Dr. Jim Stoppani on the Pros and Cons of Caffeine, Coffee, and Alcohol

Stoppani says moderation is what to focus on.

On Match 7, 2022, episode three of Generation Iron and BarBend‘s interview series with author, exercise physiologist, and creator of JYM Supplement Science Dr. Jim Stoppani aired. In the first two episodes, Stoppani discussed his take contralateral training and pre-exhaust training, and the benefits of intermittent fasting, whey protein, and casein protein, respectively. In episode three, the topic of nutrition was still on the table, as Stoppani was questioned about the debate surrounding the benefits or pitfalls of coffee.

Check out episode three of the Stoppani interview series below, courtesy of Generation Iron‘s YouTube channel:

[Related: So…Do Greens Powders Actually Work? Here’s What the Science Says]

Coffee: Good or Bad?

Vlad Yudin opens episode three, inquiring to Stoppani about whether or not the rumblings on the internet about coffee being addicting and “mentally controlling” have some truth to them. Stoppani is of the position that coffee is good but caveats it with how it varies based on each individual’s goals. Stoppani asserts that of the data he’s read that “most people get their antioxidants from coffee.” For reference, medium organic coffee brewed for three minutes is considered one of the “best sources of bioactive compounds, such as flavonoids and phenolic acids,” according to Antioxidants. (1)

I don’t demonize caffeine. Caffeine itself can be beneficial.

Per Stoppani, caffeine can be “very bad” for adolescents under 18 years of age who don’t have fully developed brains as it can change “brain connections.” However, for adults, caffeine “can help cognition.” His statement does have a lot of science to support it. Caffeine has been shown to “improve memory performance under suboptimal alertness conditions” and reaction times. In Laymen’s terms, when one is tired, caffeine can make them more alert — a reason why coffee is often used in the morning to start the day or stay awake late at night. (2)

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Jim Stoppani, PhD (@jimstoppani)

[Related: New Study Shows the Sooner You Swap to a Healthy Diet, the More Years You Can Add to Your Life]

Alcohol: Good or Bad?

Stoppani jokes that his Italian background tends to make him favor wine. However, when he resumes his serious tone, he dispels the notion that alcohol is harmful when consumed in moderation.

In moderation, I see no issues at all with alcohol consumption.

For bodybuilders prepping for a show, alcohol isn’t necessarily off the table if it still falls within their macros. Alcohol is considered “empty calories” because it doesn’t contain any protein, but it does add to one’s daily caloric total.

Stoppani circles the conversation to suggest that much of the benefit of being fit is “to enjoy life better” and that “most people enjoy food and alcohol as part of their lives.” Throughout the interview series, Stoppani has maintained this broader view of how balance and moderation are critical elements to achieving one’s goals. While consistent alcohol consumption can decrease muscle protein synthesis and testosterone while simultaneously increasing cortisol levels, alcohol every once in a while in moderation is unlikely to have a significant effect on physical measures. (3)

Keep Watching

Episodes in this interview series will release on subsequent Mondays on Generation Iron‘s YouTube channel. Episode four’s scheduled release date is Monday, March. 14, 2022.

References

  1. Górecki, M., & Hallmann, E. (2020). The Antioxidant Content of Coffee and Its In Vitro Activity as an Effect of Its Production Method and Roasting and Brewing Time. Antioxidants9(4), 308. doi: 10.3390/antiox9040308
  2. Nehlig, A. (2010). Is Caffeine a Cognitive Enhancer?. Journal Of Alzheimer’s Disease20(s1), S85-S94. doi: 10.3233/jad-2010-091315
  3. Lakićević, N. (2019). The Effects of Alcohol Consumption on Recovery Following Resistance Exercise: A Systematic Review. Journal Of Functional Morphology And Kinesiology4(3), 41. doi: 10.3390/jfmk4030041

Featured image: @jimstoppani on Instagram