Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Paleo Day Two: Cave Coffee

My inner caveman does not seem to want to exist without coffee. I can give up dairy, bread, rice, sugar, alcohol, chocolate, etc, etc, without any particular cravings or discomfort, however life without coffee seems intolerable.

I have been looking over some of the data on elevated insulin response due to caffeine ingestion, and, unfortunately, it seems equivocal.

Consider this:

Caffeine ingestion elevates plasma insulin response in humans during an oral glucose tolerance test.

We tested the hypothesis that caffeine ingestion results in an exaggerated response in blood glucose and (or) insulin during an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Young, fit adult males (n = 18) underwent 2 OGTT. The subjects ingested caffeine (5 mg/kg) or placebo (double blind) and 1 h later ingested 75 g of dextrose. There were no differences between the fasted levels of serum insulin, C peptide, blood glucose, or lactate and there were no differences within or between trials in these measures prior to the OGTT. Following the OGTT, all of these parameters increased (P < or = 0.05) for the duration of the OGTT. Caffeine ingestion resulted in an increase (P < or = 0.05) in serum fatty acids, glycerol, and plasma epinephrine prior to the OGTT. During the OGTT, these parameters decreased to match those of the placebo trial. In the caffeine trial the serum insulin and C peptide concentrations were significantly greater (P < or = 0.001) than for placebo for the last 90 min of the OGTT and the area under the curve (AUC) for both measures were 60 and 37% greater (P < or = 0.001), respectively. This prolonged, increased elevation in insulin did not result in a lower blood glucose level; in fact, the AUC for blood glucose was 24% greater (P = 0.20) in the caffeine treatment group. The data support our hypothesis that caffeine ingestion results in a greater increase in insulin concentration during an OGTT. This, together with a trend towards a greater rather than a more modest response in blood glucose, suggests that caffeine ingestion may have resulted in insulin resistance.

I did find some pro-caffeine articles such as this one, by the Nestle research group in Switzerland. Grain of salt.

6AM 1/2 cup milk, coffee = .5 blocks

8AM 1 egg, 2 egg whites, 4 cups mushrooms, teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 grapefruit = 3 blocks

Noon 1/2 lb green beans, 6 oz ground buffalo, 1/2 apple, 1/3 oz nuts = 4 blocks

7PM Noon 1/2 lb green beans, 6 oz ground turkey, 1/2 apple, 1/3 oz nuts = 4 blocks

9PM 1/2 oz nuts

Block Target = 16 paleo blocks

Block Total = 12.5 paleo blocks, plus nuts

Paleo Rating = 97% (.5 block milk, medium coffee)

Clean and Jerk 3-3-3 reps (1/2 volume week)
154 (fail)-154-154

OHSQ 120x15 (pr)

10 Muscle-Ups

Bike ride 3 miles, flat, fixed gear, medium intensity


Evelyn said...

My layman's understanding of caffeine and the way I seem to experience it is that I build up a tolerance and addiction. No coffee for a few days and suddenly it's more effective. Back when I was a student and worked or just tried to do everything on top of having an active social life, I drank loads of coffee. To what effect? I got to the point where I could drink it and fall fast asleep shortly thereafter. My very sparse understanding is that it stimulates your adrenal glands(http://biology.clc.uc.edu/courses/bio105/endocrin.htm) to release epinephrine (adrenaline) and other hormones. Since hormones in our bodies ebb and flow, a constant signal to release adrenaline, for instance, eventually is met with "sorry, we're sold out of that--come back later"--hence the crash and burn effect.

TbonMisfit said...

I've successfully weaned myself off of coffee a few times these past years. I've found two ways that seem to work for me. One involves copious amounts of alcohol and the following full day in bed - to which end I don't even want to get out and get a cup of coffee...however, the next day I never want or need it as much and tea seems adequate. So scratch that idea just because it's unhealthy.

The next is to trick your mind - order half-caf coffees, or if you're afraid - start with 2/3 caf - and coffee shops generally try to accommodate. The 2/3 is more difficult if you order espresso sometimes, so if that's the case, don't be afraid to throw out the drink before you are finished. Then if you still think you need coffee later in the day, get full decaf. It's about 90% mental. I find for me, it's just the comfort in a cup, not the actual caffeine. And the headaches usually go away if you start drinking loads of agua immediately in the AM, then the rest of the day.

Also, you can try Yerba Mate tea (I recommend the orange flavored kind) in effort to wean yourself onto teas instead of coffee. With teas, you can go with black or oolong tea and still get a small boost of caffeine, but Mate has a bit of caffeine and some other herb that makes it pack a powerful punch.

Keep in mind, according to the Paleo book, decaf is ok, so once you get there, you can keep having the daily cup of joe. (This doesn't make sense because decaf is more highly processed and has fewer antioxidants than real coffee, but, that's what the book says.)

There is always the cold turkey decaf switch. If you ever did the "stop carb" pancreas-resetting thing, like on the South Beach Diet, it's kind of like that. The headaches subside by the third day and you're pretty much over it.

So sad, I love coffee. I'd hate to see it go.

Pratik said...

Have you considered some of the natural root type stimulants-i.e., Guarana? Since these are natural, i'm inclined to believe that they would be paleo friendly but i'm not sure. It is available in powder form and can be mixed with water in the morning for full-day energy and the jump start that one gets from the first cup of morning joe.

Maximus Lewin said...

I will try the 1/2 caf method, and I have already cut down (to one medium cup). I really LIKE coffee!!

TbonMisfit said...

I know! I love it too! Tea seems so...so...wussy almost.

Btw, Yerba Mate has guarana in it.

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