Episode Highlights

00:01:48 Background of the guest
00:10:36 Why coffee is bad reputation in the first place
00:15:01 Polyphenols on the health benefits around coffee
00:18:49 How much amount of coffee should a person drink
00:24:35 What is special about Exhale Coffee
00:28:51 Specialty coffee beans
00:31:00 Benefits of having coffee everyday
00:32:30 Why coffee is great after sport
00:37:57 5 top tips for getting into coffee


Fitness Guide





Welcome to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast, where you can learn how to improve your diet, lose fat and get fitter in a sustainable and fun way without spending hours in the gym here is your host Darren Kirby.

Darren:  Welcome back to the podcast, guys. This is the number one podcast for dads in the 40s who want to improve their health and fitness. This is Episode 17. And in today’s episode, we’re going to be talking to the two Alex’s from Exhale Coffee founder Alex is an Ironman marathon swimmer, Thai boxer, surfer and lifelong backpacker. Riddled with health issues, he’s on a mission to see how much one broken, sleep deprived dad can achieve through living a healthier lifestyle. 

Alex Manos is a certified functional medicine practitioner with an M.S. in personalized nutrition and various qualifications in personal training and performance enhancement. Exhale Coffee was born out of obsession for coffee, for health and fitness, and for their passion for helping others combining all three. Hi guys. Thanks very much for joining me on the podcast today. How are you?

Alex: I’m good, thank you. Thanks for having a great opportunity to do our first ever podcast.

Darren: Oh wow. Your first ever. Excellent. Well, I’m glad we were able to get you on as we were talking before we started recording. I’m a big coffee addict and yeah. You’re your product is great. I have a couple of them here. You can see what my background is like in my middle of the day coffee. So yeah.

Alex: So you know, I was hoping I was planning on having a cup of it here myself since we recorded and I’ve got a branded Excel mug that was going to be a little bit of product placement and but I forgot to do it.

Darren: So yeah, next time you’ve got you go get one of these bags and get it behind. It’s a bit glitchy, but yeah, So, for some people that haven’t come across you guys before, they haven’t come across how coffee can give you an entrenched yourselves in your background and how it became in existence so you know your positions in your organization.

Alex: Yeah. So I am Alex. We’re both Alex’s but I am this so this kind of is my business is my brainchild and it’s been something I’ve been researching for years now. And I kind of got it all started, I guess, five years ago when we had nearly six years ago when we had our first child and she had colic. We had five crazy months. She didn’t sleep at all. 

And then at about the end of those five months, the company I worked for organized an Olympic distance triathlon. And with a very small amount of training, I did this Olympic distance triathlon and did really well in it or way better than I expected. It did it until I was like five minutes and then I’d only done five runs in training.

And I was pretty happy with that. And considering I hadn’t slept for five months, … Yeah. And just fell in love with the whole sport and endurance sport. So I decided the next year I wanted to sign up to do some more and kind of take it further. However, basically having a kid and having no sleep, I’m not afraid to admit it just broke me.

I started a cascade of unfortunate health issues around that time. Then the next year I had to pull out of both of the Olympic distance triathlons because it was just so I’ve been kind of ill for months and managed to do a couple of long distance swims. And so I was getting into other endurance sports as well. But I was absolutely delighted to pull out of those triathlons, but it just made me more determined to nail it and what was going on.

So then I started researching and obsessively researching health and the kind of deep complexities of health and took that so far and at the same time researching how to be a better kind of athlete and how to train better and optimize nutrition and everything else. And the more research those two independently, the more I kind of started researching them together and I started kind of using everything I and learned how to further my kind of athletic abilities.

And I’m. Yeah, kind of progress through longer, longer distances. Triathlons up to an Ironman last year and then marathon swimming as well. … Come out and swim.

And so anyway, so through all of this, at the same time as all of this is going on, sorry for the long winded last I while all this is going on. I went to Bali for three and a half months on maternity leave, that first baby and I went to my first specialist coffee shop there and had the first taste of specialist coffee, fell in love with it, fell in love with the way they’d be much better.

Fell in love with coffee and decided instantly I wanted to open a specialty coffee roaster. So I started researching coffee and how to roast coffee and learned about that as well. So over the last five years I’ve been researching health research and sports and fitness and research and coffee independently. 

And then I started to come across more and more studies that link to all three and showed how beneficial coffee could be to sports, which everyone knows, and then also to your health. And the more I read, the more amazing I was and the more I believe that coffee was considered a guilty treat by most people. And I just thought, I just have to set up a business to do this, basically to show the world the benefits.

Darren: Yeah, well, I mean, it is interesting. And I think to touch on your point about coffee being unhealthy, I would say is if you drink instant nonsense like the rest of it is pretty good. And it’s interesting, your story is fairly similar to mine. And so much a I was given the opportunity to enter my first sprint distance and then got hooked from there, fortunately I didn’t have any health issues, which meant I could just go on and progress. So yeah, it is interesting…

Alex: I have a lot of overlap because I know you used to train around Regent’s Park and you work next week, but I worked for the last six years and the Regent’s Park and all my running was done at lunchtime Regent’s Park. So it probably ran past you.

Darren: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely not. That’s really, really interesting. So, Alex, what’s your story? How have you come up to be with.

Alex Manos: Yeah. So Alex and I actually sort of have a little bit of a backstory and I and I supported him during his mini health crisis, if I time. So I’m a functional medicine practitioner. I’ve got a background in nutritional therapy. And I started out in my career as a personal trainer and sports massage therapist. So I’ve kind of joined as chief wellness officer and helped haddocks with a little bit of some of the science and the research that’s coming out around coffee and it’s health benefits. 

Yeah, and actually I, I was probably in that camp at the very beginning as a teenager, young 20s. A lot of what I was taught was, you know, avoid caffeine. You know, we’re all so stressed anyway, etc. It’s kind of something we should be limiting. And then I think I just stumbled across some research a little bit like Alex really, and started understanding the health benefits. 

I started drinking it because of that. I wasn’t even that big a fan of the taste of coffee when I started drinking. It very quickly just fell in love with the taste as well. And like a lot of coffee lovers, you know, it becomes quite a ritual in our morning. It can really help ground us and get us going and things like this. And now it’s like the highlight of my day. And I am grateful to be part of this.

Darren: Yeah, it is funny though, isn’t it? I mean, it’s I was thinking the same way I’ve just recently joined the Cycling Club and the big highlight is when you were at the end of your ride, go to a coffee shop. But it can’t just be any coffee shop. Right. And it and it must be a real snobbery thing I think it would cost us. So if I have to go somewhere when I get decent coffee, you know, where it comes from and all that kind of stuff, really. 

Alex: There is a romance around good coffee and also kind of good tasting coffee. And that was the big thing we wanted to do in the business, is to find a healthy coffee and healthiest possible coffee. But it also I don’t want to take that moment away from people, that enjoyment of a really delicious cup of coffee away from people. So it has to taste as good as it is healthy. Yes. I didn’t want this because there are a lot of healthy choices. You kind of sacrifice taste. Yeah. I just didn’t want to have that kind of product.

Darren: Yeah. And I can attest to that. Like I said, it’s really, really smooth. It’s really nice to drink. And you actually want to hold it in your mouth in order to savor it because it’s that nice. So I kind of said this is somebody just recently I kind of put coffee along the lines of like good whiskeys and things like that because it has a similar kind of thing. Right. In terms of its taste, its flavor, where it’s come from.

Alex: Yeah, exactly. I mean, they call it the new red wine coffee. It’s got over a thousand different compounds in it, whereas I think wine is like a hundred and fifty different kinds of compounds that contribute to its flavor. So I mean, it’s not as pronounced the flavor, but no. Two coffees from two different places taste the same quality coffee.

Darren:  Yeah. And they are just just a fun fact. Actually, red wine has more bacteria in it than any other alcoholic drink, as far as I’m aware. You might want to correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s what I learned. Naturally. So, yeah, but in terms of, you know, coffee and its bad reputation that you touched on, Alex, then how are we going to differentiate?

Alex: You can call me Al if you want. And I have kind of adopted that’s what they call me.

Darren: So I have Al and then Alex, the doctor, functional all night. But in terms of why coffee has a bad reputation in the first place, can you go into some detail around why that is?

Alex Manos: Yeah, so I can answer it. Basically, it began back in the 1950s with the early studies into coffee. So the early studies that looked for associations between lifestyle factors like diet, smoking, drinking, etc. and they looked for associations between those and different health outcomes. 

Various diseases such as these early studies didn’t adjust for what we call confounding variables, which means that because smokers were more likely to have poor diets and were more likely to drink coffee, and a lot of these bad behaviors were lumped together in these studies. 

So coffee was unfairly lumped together with these bad behaviors, but it’s only in the last 10 to 15 years that these more recent studies have started adjusting for this kind of healthier use of bias to call it OK. And in the last 10, 15 years, the kind of scientific opinion has moved away from that to kind of culminate in the last few years, really in twenty sixteen. 

And the World Health Organization, after thoroughly reviewing more than a thousand studies, in their words, the reverse, their previous twenty five year stance on coffee being a possible carcinogen to say that it can help prevent five types of cancer. Welcome to the World Health Organization. So say yes, science is the science has caught up with the health conference. So we’re just trying to educate the public now.

Darren: Yeah, it’s interesting, isn’t it? I mean, there’s lots of studies coming out around various different things that were done in the 1950s. One of the biggest ones that I’m aware of this is Dr. Suki’s and this is how fats are bad for us and which is kind of taking us on this long journey of low fat and all the rest of it. So definitely it’s interesting, isn’t it, how this science has evolved.

And so but I guess the challenge with that, though, is that it takes a long while for somebody to change a habit or to accept that now what they’re hearing is the case. So for you guys, you know, I know I’ve seen comments on social media around this around with another coffee company. And it was around the fact that, you know, because a lot of healthy coffees are using that market, not …, but using the more micro mycotoxins on it as a marketing tactic. So a lot of people are just not buying into this a lot now.

Alex: Yeah, exactly. So, yeah, the tricky one there. And that’s what things like bulletproof coffee do. There’s some study, the studies, just these kinds of studies for and against whether that’s an issue and the same with things like pesticides and coffee. So, you know, coffee is the third most sprayed crop in terms of pesticides behind cotton and tobacco, neither of which we ingest. 

However, coffee beans get roasted and then brewed at close to 100 degrees Celsius. So the actual amount of those things end up in your cup is very debatable in the studies for and against that. So it’s kind of that’s why it’s difficult to kind of believe those arguments, because it is so on the fence. It’s so 50/50 and it does matter. Some people, if you have a high body burden of toxins already, then it does matter, which arguably I’m one of those people, but then it doesn’t matter for everybody.

So this is not our approach to this whole thing, is that we want to sell coffee on the positive, positive side of coffee. Right. And not overly scare among people on the potential negative side, although we do take those boxes as well and coffee is tested to be free from all those things. But we’re not, we’re not kind of pushing that in people’s faces here.

Darren: Well, I mean, that was the biggest thing that I noticed about you in the brand. It was like you are a healthy coffee company. And the brand is different because generally it’s all centered around like I talk to the rest of it. So that was a standout for me, the fact that you’re not saying that. So no.

Alex: And coffee, so much more to offer than just kind of avoidance of the negatives is so many benefits, the coffee that. Yeah, it’s just that’s what really excites me. That’s what I’m interested in reading about. And that’s what I’m interested in telling people about.

Darren: Yeah, 100 percent. And so, Alex, from your perspective from a functional practitioner perspective knows the science and all the rest of it, you know what we talking about polyphenols and things like that, maybe you could just explain a little bit about polyphenols on the health benefits around coffee.

Alex Manos: Yes. So from a health benefit perspective, polyphenols are definitely one of the main compounds in coffee, where I guess the majority of the research at this point in time is ASPE. So when we’re talking about the health benefits, we’re largely talking about these polyphenols and one of those or a group of those of these chlorogenic acids. 

So there’s a lot of research showing us that these polyphenols have multiple benefits to multiple bodily systems. So we know that they’re neuroprotective. There’s research indicating that coffee reduces our risk of things like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease with Parkinson’s. Some studies have shown at twenty five percent reduction risk. So we’re also talking about pretty significant reductions as well. There’s also research on depression and reducing that. 

And I guess this is what goes back to what Al mentions with sort of these confounding variables. So coffee is a social beverage, generally speaking. So there are some of these other factors that might come into this that we need to kind of explore a little bit further. But these polyphenols have protective roles. They have cardiometabolic protective roles. 

They have protective roles. And it’s partly through two primary mechanisms from what I’ve read, which is related to their antioxidant capacity. And partly as a result of that, they are anti inflammatory as well. And many of your audience will obviously know that there’s a lot being spoken about at the moment from a low level chronic inflammation, driving a lot of these chronic conditions like depression, etc. So those are two of the most powerful pathways that we think coffee and the polyphenols influence our health. Ultimately, there’s actually some interesting stats around things like a reduction in risk of even things like gallstones and certain cancers, including liver, prostates, endometrial. And I think there’s some just with liver cancer there as well and in cancer. 

So it is amazing, especially when you think of how the research has changed over the last sort of 50 years or so. Yeah. And then you’ve got these other antioxidants that actually get made through the processing of coffee. So they call these coffee processing antioxidants. So although there’s some discussion around when we’re cooking and applying heat to not just coffee, but just food per say, and there are potentially some toxic compounds that get created. 

There’s actually a lot of good that comes from that as well. And they have their own sort of antioxidant properties. And then just, I guess the people who are familiar with that term, even because we use oxygen to create energy, we create these byproducts related to reactive oxygen, species or process, which are basically molecules that have a spare electron going into the science a little bit. 

And these antioxidants can negate those reactive oxygen species. So it’s kind of making the molecule more stable again. And that is, I guess, at a steady level some of what’s going on when we talk about a lot of these health benefits.

Darren: Yeah, I mean, that’s fascinating. Just some of the stuff you shared there. You know, that’s quite profound in that from the perspective of some serious health conditions that you’ve mentioned, then we’re talking about the simple fact that drinking coffee can reduce that. But one of the things I wanted to ask you, actually, is that obviously there’s always talk about the amount of coffee people drink because obviously coffee or caffeine is a stimulant, isn’t it? 

And then there’s the other point around cortisol levels, which is our stress hormone that gets elevated when we have caffeine. So what are your views on that side of things in terms of, yes, we got in all of the benefits you’ve outlined, but then obviously there is always the yin and yang to everything, isn’t there? And then you’ve got the cortisol levels being raised if you’re an excessive coffee or caffeine drinker.

Alex: First leave in a second? But the first thing I would say is that most people so this is a and something here that most people drink already. Most people have drank coffee already for years. You know what your own personal tolerance levels are to cups? We’re not saying to add something new into the diet that has potential risks. 

We’re saying if you currently drink two or three cups of coffee a day and you’re fine with that, then switch to our coffee and help. The benefits of it will be magnified. So a lot of people already kind of know within themselves what their own tolerance is. Yeah.

Alex Manos: Yeah, yeah, I think that’s, to be honest, probably the most important points we’re not we’re not trying to take the approach of adding something. If someone already knows that they are hypersensitive to coffee for whatever reason that may be. And I think I remember once reading or listening to a podcast and they were talking about that genetic predisposition. So I think it’s to see why people want a gene that makes us a fast or slow metabolism.

But in theory, these are just genetic predispositions. So if you take someone who is a let’s get this right, if you take someone who is a slow metabolizer, but they are drinking coffee for the last two decades, we obviously we all know that we get sensitized to caffeine. So that person may actually be better off than someone who has a fast metabolism, who’s never drinking coffee and then starts to drink coffee.

So it’s a sliding scale or a spectrum that we need to be mindful about that, I guess from my perspective, like being a clinician as well, that’s that’s always going to be one of the key topics to consider, which is what if someone’s kind of chronic status when it comes to their stress levels? And that will definitely tie into that kind of conversation.

Darren: Yeah, and I think that’s a really important point to make. And I think this is just a very high level. We just that the world of nutrition and food and everything else is not is not kind of one protocol applied to everybody. And some people have mocked me in the past as saying there’s no one size fits all. But the fact of the matter is the reason we’re all different, we’re all individuals. And so the way that various different things impact us and affect us is not a broad brush approach. But I think I think it goes well. The other thing for me is you have to weigh up the pluses and minuses. 

And from what you’ve just said, there’s a huge amount of pluses from actually consuming coffee, which has gone through the process that you guys put it through because they did the upside far outweigh the downsides. And like you say, you know yourself how you react to coffee drinking. Say, for example, in my case, I know that if I drink coffee after, like, two or three o’clock in the afternoon, I was struggling to get to sleep at night and that’s all I have. Up until that point, I’ll consume as much as I can.

Alex: Same as me then, which probably means that you’re a reasonably slow metabolism. So when I drink coffee, I don’t feel the anxiousness or jitteriness from the coffee because. Because it’s the fast metabolizes who feel that the slow but the fast metabolism have the benefit of being able to drink coffee later in the day. And it doesn’t keep them up because it passes through the system quicker.

Darren: Yeah. Yeah. So yeah. So I think, I don’t think it’s important actually to, to put the science behind it because there’s too much I’ll just because of too much because the Daily Mail, whatever is said, this is bad isn’t it. And I think it’s important that you guys have come out and you’ve obviously got Alex on the team as well. You can actually back up. What you’re saying is true.

Alex: You just have to read the science page of our website. I’ve researched the hell out of it. And I put this 41 citations, which was particularly proud of in the science page. And I read those studies and you find it hard to disagree with what we’re saying.

Darren: Yeah. Yeah.

Alex Manos: Good news on this is a lot of the research shows that caffeine is not really the primary, as most of us would expect, the primary compound in coffee that provides the health benefits. If you can tolerate decaf, which obviously a lot of people would be able to, we can still get most of the health benefits as well.

Alex: So this is only really the ones, the health benefits of life. And if you’re the kind of neuroprotective ones, which are slightly less than in the decaf, but actually when we tested a decaf coffee, decaf, amazingly, was high in polyphenols and that our caffeinated coffee. So it definitely has a …

Darren: Yeah. So so on that then why what is special about your coffee? Because like we’ve already discussed, there’s tons of coffee on the market, single origin and all the rest of it, and they come from all different parts of the world. What is it that makes your coffee special? I mean you’ve obviously research is to the degree you one to to kind of source your coffee. So what is it that makes it special?

Alex: So I would say it’s all down to our process. Any coffee can be healthy and all coffee is healthy, but to varying degrees. So you have no real idea how healthy the cup is that you’re drinking. So there’s studying in Glasgow which they’ve tested. Espressos from 21 different coffee shops for their clothes, any acid content, and they found a nearly 20 fold difference between the highest and the lowest caloric intake acid content in those coffees. So you would have no idea what you’re drinking. So basically, my mission has been to find the healthiest possible coffee and do that. 

I started by I mean, the whole process is a positive test in taste testing, lab tests and taste test in lab tests. And they use an independent like different independent labs kind of across Europe. And the first round was to source the coffee with the healthiest possible potential. So we got all available coffees at our criteria. So it should be organic. It had to be processed in certain ways that we knew would lend themselves to a healthy coffee. And so a certain taste profile as well. So we tested all of those. We then found the coffee that had the highest inherent potential. 

Then we both went multiple different ways, again, tested each one. If it didn’t taste good enough, we excluded it. It tasted good enough. We then sent it off to be lab tested again. And then we chose the healthiest roast profile of the healthiest coffee. And then finally, we had to prove that actually, just because it is high in any case in polyphenols, that they’re actually active, that they’re actively active, they’re active antioxidants.

So we then the last the most fun study was tested in our coffee in a lab down in Plymouth for its antioxidant power. And we also got the lab to go to the local supermarket. They bought some blueberries, they bought some oranges and some kale, and they tested the antioxidant capacity of those results.

They found that one cup, one small cafeteria of our coffee had the equivalent antioxidant power of 12 … Of blueberries in one cup of coffee as one point two kilos of kale, and there’s fifty five oranges. So that’s how potent the antioxidants are. So that’s how we knew that the whole process actually was. And then after that, there is more testing to find to prove that our coffee through all of this kind of process would also source the coffee that was high in niacin vitamin B3, which is on lots philosothon, and also then tested to make sure that it’s free from pesticides, mycotoxins, toxins, metals. So there are lots of testing, basic questions.

Darren: So in terms of I want to ask you about the organic side of things because. In terms of, you know, again, coming back to general nutrition and organic has been cited for many, many years as kind of that’s where you need to be at, where you’re where your food is coming from. But it’s not all what it’s cracked up to be in terms of it could be organic. 

But if the product that you’re consuming produces consuming the wrong food itself, then it’s kind of a pointless exercise in some ways. So in terms of the coffee beans and making sure it’s organic, what do you do in terms of understanding that and making sure that that, you know, what the source of where it’s coming from is the highest quality you can get?

Alex: So first of all, we only saw specialty coffee beans, specialist coffee beans to become specialist coffee, ask to taste. And so also coffee is a front on the Specialty Coffee Association’s kind of ranking out of 100. And that’s based on taste. So it’s a specialty. Coffee is … Over 800 on taste. But to get these really high end coffees, they have to really look after their field.

So there’s a lot of care and attention and all of the coffee that we kind of sauce, we make sure it came from named farms, named farmers and these so they’re already coffee plants that are treated with the highest amount of respect and then the organic thing. So we fully believe in organic being better for the environment.

Yeah, I’m sure that’s a conversation for a whole different time about the benefits of organic food for the environment, but also organic being important for us and producing a healthier crop. Plants of a microbiome like we do a health plan that’s been treated with less chemicals will be with them, potentially having more health benefits. There was the theory as well was that if you’ve got an organic plant that’s been treated with organic fertilizer, then that would be a stronger coffee plant and then that would potentially have more health benefit and more of the healthy compounds and be better for us. 

Yeah. So it’s kind of appealing across multiple levels. But we’re not we’re not limiting ourselves to just certified organic farms because a lot of plantations in some countries and we visited one in Costa Rica and they couldn’t afford to do the organic certification is quite expensive over there. So we’ve said, well, there has to be organically farmed. Our common coffee is certified as well, but it just has to be organically farmed. And then we will test to make sure that it is free from pesticides and tons and tons as well. So, yes, I think on multiple levels, it kind of fits the bill.

Darren: It is, yeah. It’s fascinating. But the other thing that I wanted to touch on, Bill, is, you know, we’re talking about we were talking to you before we started recording about sport and the relationship between coffee and sport. I mean, Al from your perspective, what kind of benefits have you seen in your sports performance and having coffee and just generally day to day? And then, Alex, from your perspective, you know, what kind of science is there to back up performance enhancements from having coffee and things like that? Because, for example, I don’t know if this is placebo, but before I ever started, I meant about half an hour before I do, I smash a double espresso before I go out into the swim. So we begin to give you your thoughts on both of those.

Alex: So, yeah, I mean, coffee, caffeine is one of the few eugenic aids to sport. It’s one of the few accepted, scientifically proven and accepted and allowed eugenics, which means that it enhances your performance in school. So there’s meta analysis which shows an increase in exercise performance by 11 or 12 percent on average from caffeine. Yeah, but then aside from the caffeine in coffee, there’s a whole lot of other effects that coffee can have to help your performance. So coffee,…

So as your exercise and the coffee is actually great after sport as well, it’s not. So I’d recommend that you have a cup of coffee after your Ironman as well, because coffee has been shown to enhance your glucose neurogenesis, which is the absorption of glucose into your muscles. So when you’re recovering after an intense bout of exercise, you’re kind of glycogen depleted. 

So coffee will speed up the absorption of that glycogen. And also, as you’re exercising, you’ve got to build up a kind of a natural buildup in the body of free radicals, of oxidation and antioxidants. And coffee will help combat that and also help speed up your recovery. So, yes, we get involved with coffee before and after that,..

Darren: But I mean, that is something that I didn’t know so for coffee before, but definitely not afterwards. And the reason for that is because I thought that it was an inhibitor if you had off the training. And why did I think that? I thought it was something to do with protein absorption, but I’m obviously incorrect. So what I would normally do after a workout is I would have a green tea, subsidized caffeine in it. And so, yeah, I mean, it’s just what you. Yeah. What are your thoughts on that?

Alex Manos: Yeah. I think, um, the post exercise one is very interesting. So it also influences the Glueck for receptors. So it basically speeds up sugar entering the muscle cell in regards to recovering and basically more rapidly restoring your glycogen stores so your stored carbohydrate for your next bout of exercise.

That can be helpful from that perspective. And before I forget, just on this idea of post stuff, coffee consumption, and there is one study and I can’t quite remember it might be an animal study, but I like to mention that a little bit of tongue in cheek, which is, um, it can be good for memory consolidation. So even after this podcast, if you’re a coffee, go and have a coffee and you’ll remember this conversation better. And so, yeah, going back to kind of performance enhancement. And it’s also really helpful for just strength. So if you’re someone who likes to lift weights and you’re going for one rep Max in a session or something, having one or two coffees is what the research suggests. 

And 30 to 60 minutes beforehand is going to be a nice tactic just to really maximize that effort. Ultimately, that’s good for endurance, is good for power and strength sports as well. Again, we need to be mindful of things like what I mentioned earlier, really sort of post performance anxiety and nerves and how that kind of we’re going to connect with this as well. But there’s a reasonable amount of research showing us that it’s really potent and one of the best researched, really, Kajínek or performance enhancers for both ends of the spectrum, sort of power or endurance.

Darren: Yeah, no, that is that is very interesting. It is fascinating. So around timing, so again I am going to be science behind this, but generally before I exercise I will have a black coffee either an hour or 30 minutes before I exercise. And what is the, what is the kind of basic science around the absorption into caffeine in the body. I guess it comes a little bit back to what we were saying earlier, whether or not slow or fast metabolism of it. But generally what’s the kind of time with the general?

Alex: So the recommendations of the studies that have been done on caffeine that have proved an antigenic aid, I’ve actually looked at doses of caffeine of the recommended three to six milligrams per kilo of body weight of caffeine.So three six milligrams. So I’m at my body weight.

That’s kind of like 400 milligrams of three to 400 milligrams of caffeine. So an average espresso, you get. Seventy five milligrams. So your double espresso is probably about fifty milligrams. Actually, the recommended dose to get the best benefit is double that, like at least double what you’re taking. So what I do and what I recommend is that coffee takes coffee, takes about half an hour for the caffeine to absorb into your bloodstream and start feeling the effects, whereas caffeine pills within minutes.

So to get the full dose of caffeine, that’s recommended by the study. So I have a coffee like you and about half an hour to an hour before the race. By the time the races start, that’s kind of kicked in. And then just before the race, I’ll top up with a couple of caffeine pills. In an ideal world, I’d have two cups of coffee, but I don’t think my stomach could handle that with the nerves. But yeah, coffee half an hour to an hour before and then topped with a bit more caffeine just for the race. It’s my recommendation.

Darren: Yeah, I would try that when we can race again. No, no, no, not right now. But I know that that’s super, super fascinating stuff going. So in terms of like your five top tips that you would suggest, like dads and guys that are listening to this today who are either instant coffee drinkers or just tea drinkers, what what would you say to your five top tips for getting into coffee, but not only just coffee specialty coffee from Exhale, say no one is to get fresh coffee, freshly roasted coffee, see not tasted real coffee until you taste it.

Alex: A freshly roasted coffee which tastes better and you kind of the flavor compounds in coffee do degrade as coffee actually stales there’s no visible signs of it stalling. Sales and it loses its flavor, so it’s best within a month to six weeks after it’s been processed to get fresh coffee. Also, the health benefits start to fade as well. Psychogenic acid drops off, we know, by 20 percent about a month later. 

So to get fresh roasted coffee and the other thing it says, avoid the dark roasted coffee is the really dark coffee is its coffee is just Doctorow’s. It’s a disguise. Pour coffee to disguise bad quality coffee to make it all taste generic. So for a more medium light to medium to kind of light, roasted don’t go too dark. And I would recommend grinding fresh to get the most taste out of the coffee and it is quite stable. So that shouldn’t affect it too much if you pre grind. Yeah, that shouldn’t be effective, but I would recommend grinding within minutes of brew in the coffee to get the most flavor.

And then there’s a couple of tips I have for getting the most health benefits out of the coffee. So to extract the most amount of the polyphenols and chlorogenic acids its effects and think about it in a composition like a chemical reaction. So chemists, general laws of chemistry, that chemical reactions will be sped up by higher temperatures, so brew methods and so lean towards brew methods of a slightly higher temperature of brewing in a cafeteria. And like I know of and I would just off the boil.

So not boiling but just off the boil as best I extraction and also a fine line sizes are so big, a surface area just by the law of physics just means big surface area. The better the extraction is of everything. So I traditionally recommend it of coarse grind craftier. So I reduce that to more of a medium to coarse grain size. So. So yeah. Full of tips than that to have.

Darren: Yeah that’s very true, particularly around the surface area side of things. So I use one of those chemicals that cause whatever they can see the filtering, but then the coffee’s going into like a cone shape. I thought you just said I’m not extracting all of the nutrients out of the coffee when it’s being brewed.

Alex: Well, that’s the interesting thing with using a chemical, is you’re using a paper filter. Yes. Though coffee contains fatty acids, so cougars are found in a stolen car. So it talks a lot about closure, nicasio and polyphenols given the health benefits. But there’s loads of things in coffee that can give health benefits to the next. Big is a cup for Simon Cowell and their fat attached to fatty acids and coffee. So if you’re using a paper filter, it filters out ninety eight percent of the Canfor stolen car on the fatty acids. So that’s why in a cafeteria you get more of a mouthfeel and more body in the coffee.

So if you want to uncover Simon Cowell of a lot of research more recently into the kind of potent anti inflammatory really good for prostate cancer for dads. That’s one of the big things like that. And so they have a lot of health benefits. So if you’re using the paper, you’re not going to get those through. However, a car, we all are the things in coffee that can spike cholesterol levels. So if you’re someone who suffers because they’re fatty acids, it’s kind of like eating any fat. 

So if you’re if you’re if you have high, really high cholesterol, then you’ve got to be a little bit careful. Then use a paper filter. However, if you don’t have cholesterol issues, then I would recommend not using the filter to get. 

Darren: However this whole this is a podcast on its own. Yeah. I mean, I just have my blood, my blood tests come back and my cholesterol was high. Surprise, surprise to me. High fat diet. But yeah, I mean, I’ve been working to get higher. Yeah.

Alex Manos: Can I add just one thing to the P&L, which is I think I’m right in saying that chlorogenic acid also gets inhibited through paper filtration. The big one that people talk about also is going to be limited using a Carmex, which is something I used to use until I learned about that, but also the deiter pins as well as chlorogenic acid. I think they’ve been shown to reduce the oxidation of LDL. 

So not wanting to go down that conversation to obviously one of the newer things on cardiovascular health and LDL is oxidized. Altiero damaged LDL is one of the things that is the greatest risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Yeah. So by using a paper filter, you’re reducing some of these antioxidant compounds that actually, although they increase total cholesterol, may be having a health benefit in other ways, which partly explains why coffee has been shown to reduce the risk of all cause mortality and cardiovascular disease.

Yeah, and the cholesterol spike was really an issue. You wouldn’t see a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Darren: I mean, that’s really that’s very, very interesting. Just the caffeine tier thing. 

Alex: It’s a work of art. It’s useful.

Darren: It is. Absolutely. Guys, this is fascinating, honestly. And anybody that kind of landed on this podcast saying, oh, coffee is just coffee, listening to the whole thing. If you make this point, you know, we’ve only scratched the surface, though.

Yeah, it’s fascinating. And, you know, just in summary, obviously, you’ve clearly done your research. You clearly understand the science benefits behind it, obviously. But Alex said to back it up as well. And it is a great product. And I’m not just saying that, you know, I am a coffee snob. If it was rubbish, I would tell you the rubbish is really good. It’s really tasty. And yeah, I really appreciate you coming on the show today. But before we let you guys go, is there anything that I didn’t ask you that you feel I should have asked you?

Alex: You know, I would say is one fun thing, which I would love to share is that I imagine a lot of your listeners are probably getting into things like intermittent fasting and it’s quite popular at the minute. I’m quite big on it as well. And there are studies that show that coffee accelerates you kind of move it into autophagy.

And there’s a study on mice which shows that it accelerates autophagy. So I’ve started having a decaf before bed. So actually coffee in the morning ain’t going to help because you’re eating soon after. And also autophagy, if people don’t know, is the big benefit of intermittent fasting, right? Yeah, the cellular cellular cleansing. So if you have a decaf before bed, this study seems to suggest that it will accelerate. You move it into us, obviously, so you will benefit even more from your intermittent fasting.

Darren: Wow, that is very interesting because I’ve just come off of a 36 hour fasting, really. And I just had a black coffee as well as some bycroft. But yeah, it’s to kind of break my fast, but yeah. No, that’s very interesting. I think you know and I use black coffee. That’s the only thing I will consume on a fast. And if an argument is the same, whether or not that means I’m actually fasting, but I mean that’s the only way I can get through that amount of time. But yeah, that’s great, guys. So how can people connect with you? What’s the website address? Social ills and all the rest of it.

Alex: Yeah. Check our Instagram, @yourexhale and our website is the www.exhalecoffee.com and yeah, that’s it. That’s that’s where we are confined. As at some events we’re going to be a. And events are allowed next year, we’re hoping to get a nice little coffee promo to head around getting the word out there like anything else, and integrate into the community.

Darren: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. And it is a very social social thing that you can do. Drinking coffee and having good conversations. Hey, guys, thank you very much. I think you’ve also given us a code as well for the listeners.

Alex:  Yes, a code fitdad25 gets listeners, 25 percent of the first bag of coffee and a subscription. That’s as well as the free delivery they’re already getting. So I think our coffee and subscription is seven ninety five. So the first bag will be basically about six quid.

Darren: Some really like ice. Well, thank you very much again for your time today. Great to meet you. Thanks for that. Yeah. I look forward to speaking to you again soon.

Thanks for listening to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast If you enjoyed today’s episode, please subscribe, and I would really appreciate if you could leave a review on iTunes all other things mentioned in the episode will be in the show notes and a full transcription is over at fitterhealthierdad.com.