Drinking More Coffee To Sober Up
A recent study published in the Alimentary and Pharmacology and Therapeutics journal explored the correlation between coffee consumption and its effect on liver damage caused by alcohol. What researchers found:
“In eight studies, increasing coffee consumption by two cups per day was associated with a statistically significant reduction in the risk of cirrhosis.” (1)
The amount of daily coffee is key; one cup reduced risk by twenty-two percent, two cups by forty-three percent, three cups by fifty-seven percent, and four cups by sixty-five percent. (2)
That’s not to say you should drink four cups a day and buzz your way through life—but if you have an alcohol addiction, aside from seeking help to reduce or eliminate excess alcohol intake, drinking black coffee may offset the damage the alcohol can cause.
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Other Benefits of Drinking More Coffee
Coffee’s complex composition includes antioxidants that prevent oxidative stress in the body and the breakdown of DNA strands. In point of fact, the polyphenols in coffee and their protective characteristics against a range of disease—including heart disease, cancer, and Type 2 diabetes—have led to coffee being called the number one source of antioxidants. (3) In addition, kahweol and cafestol are biochemicals in coffee shown to reduce the toxicity of certain carcinogens. (4)
While adding sugar and/or cream to coffee counters the impact to health, you can supplement coffee’s already-formidable immune system support by including with it ingredients that add flavor and additional nutrients.
Instead of cream and sugar or questionable coffee “creamer” to lighten your coffee, try coconut oil and honey. Or turn your afternoon coffee into a spicy smoothie of sorts with coconut milk, hemp protein, and savory spices. A mocha doesn’t have to be full of saturated fat and sugar—add raw cocoa powder instead for that rich chocolatey flavor.
Coffee Isn’t an All-In-One Solution
Drinking more coffee isn’t a caffeinated “get out of jail free card”; detrimental diet and lifestyle choices will wreak their havoc.
If you are at risk for cirrhosis, another cup or two of dark coffee can support your liver. As for the differences between caffeinated and decaffeinated coffees, there are some to note.
The decaffeination process uses chemicals to remove caffeine (decaffeinated does not mean caffeine-free—there is still a small amount left), which can take some of coffee’s antioxidants, too. Other benefits you get with unadulterated coffee that you don’t get with decaf:
- Improved mood, reaction time, memory, and mental function
- Increased metabolic rate and fat burning
- Enhanced athletic performance
- Reduced risk of mild depression and suicidal thoughts in women
- Much lower risk of liver cirrhosis or end-stage liver damage than decaf (5)
If you don’t tolerate caffeine well, however, a couple cups of decaf are better than no coffee at all.
There are other foods that are helpful for liver support and detoxification, such as avocado, turmeric, and garlic.
Don’t throw away the grounds!
Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen and a welcome part of your compost pile, feeding bacteria to break down organic matter into rich soil. With nitrogen content at around two percent, coffee grounds are a viable substitute to animal manure as a soil enhancer. (6)