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Coffee is a Drug, Can I Give It UP?
A Good Cup of Coffee
Caffeine Is a Drug
I weigh the pros and cons when I cannot decide what I want or do not want to do. Coffee is the only beverage I drink with caffeine. Do I give coffee up entirely, enjoy it on occasion or continue to drink a lot of coffee daily? I considered this question to be a no brainer for me personally.
My Cherished Coffee
Coffee is a cherished beverage around the world. Those who absolutely love coffee find it difficult to understand how someone could not love a cup of coffee, espresso, latte or cappuccino. I love every one of these beverages, except espresso. I could never develop a taste for such a strong cup of coffee.
I Do Not Need a Caffeine Fix
Many people say they must have their caffeine fix in the morning to get going with the day. I have never felt that I needed a coffee fix to get going in the morning, thus needing caffeine. When I drink coffee, I never think of coffee as a way to get caffeine. I have always just enjoyed the taste of a good cup of coffee and enjoy all the 'foo foo' coffees on the market today. However, I can take a coffee or leave it, but I just enjoy starting the day on the front porch, in a nice balmy breeze with my one, (two, three, never mind) cups of coffee.
Is Coffee Nutritionally Sound
Having a nutritional website and enjoying writing articles on all sorts of nutritional subjects prompted me to do a little more research on coffee and make a list of the pros and cons of drinking so much coffee. This is how I separate things we should not eat. I weigh the pros and cons of products by researches. I read that some people consider coffee a health food, but I would not go that far.
The first thing I do in the morning is to put on the coffee to enjoy the aroma. I especially enjoy grinding my own coffee beans because it serves a fresher cup of coffee. When I purchase coffee my husband and I enjoy the flavored coffees such as blueberry, vanilla, caramel, chocolate and most of the combinations offered on the market today such as Chocolate Caramel Brownie. I use a natural sweetener, such as Stevia, in my coffee, vanilla, or caramel coffee syrup and no creamer.
Caffeine is a Drug
Most people do not consider caffeine a drug, but it certainly is every bit a drug that requires careful consideration before consuming coffee on a regular basis. Many drugs on the market today require tapering if the person wishes to get off the drug. It is a good idea to taper your coffee rather than to go 'cold turkey.' In this way, if caffeine does cause any side effects the tapering will help decrease these side effects when you decide as I did to eliminate coffee from the diet. I was wrong I admit it.
This is what I personally do not understand because I can take or leave coffee and it does not seem to bother me if I do not drink it. I have drank coffee for over 40-years, just because it was the choice for nurses to drink at night and since I worked over 20-years on the night shift I drank coffee with my fellow nurses.
The following is a list of pros and cons that I found in regards to drinking caffeine-laden beverages including coffee. Some pros and cons are just assumptions and others are strong facts.
Pros of Drinking Coffee
- 1. Decreases the risk of skin and prostate cancers
- 2. Protects a person for Type 2 diabetes
- 3. May protect persons from Alzheimer's disease
- 4. May protect persons from Parkinson's disease
- 5. May protect persons from bladder cancer
- 6. Increases energy
- 7. Lowers risk of heart disease
Cons of Drinking Coffee
- 1. Caffeine is a drug and is addictive
- 2. Coffee is a stimulant due to caffeine content
- 3. Drinking too much coffee or missing a daily fix of coffee can cause the person the jitters
- 4. Can cause insomnia
- 5. Can cause mood swings
- 6. Can cause decrease in long-term memory abilities
- 7. Causes heart palpitations
- 8. Causes headaches
- 9. Can cause nausea
- 10. Coffee is considered a diuretic and can cause dehydration
- 11. Can increase blood pressure
- 12. Can cause anxiety
- 13. Can cause restless behaviors
- 14. Can contribute to panic attacks
- 15. Can cause stomach irritation
- 16. Can cause signs and symptoms of depression
According to the documented pros and cons of drinking coffee, coffee clearly lost this contest.
What is Decaf Coffee?
Let us look at the cons of drinking decaf coffee (Robusta beans verses using Arabica beans in caffeinated coffee. Some people feel that it is better to drink decaf coffee. I did hear at one time that the chemical put into coffee to remove the caffeine is worse than drinking the caffeinated coffees.
Pros of decaf coffee
- 1. Contains fair amount of antioxidants
Cons of decaf coffee
- 1. Raises cholesterol levels increasing risks for heart disease (reasons unknown)
- 2. May cause gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea
- 3. May cause heartburn
- 4. May cause Ulcers
- 5. May cause GURD placing the person at a high risk for esophageal cancer
- 6. Weight gain from sugars and cream added
Decaf coffee clearly lost this contest
Coffee Dehydrates the Body
One thing that I have found when I drink a lot of coffee is I do not drink enough water. Water in coffee does not count towards the 64-ounces of water everyone needs to drink every day to keep their body hydrated, because coffee acts as a diuretic, and removes water from the body. If I do not drink plain water, I am at high risk for dehydration. I have on my desk every day a large cup of wonderful coffee and a large glass of ice water, which do I reach for first? You got that right, the coffee.
Why I am Giving up Caffeine
I am giving up coffee based on my high risk for dehydration and because of the long list of cons for coffee drinkers. Being an advocate of good nutritional common sense dictates, I give up my coffee or at least cut my consumption of coffee a great deal and drink more water. I will enjoy a good cup of coffee only on occasion.
Do not believe this for one minute. I will continue to drink coffee whenever I want a cup of coffee. The difference is, I will drink my 64-ounces of water per day as the professionals say we should.