Katie Bulmer-Cooke: The coffee debate

May 3, 2016

Katie Bulmer-Cooke reflects on whether the nation’s much-loved caffeinated drink is a friend or foe to fitness

It’s at the centre of most meetings and a popular part of networking and social events, but is coffee friend or foe when it comes to health and fitness?

There are mixed messages when it comes to coffee entering the health and fitness arena. Is it a great pre-workout energy source? Or does it increase sugary cravings?

The truth is, the internet, research papers and experts in the field of health and nutrition all have different opinions. As a result, it’s so tough to know which advice you should follow and what to do for the best. So in this edition of my column, I thought I’d simplify it for you and offer four key pieces of advice:

Keep it simple

If you’re going to have coffee then keep it as simple as possible and ditch the extras, such as sugar and syrup, and if you like an extravagant coffee, avoid the cream, too.

Vary your choices

Don’t stick to the same drink. Make sure your drinks choices are varied and try some new beverages such as coconut water, water, herbal and fruit teas or vegetable juice in addition to your coffee.

Match drinks to your health and fitness goals

For example, if you’re just starting out on the road to improving your health or diet then start with the basics and get your water intake right first, then swap the excess cups of coffee for a herbal tea (lemon or ginger and peppermint are my personal favourites).

Watch the added extras

Now, we all know that coffee is more often than not accompanied by some form of sweet treat, whether that be a cake, a piece of chocolate or a biscuit, but of course these things aren’t going to aid us in our mission to be healthier and slimmer, so how do we satisfy the sweet tooth without the guilt?

Here is a quick, simple recipe to help satisfy those sweet cravings, helping you avoid reaching for processed, sugary snacks.

Coconut Haystacks


120g desiccated coconut?1.5 tbsp agave nectar?1 beaten egg?Rice paper


* Preheat the oven to 175 degrees

• Line a baking tray with rice paper

• Mix together the agave nectar and coconut, then stir in the beaten egg

• Bake for 12-15 minutes

These Haystacks are great to have at home and travel well on the go, too.

Wishing you a healthy work day!