Hold off on that cup of Joe!


Coffee is the primary source of caffeine in our country and our culture.  We live for that hot beverage with a kick to jump start our mornings, or give us some liquid strength to get through that long night of work.  We run to caffeine as is evident by the countless coffee shops and lengthy display of various coffee brands in the grocery store.  But is it really that good?

Medical journals periodically publish articles t hat contradict each other.  Some sing the praise and virtue of the hot beverage.  Others tout their dangers to the human body.  Recently i read another article that encouraged the downplay of caffeine consumption because of the following reasons:

  • Caffeine stays in the system for a longer time than you thought.  Drink a cup of coffee at 7 am, and by 7 pm there is still about 25% present in your body.  The down side of Caffeine in the body is that it disturbs your sleep.   With as little as 25% in your system you will never enter deep sleep, but will find your REM sleep disturbed.  According to Wayne State University’s study, consuming a cup of coffee 6 hours before sleep will reduce your sleep by at least 1 hour.
  • Caffeine generates adrenaline in your body, and adrenaline causes that rapid response… that fight or flight response.  Some times things need time to be thought through, rather than snap decisions.  Large amounts of adrenaline can also cause harm to your system.
  • Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that large doses of caffeine can raise your blood pressure, stimulate the heart, and produce rapid shallow breathing, which deprives the brain of the oxygen needed to keep your thinking calm and rational.
  • Caffeine exaggerates stress.  If you feel stress caffeine will simply add to that perception.
  • Caffeine has been known to be addictive, and when you try to stop consuming it you will feel that withdraw reaction – symptoms that are clearly a result of that lack of caffeine in your body.  Change in mood, feeling tired or lethargic, and possibly a lack of clarity in thinking may be the initial reaction.  Withdrawal of the adrenaline is also to blame because lack of caffeine will result in lowering of adrenaline in your system.