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The Only Way I Drink My Coffee

180 million people start their days with coffee with the average person drinking over 3.5 cups a day. But can too much coffee be causing us harm?

The caffeine kick alone is enough for me to empty my savings account to Starbucks, but coffee has other some awesome benefits like decreasing the chances you'll get Parkinson's, gallstones, kidney stones, oral cancer and type 2 diabetes.  It also helps you concentrate more and workout harder and longer.  Sounds like the perfect panacea, right?  

Not so fast... coffee can also do some pretty crappy things to you.  I know first hand.  

My love affair with coffee led me crippled and begging for mercy at the hands of my ENT doctor with the worst case of acid reflux.  I was sure someone poured Ajax down my throat while I was sleeping.  Doctor Tom mumbled something about warning me about my coffee crutch then bid me farewell with a fist full of Nexium samples.  28 pills and 2 weeks later my raw throat felt like a dull ache but still wasn't much better.  In fact it hurt to even breathe!  

I googled natural reflux remedies and up popped coconut water.  I thought, "What's better than healing my throat with a pina colada?!" (FYI....coconut water tastes nothing like a caribbean cocktail)  

After 3 days of sucking a serving down daily I noticed my symptoms improve!  And oddly enough I also noticed feeling less bloated.  If coconut water could help my acid reflux, could it do more?!  

Harvested from the insides of the fruit, coconut water is considered a superfood that contains easily digested carbs in the form of sugar and electrolytes and is filled with minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids and enzymes.  It contains fiber, is low in calories and is cholesterol free.  In addition to a ton of remedies, this elixir of the gods has the superpower to help alleviate most of the negative effects of coffee.  Here are the top 6 cons of coffee and how coconut water can help:

1.  Con:  Increases your blood pressure.  Coffee can cause a short, dramatic spike in your blood pressure and a long term increase in blood pressure.  Both are pretty bad for you.  Doctors believe that caffeine may cause the arteries to widen thereby causing the spike in pressure, but more importantly, coffee messes up the delicate balance of potassium and sodium and other minerals important in keeping normal pressure.

How CW helps:  One serving contains and can replace the 5 electrolytes that are essential to your body including:  calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium that are lost when you drink coffee.  CW actually contains as much potassium as 4 bananas!  Without all the sugar.   

2.  Con:  Causes acid reflux.  Doctors believe that caffeine may relax the lower esophageal sphincter, which normally remains closed keeping strong stomach acid out, causing acid to creep up your throat.  

How CW helps:  It's rich in fiber and enzymes that are touted as the best natural cure for sour stomachs and acid reflux.  CW is a "basic" beverage and counteracts coffee's acidity in the stomach and soothes raw throats....almost immediately!

3.  Con:  It can give you headaches.  Studies have shown that frequent cluster headache and migraine sufferers have lower levels of magnesium.  Coffee interferes with your body's ability to absorb important minerals like magnesium.

How CW helps:  One serving contains 7% of the RDA of magnesium and can help replenish your stores and keep you pain free.  

4.  Con:  Dehydrates you.  Since your body can't store caffeine, you need to excrete it.  Up to 6 hours after drinking coffee, you'll eliminate all traces of it through your urine and sweat.  The more caffeine you drink, the more you'll pee.  The more you pee, the more dehydrated your body gets.

How CW helps:  A study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise shows that CW replenishes bodily fluids as good as sports drinks, without all of the sugar, and better than water.  It's also been labeled "Mother Nature's Sports Drink" and a 2007 study reported that it was easier to consume in large amounts during rehydration.

5.  Con:  Makes you gain weight.  Caffeine and acids in coffee irritate your stomach and the lining of your small intestine.  It can wreak havoc on your digestive tract and stimulate spasms that cause belly bloating and bowel movement issues (so you alternate between being constipated and diarrhea....fun times).  Caffeine can also cause you to retain water system wide, and bump up your scale up to 5 lbs (even less fun).  

How CW helps:  It's a potassium powerhouse and contains up to 600 whopping mg in a single serving.  Potassium combats sodium and helps you dispel added water weight.  It also regulates fluid balance and helps the kidneys to eliminate waste (ie excessive water weight).

When choosing a coconut water make sure to look for one that is 100% water with no added sugar, flavors or preservatives.  Look especially for ones without citric acid.   Flavored coconut waters usually have citric acid added to them which negates its ability to help acid reflux.  

Happy sipping!!

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