moar science!

I heard somewhere recently (Wait Wait?) that a study showed drinking 4 cups of coffee a day wasn’t good for your health. Pish posh, I thought, even though I don’t consume that much of the dark elixir.

Jane Brody of the New York Times to the rescue. The long-time personal health writer for the paper of record (whose son lived across the hall from me in college, though that’s neither here nor there) writes that coffee is good for you – it’s science! Coffee and caffeine helps you live longer, helps with preventing many of the ills of modern life, and so on and so forth.

A few caveats related to caffeine consumption: too much caffeine is not good if you’re pregnant; for some people it can interfere with sleep; coffee making methods that don’t involve a filter leave in chemicals that can raise LDL cholesterol; and finally, turning that coffee into a dessert is not a good idea, so lay off the sweetened nonsense pushed by the green evil empire and the like:

Also countering the potential health benefits of coffee are popular additions some people use, like cream and sweet syrups, that can convert this calorie-free beverage into a calorie-rich dessert….. A 16-ounce Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino, for example, has 51 grams of sugar, 15 grams of fat (10 of them saturated) and 370 calories.

coffee napping

Lately I’ve become aware of the coffee nap. Apparently it’s a thing. A thing about which there’s been a lot of research and articles written. I would link to a few articles for you, but frankly if you google coffee nap you’ll find a zillion of them, all laying it out for you in essentially the same way. I’ll also try it for you, thought it’s kind of technical.

So forgive me for getting too science-y, but there’s this goo called adenosine that builds up in your brain. Sleep clears the goo away. Clearing out that goo helps make caffeine hit even better, without all the jittery stuff. And the final piece of the equation is that it takes about 20 minutes for caffeine to affect the brain.

So, basically, the idea is to drink coffee quickly. Preferably espresso or cold brew so you can drink it fast and not loose any precious mind goo clearance time. No milk or sugar or sweetener, just black. Immediately close your eyes and nap for 20 minutes. Wake up refreshed, alert, and ready to carpe all the diems you can handle.

So I decided to try it. Here’s the results of my highly scientific studies.

Continue reading