee types available and your idea of a perfect Sunday morning is to relax with your favorite newspaper and a giant mug of a classic Columbian brew.

So what happens when for health reasons you are told to cut down on the coffee? There are so many reasons these days why you might need to cut down on your caffeine intake, perhaps you are pregnant, or suffering from a heart condition that makes excessive caffeine consumption unwise. As a coffee connoisseur the idea of drinking decaf leaves you cold, but when it is a choice between your health and your coffee you probably don’t have much choice. To make your transition easier, there are few things to consider before you stock up on decaf beans.

Be prepared to spend a little extra on high quality decaf to get a decent taste. There are various processes used to remove caffeine from coffee beans and the most economical uses chemicals to accomplish this. Although the chemicals are washed away, small traces can remain that impact the taste of the resulting brew. Some of the good coffee flavor can also be washed away with the caffeine.

Some more expensive decaf beans go through the Swiss method, where the beans are heated with water and then passed through activated charcoal, which bonds with the caffeine, leaving the beans with reduced caffeine but the majority of their original taste.

Another, more recent addition to these processes is known as Hevla. Coffee beans are steamed at high pressure and the caffeine removed, without any real impact on the flavor. The use of this process is becoming more widespread, but is unlikely to be used on the standard decaf for sale in your local supermarket.

As well as checking the manufacturing process used before buying decaf coffee, you should also have a careful look at the caffeine content. You may think you have been clever enough to find a great decaf that tastes just like regular coffee, for a reasonable price. But you may in fact find that the caffeine content is only slightly reduced, hence the more complete taste, and you can probably do yourself almost as much damage with this as with a regular brew. Also beware of drinking decaf coffee when you are out and about. Because the same machines are often used to make decaf as regular coffee, you might unintentionally be getting a large dose of caffeine anyway.

If you really can’t stomach changing to decaf, you could just reduce the amount of coffee that you drink and really savor those occasional cups. You could also switch to a darker roast such as an Italian roast, popular for espresso making, which are naturally lower in caffeine because most of it has burnt off during the darker roasting process.

So don’t despair if your doctor gives you the bad news. Just because you have to cut down on caffeine, this does not mean that you have to give up good coffee altogether.

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A Brief Look At Coffee History

A Brief Look At Coffee History

Coffee is probably one of the most popular beverages consumed by adults, yet many coffee lovers do not know much about coffee’s history. Understanding coffee history will make you appreciate even more that rich aroma you love so much:

According to Arabic legend an Arabian goat herder was going about his daily activities when all of a sudden his flock of goats began dancing around a green leafy plant. The plant appeared to have cherries growing from it, so the goat herder decided to give this fruitful plant a try. He later noticed that he was experiencing a stimulating effect that allowed him to stay awake for hours. Once he let others in on his secret, they began using coffee for the same reason. It is said that once the beverage was introduced to a priest, he began promoting coffee and its effects throughout the monastery for helping one stay alert for extensive prayer sessions. Eventually, we all had an eye-opening beverage that would soon become a frequent pick-me-up favorite.

Coffee History Begins in Ethiopia

Although many believe the goat herding legend to be true, and it may be, scientists have discovered botanical evidence that indicates that coffee Arabica began in Ethiopia and then was somehow taken to Yemen, where it was then served up in Mecca in one of the very first coffee houses in history. That was back in the 6th century. It eventually became more of a personal indulgence used for enjoyment, rather than simply put to use for its stimulating effects.

America Loves It

Wherever it originated, coffee is a popular choice of hot beverages. The number of coffee houses open for business now is amazing. There is one on every corner in America and many other countries come close to that. Coffee is served in a variety of different ways. You can now get coffee drinks hot or cold, with or with out flavoring, caffeinated or decaf, and it is often made to order. Some people use instant coffee when serving coffee in their homes. This shows just how far coffee has come since it was first discovered.

Coffee, Coffee, and More Coffee

It seems that modern society is obsessed with coffee, you can find it everywhere. Coffee candy, coffee ice cream, coffee syrup, coffee creamers and the list will continue to grow. Having coffee with other people has become a social standard for friendly relationships.

With coffee being such a favorite, did you ever stop to think that we had an Arabian goat herder to thank for this rich tasting drink we all enjoy so much?

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