The Cold Drip trick for Intermittent Fasting

This month we are excited to share a guest blog with you from our friend Kane Draper. Smart50 & BRW Fast 100 award winner, with a background in Health Science Medicine and Business Development, Kane has spent many years studying human function and developing tools and principals to optimise output both personally and professionally. His personal blog has a unique focus on productivity hacks in which he is now in the process of penning a book due for release later this year.

An admitted First Press fan, we were thrilled to see cold drip coffee feature as part of his Fast Benefits blog, about intermittent fasting. Enjoy!

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There are so many buzz word diets circulating these days….ketogenic, paleo, vegan, superfoods, probiotic-rich. The volume of information can be overwhelming to say the least! So let’s push that aside for a moment and talk about something that all of us can immediately implement for better health. 

Got your attention yet?

First; let me offer you a couple of facts around a way-of-life that I introduced to my life around 2 years ago that has been an absolute game changer for me and the family & friends around me that have also implemented it. I’m sleeping better, I have more energy during the day and I maintain a consistent weight and still get to enjoy the good things in life; like deserts and carbohydrate-rich foods. Sounds too good to be true right? Read on..

Here are some facts about our body functioning:

FACT: Every single known chronic disease (and you can choose anyone you like – diabetes, Alzheimer’s, osteoarthritis, even more recently publicised ones like autism and celiac) all have 1 thing in common – they all start with chronic inflammation in the body).

FACT: 90% of all human cells are non-human cells. Really? Yep. We are a living organism consisting of thousands of forms and strands of bacteria, viruses, worms, etc. Our experiences in life are shaped by changes within our non-human cells – from the simple cold and flu through to the more ruthless terminal disease.

FACT: In the Western world, we are blessed with an abundance of easily attainable processed foods – which means we have transformed into an existence of grazers. A society of over-eating. Rather than eating at set-times, 3 times a day, 78% of us choose to consume our nutrients regularly and in small portions. Why is this less than ideal? We never give our guts the opportunity to fully recover and replenish itself.

FACT: For those of us looking to lose weight – we live in a world of glucose-dense foods. Glycogen is the principal storage form of glucose. Glycogen is stored in the liver. It takes our body’s a minimum of 12 hours of fasting to be able to access these glycogen stores (and become a fat-burning machine) and then 1-2 days of zero carbohydrates to completely deplete the glycogen stores.

So how do we counteract some of the scary stuff I’ve just pointed out? Well you better get to the doctor real quick…no, no, no! Its much easier than that!

Just give your body a rest from food every day. Yes, I’m referring to INTERMITTENT FASTING. Here are the benefits of using this in your everyday life;

BENEFIT: Insulin levels drop significantly facilitating a state of fat burning. The body will commence cellular repair process in the pancreas – an organ that NEVER gets a break when we graze on food.

BENEFIT: In as little as 14 days, you will have significantly increased your insulin sensitivity and your body will begin to better optimise the use of nutrients consumed within your food rather than storing or passing them as waste.

BENEFIT: Significant reduction in overall body inflammation. This guarantees that you will generally feel better, sustain energy throughout the day and help you recover much faster from injury. Chronic disease literally becomes impossible when there is no inflammation in the body

BENEFIT: Initial studies have shown that fasting may help to prevent the development of cancerous cells through the body initiating the cellular waste removal process. In short; the exponential growth of cancerous cells is restricted.

So how do you implement this?

Pick an 8-hour window that you wish to consume food. For example; mine is between 12 midday and 8pm every day. And then for the other 16 hours (which obviously includes your time of sleep) just get by on liquids that don’t contain any calories. The moment you consume any food or liquid that contains calories, you will break your fast. So try these to get through your fasting window;

  1. Water. Probably the most obvious one. We all know that we need more water consumption in our diets. The age-old number is around 2 litres daily. But if you are looking for concrete advice on how much is right for you – look within. Your body is an optimised machine and will alert you in times of need. Drink up when you’re thirsty and drink up when you sweat/exercise more. 
  2. Coffee. Make it black. At 4:55am every morning, I kick things off with hot water and lemon juice (rich source of Vit C and protects the body from immune system deficiencies). I back this up with cold drip coffee – it is less acidic and bitter than a regular espresso meaning it is easily enjoyed black. No sugar, no dairy and no additives mean zero calories and zero carbs and, working hand in hand with intermittent fasting; it will suppress appetite. Regular espresso tends to also give you a quick caffeine jolt and short energy burst followed by a crash whereas cold drip is a steadier balanced energy source – ultimately a sustained, controlled caffeine boost.
  3. Herbal teas. There are literally hundreds of varieties and options on the market these days. Just be mindful of the ones which contain fruits or ‘fruit infusions’ with enticing combinations like strawberry or mango. These will release glucose into the water which will break your fast. I tend to stick to peppermint, lady grey and lemongrass/ginger as my go-to options. 

So where to from here?

Pick the “eating window” to suit your lifestyle. If you can’t go without breakfast consider having an early dinner around 5pm and fast until 9am. Or, if you like to have dinner but don’t eat until 8:30-9pm at night – push your next meal back to 1pm the following day. The immediate benefits to your energy levels and general well-being will amaze you!

Live the life you love. 

Fuel your run with a Little Kicker, Natures pre-workout

As some of our First Press fans may know, Co-Founder Hamish ticked a big one of his bucket list yesterday taking part in the 2018 Melbourne Marathon. We’re proud to report, fuelled by First Press, he also managed to finish the whole 42.19km. Legendary.

 

While he will tell you it’s due to hard work, training and dedication, let’s face it – it’s also the cold drip, a point that is actually scientifically proven. A shot of your favourite coffee before you hit the treadmill or track not only gives you the energy to get out the door but can also improve performance and endurance.

 

Caffeine is an excellent natural way to fuel your body for exercise, as well as increasing energy levels, it actually helps to create lower levels of perceived exhaustion. This combined with its ability to increase your concentration endorphins means you will be feeling positive, alert and be cracking your personal records!

 

Now, if you’re pounding the pavement for inner and outer health, the great news is caffeine increases your bodies ability to burn fat by enhancing its use of fat as fuel. If you get your caffeine hit with a pure black cold brew coffee like Fist Press, unlike some other performance drinks,  there is no unhealthy additives so it’s also calorie free.

 

‘But First Press’ we hear you cry, ‘I don’t like black coffee’. Until now. The unique First Press Cold Drip extraction method creates a less acidic brew with a smooth taste and low acidity. It’s made to drink black and is gentle on your stomach and digestive system. Its even better than cold brew.

 

We admit he’s biased, but we asked Hamish about his love of First Press concentrate as part of his pre-run ritual “I really struggle running on a full stomach so for me coffee with milk is just not an option. A First Press Little Kicker from the fridge and straight from the bottle about 15 minutes before a run is a simple, natural way to get a great boost. Our cold drip extraction method also mean you get all the boost, with none of the usual crash associated with coffee – a must if you’re planning on running any kind of distance”

 

Still not convinced? Check out what some of the experts are saying:

Dulloo, A. G et al. Normal caffeine consumption: influence on thermogenesis and daily energy expenditure in lean and postobese human volunteers. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1989 January; 49 (1) 44-50.

Doherty, M., Smith, P. M. Effects of caffeine ingestion on rating of perceived exertion during and after exercise: a meta-analysis. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. 2005 April; 15 (2) 69-78.

Gliottoni, R. C. & Motl, R.W. Effect of Caffeine on Leg-Muscle Pain During Intense Cycling Exercise: Possible Role of Anxiety Sensitivity. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 2008 (18) 103-115.

No more excuses! Get some Little Kickers in the fridge and get those sneakers on.

 

First Press 100ml Little Kickers available online here, or from a stockist near you.

 

The origins of our coffee

One thing that we learned very early in the journey of First Press was how the quality of the bean impacts many aspects of the coffee experience. Firstly, you simply cannot get away with using a low quality coffee when serving a cold brew coffee. The taste comes through clearly and the tasting notes are accentuated when you decrease the acidity of the cold brew. Secondly, we learned very quickly that different grades of coffee impact your body significantly. A high grade coffee extracted under the right conditions can leave you feeling clear, focused and strong. In comparison, a low grade coffee can leave you feeling anxious, on edge and quite uncomfortable.
We think the quality of the bean is inextricably linked to how the farmer treats the land, their staff and the community around them, and this transfers to the drop in your bottle of First Press. The gift of coffee allows us to appreciate the love and dedication that has gone into the harvesting of the coffee plant in different climates and regions of the world.
The current specialty grade coffee beans we are using for our Naked and Black Cacao range hails from Fazenda Santo Antonio in the Sul de Minas region of Brazil. Joao Newton, the owner, is the third generation of coffee growers in the region and owns Santo Antonio. It is not uncommon for many of the smaller farms in Brazil to be owned and managed by the farmer. This is a Rainforest Alliance certified coffee and the farm contributes significantly to the reforestation of the area. Rainforest Alliance is a not for profit organisation that works in 78 countries to conserve forests, support sustainable living and restore balance on the planet. This includes efforts to bring back many of the native plants and trees that the biodiversity of the region. The San Antonio farms focus on the use of advanced technology while also preserving the environment, and has been influential in the development and training of the local inhabitants in this area.
The bean itself is pulped natural and is grown at an elevation of 1140m. It is a variety of Arabica called Red Mundo Novo. The sweetness is high and we have chosen this bean because of the strong presence of dark chocolate in both taste and aroma. Enjoy the drop, much love has gone into the process 🙂

Bio-Hacking with First Press Coffee

So we all know that coffee can get us in the mood… (no, not that mood). The mood for productivity, getting things done and achieving goals. Rather than view coffee as something to help you get out of bed in the morning, we would rather redefine it as an accelerant of focus and a way for you to lift yourself both physically and mentally. So, we have put together a few little hacks to get the most out of your cold brew. You won’t need a lab for these methods, or yak butter.

Wait..

Now we love having coffee, at all times of the day! But alas, science has a reason we shouldn’t reach for coffee immediately after you wake up. Generally, your cortisol levels are highest at this time of the day and the body is essentially caffeinating itself. Pumping yourself with coffee at this time won’t really do much and you will build a tolerance. Additionally, pumping your cortisol (stress hormone) levels in the morning may make you react like a car cutting you off is a military attack. Allowing your hormone levels to naturally work with their circadian rhythm in the morning will keep you in a more balanced state throughout the day and have you ready for that first cup around 9:30 am (depending on your rhythm).

No milk

We won’t go into the science of avoiding milk or dairy, but simply say that black coffee, like cold brew or cold drip, has a much more beneficial effect on your performance, both mentally and physically. Milk will cause a spike in your blood sugar levels and decrease the amount of prime focus you will receive form your coffee. Any milk will generally have this impact, especially if drinking on an empty stomach. If this is too much of a leap at least try and reduce the amount of milk in the cup

Can I have some fat with that?

If you are one to fast and have coffee on an empty stomach, try and add a little fat. We love pouring a little dose of coconut MCT oil in our coffee. This won’t put as much stress on your adrenals (stopping that crash) and soften the impact of coffee on your nervous system.

Make a list.

We said that coffee is an accelerant of focus. Meaning that if you don’t really have a plan of what you want to do, then you might find yourself running around the house like a puppy about to go for a walk. You might think you are being productive but find yourself job switching and being distracted with shiny things and websites that tell you all about your friends. Having a strict list of things to do, removing all obstacles and hustling until you finish is an activity that thrives on the energy of the coffee bean. Look up the Pomodoro Technique for a method to avoid distractions.

Have the occasional break.

In a brief description, coffee restricts the effectiveness of adenosine in our system and increases hormones like serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine (the feel good hormones). Essentially, the more times we reach for coffee, the less impact caffeine has on our system. Limited the amount you have and occasionally having a day (or 2) can help reset this tolerance and have you getting the most out of your First Press.

Hopefully, these little pointers can have you reaching for the stars after your First Press.

The many uses of Cold Brew

Over the years, we have had many chances to enjoy First Press. From it’s humble beginnings in the June 2013 we used to enjoy the very first batches before a run or gym session in the morning. This then grew to keeping us fuelled during white board sessions and those long nights of hand bottling to order. Since then, there has been many an occasion where First Press has been enjoyed. Here is just a few to get your imaginations rolling!

THE PARTY

Although the responsibilities of business and mature age have reformed our priorities, we remember our roots from creating First Press, the party. First Press is an excellent addition to the party, giving a delightful base for espresso martinis. For those who want to break free from the generic arrival with a wine or cheese platter to your friends gathering: Try a bottle of FP, vodka and some coffee liqueur  in hand. You will soon find yourself with many people in close vicinity in desperate curiosity towards your creations.

THE PICNIC

Sometimes lying down on some lush grass after a few too many nibbles on an antipasto can you leave you tired and unmotivated to pick up that frisbee. Reach for First Press, some ice and you are will find yourself completing some aerobatics you didn’t think were possible. No machine, no mess, no need for a cafe.

THE CAMP SITE

Those long walks and philosophical banter can have you hanging for a cuppa, and sometimes the fire isn’t lit (or allowed). A bottle of cold brew will have you back in the game and reaching for those stars.

THE LONG FLIGHT

The ultimate travel companion. We are not sure why this hasn’t been done, but our technologically advanced civilisation still hasn’t worked out how to provide quality coffee to passengers on a plane. Be sure to take a kicker with you to absolve you from needed to drink their pathetic percolated excuse of a drink. Oh, and if you see Richard Branson on the street, please take him a kicker and tell him he needs this on his planes. We have tried.

THE FESTIVAL

This can double up for anyone wanting to stay for an extended period of time within a small area stomping to the sound of music. The days of vodka and redbull left when you turned 20, and sometimes you want something that isn’t in the form of alcohol (and fits in your pocket). Bring the kicker! Oh and a little disclaimer, stay hydrated with water as well.

Coffee: Natures pre-workout

While the morning coffee has become a productivity ritual for workers the world over, less attention is often paid to the incredible physical effects coffee and natural caffeine can have on our bodies. With Summer approaching and drive to get in shape increases, we thought it was time to delve into the science of this miraculous bean and the benefits it can have as part of an active lifestyle!

COFFEE HELPS YOU BURN FAT

Research has shown that one coffee can help us increase our resting metabolic rate by 3-4%. Consumed regularly over a 12 hour period, it can also create an increase in energy expenditure of 8-11%. Wonder why your feeling so awake? The body is drawing more energy and increasing your metabolism so you can get stuff done!

COFFEE INCREASES YOUR PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE

If your ready to hit the gym, the caffeine from coffee can release fatty acids from your fat tissues to be used as fuel during your workout. As these acids are released, adrenaline is also released helping you have gains of 11-12% in physical performance. If you’re looking for an even bigger boost on your big day, cut back on your caffeine intake for a few days beforehand to diminish your dependance and tolerance for caffeine.

cold drip coffee fitness

COFFEE INCREASES YOUR PAIN THRESHOLD

Caffeine consumed before a workout has been shown to significantly reduce your body’s pain threshold, making it the perfect additive to your next gruelling session. Having an increased pain threshold means that little voice in the back of your head telling you to stop comes a little bit later than normal, helping you reach peak performance at higher intensities for longer periods of time.

COFFEE AIDS IN MUSCLE RECOVERY

A study from the University of Illinois found that when consuming the equivalent of 2 cups of coffee before a workout, test subjects experienced a reduction in post-workout muscle soreness of up to 48%. This means you can work hard and bounce back the next day without looking like you need a walking frame.

COFFEE HELPS US PERFORM BETTER IN COMPETITIVE SPORTS

If you’re the competitive type, a caffeine kick can help you lift your mental game when playing competitive sports. Research shows that caffeine consumption improved players accuracy, mental performance and cognitive function on the soccer field. Not only can caffeine lift your performance physically, it can also make you smarter on the field.

TIPS TO USING COFFEE TO ACHIEVE PEAK PERFORMANCE

If you’re looking to really push your competitive advantage with caffeine, there are a few extra steps you can take to get the most out of your coffee.

First off, avoid adding sugar. Research shows that consuming high amounts of carbohydrates with coffee can inhibit the stimulatory effects of caffeine. Reducing the amount of milk you have with your coffee can also help to speed up the digestion of caffeine while also reducing its calories.

As well as cutting the additives, the method of extraction can also help you move the needle on your performance. With less acidity than regular coffee and a taste that requires no milk, sugar or additives, cold drip coffee allows you to enjoy the smoother taste of coffee without all of the performance inhibiting additives. The body loves simplicity!

An active lifestyle is an essential part of a healthy life. Kick your summer body into gear early with the pure natural energy of caffeine and its incredible performance enhancing properties!

 

WANT TO LEARN MORE?

Here’s a bunch of extra reference material so you can delve further into the science:

Dulloo, A. G et al. Normal caffeine consumption: influence on thermogenesis and daily energy expenditure in lean and postobese human volunteers. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1989 January; 49 (1) 44-50.

Doherty, M., Smith, P. M. Effects of caffeine ingestion on rating of perceived exertion during and after exercise: a meta-analysis. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. 2005 April; 15 (2) 69-78.

Gliottoni, R. C. & Motl, R.W. Effect of Caffeine on Leg-Muscle Pain During Intense Cycling Exercise: Possible Role of Anxiety Sensitivity. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 2008 (18) 103-115.

Foskett, A., Ali, A., Gant, N. Caffeine enhances cognitive function and skill performance during simulated soccer activity. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 2009 August; 19(4) 410-23.

O’Conner, P.J., Dudley, G.A.,  McKully, K. K. Caffeine Attenuates Delayed-Onset Muscle Pain and Force Loss Following Eccentric Exercise. The Journal of Pain. 2007 March; 8(3) 237-243.

Skinner, T. L et al. Influence of carbohydrate on serum caffeine concentrations following caffeine ingestion. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 2013 July;16(4):343-7.