While not a favored drink of the gastroenterologist and Paleo diet inventor Walter Voegtlin, coffee is among the most popular beverages on the planet. More than 50% of Americans over 18 drink at least one cup of coffee per day — that averages out to approximately 150 million daily coffee drinkers.
Voegtlin disagreed with consuming coffee because he viewed it as a counter to the paleo diet. He believed the diet provided the most benefit when people strictly adhered to the rules. Still, many current health professionals and paleo enthusiasts see nothing wrong with the occasional cup of coffee.
In hindsight, when not dependent on the substance, coffee provides several health benefits to drinkers, including:
- Improved energy
- Improved physical performance
- Weight loss
- Reduce risks of Type 2 Diabetes and other health conditions
- Increased longevity
Why Isn't Coffee Considered Paleo?
The paleo diet consists of food and beverage items available to our ancestors in the Paleolithic period. Unfortunately, coffee was not invented until the 15th century. From a pure time perspective, coffee is not paleo.
However, a more appropriate reason for avoiding coffee on the paleo diet is that it is considered a stimulant, which can lead to adverse effects and become habit-forming. While coffee does provide many significant benefits when used in moderation, it can also lead to many problems when abused, including:
- Increased heart rate
The primary issue with overindulgence or coffee addiction is caffeine. Most medical experts recommend no more than 400 mg of caffeine per day, roughly four cups of coffee. However, pregnant women should avoid caffeinated coffee because 300 mg of caffeine per day can result in miscarriages and low birth weight.
How Much Coffee Is Safe To Drink Per Day?
Looking at the numbers, about four cups of coffee will keep you within the 400 mg caffeine range, but that will take your entire caffeine allowance for the day. If you drink soda or tea or consume chocolate or any other food or beverage with caffeine after drinking four cups of coffee, you are over your limit.
The best advice is to limit your caffeine intake. If you like to have a coffee with your breakfast, then have a single cup. Moderation is the key to maintaining healthy habits and staying clear of problems with coffee addiction.
Can You Drink Coffee While on a Paleo Diet?
Yes, you can drink coffee while committing to a paleo lifestyle, but keep in mind that a pure paleo diet does not permit the beverage. That being said, many paleo advocates and instructors encourage or provide permission for drinking coffee.
The thing to remember about the paleo diet and any other diet is that it stands as a guide for achieving health goals. As a guide, it is flexible and can be altered to fit your objectives.
If you allow a diet to become too restrictive, it will encourage discourse. Strict adherence to challenging meal plans often leads to failure. Therefore, the goal of any diet is to make it your own eventually.
When it comes to the paleo diet, you want to focus on eating lean meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, and drinking plenty of water. However, that does not mean you can never indulge. Eating an occasional dessert or having a daily cup of coffee are what make diets sustainable.
What do you think about the coffee rule in the paleo diet?