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Coffee: Tradition, Habit, or Ritual?

By Jordi Wallen

You know that feeling when the alarm goes off, waking you from a beautiful dream about your celebrity crush, and you’re instantly flooded with dread about everything on your to-do list today?

Then you remember your saving grace: COFFEE! For most people coffee can be a healthy part of your diet (if you’re pregnant, have a heart condition, or are very sensitive to caffeine please consult your doctor!). But beware of the pitfalls of sugary additives like the seasonal Pumpkin Spice syrup- these can add unnecessary grams of sugar to your daily intake, which can lead to unwanted weight gain, headaches, cravings, and other unpleasant side-effects.


Here are a handful of benefits of drinking 1-4 cups per day:

  • Relieves post-workout muscle pain by almost half
  • A single cup has almost 10% of your daily recommended fiber
  • You’re 20% less likely to experience depression
  • Lowers risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, certain cancers, and Type 2 Diabetes (click here for some science)
  • Drinking it black prevents cavities caused by tooth decay
  • It lowers the mortality rate of heart attacks
  • It’s full of inflammation-fighting antioxidants
  • Helps you get along with your co-workers (this one may not be scientific…)


Do you see consuming coffee daily as a tradition, as a habit, or as a ritual? By their definitions, habits and rituals differ by their purpose (the latter having a purpose outside of the action itself), while traditions are passed through larger groups of people. Who’s to say that watching your guardians and relatives enjoy their java every morning as a kid didn’t influence your intake? If you work in an office, sit at a desk, or wake up before 8 a.m., odds are you consistently consume a few cups- whether habitually or ritualistically. Many office cultures seem to thrive on the warm caffeinated nectar, but do you know when to resist?

If your caffeine fix is getting in the way of your productivity, causing you adverse symptoms when you skip it, or you’re just generally miserable without a mug, you may want to look at cutting back on the brew. Take THIS QUIZ to learn if your consumption may be a concern. As with any nutritional concern, you should consult a Registered Dietitian if you want to change the nature of your caffeine usage.





Tags: Nutrition, Health Education

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