Healthy beautiful girl with here eyes closed resting here head on her arms. Very peaceful image.

Coffee: To drink or not to drink…

Coffee, America's Love Affair

 

America’s love affair with coffee is legendary. Coffee, second only to oil in US imports, is a powerful stimulant that experts agree can increase blood pressure, make you irritable and cause heart palpitations. If coffee is so bad, why are we drinking copious amounts of the magical, euphoria-inducing brew?

 

At the time of this article,

we are on day 7 of a 30 day juice fast reset. The wife and I do this on a regular basis. We are essentially nourishing our bodies with pure nutrients. The nutrient rich juice facilitates the cleansing of our systems of the many toxins we come in contact with every day.

Coffee bean line in the shape of a heart beat, with coffee beans everywhere.

Coffee? This Wasn’t Our First Rodeo

 

Before I begin let me say that in the past 6 months we drank a lot of coffee. We knew we needed to quit and now seemed like the right time. We had given the bean the boot before, and we knew darn well what was in store for us; that nasty roller coaster all over again because we thought we could do just one. Research suggests 5 cups is all it takes to become addicted.

Coffee-_To_drink_or_not_to_drink….jpg

My motive for writing this article was sparked by a conversation with a friend of mine. I had mentioned I was going through caffeine withdrawals and the symptoms I was experiencing.

I want you to know

that I was the sugar bear and my wife hardly touches the stuff. I was putting a lot of sugar and cream into my coffee. The horrid withdrawal symptoms of sugar and caffeine are similar, and I was getting a double whammy.

 

My wife and I compared our symptoms and it was agreed, I was suffering much more than her.

 

Coffee Benefits & Education

 

My friend, an avid coffee drinker went on to say that coffee has many benefits. Not having all my facts in order, I decided to just listen. Most of what I thought to be true contradicted their inventory of the wonderful reasons to drink coffee. I chose to remain silent, that is until I could get all my ducks in a row. We talked for quite a while on the subject, all the while I’m waiting for the first opportunity to be off by myself and jump on my phone and hit the internet. Let me tell you, I wasn’t running off to get ammo to engage in a debate, no,

I was running off to get educated.

I needed to fact check what they had just told me. The benefits of caffeine are highly controversial and every one has an opinion.

Caffeine provides a good example of the distinction between dependence and addiction. When frequent caffeine consumers interrupt their habit for more than half a day they...

Now, with phone in hand,

I typed in the benefits of caffeine. I’m sure you’d do the same. When I want some good honest answers, I look to see who’s funding the research. The site’s sponsor is a good indicator of the money flow and the degree of bias or impartiality. When advertisements are nowhere to be seen and the site is NOT a non-profit, I get very suspicious.

 

With phone in hand, I typed,

“Is coffee good for you?”

Several sites popped up and I started down my Google list. I chose a familiar site where I had read some good articles. First thing on my mind was, “Oh no, am I totally mistaken about coffee?” In truth, seven days without coffee, I wanted some and now would be just fine. I had the caffeine withdrawal blues bad.

Phone in hand, Google search, Is Coffee good for you?

Coffee: 7 Good Reasons it's Good for You

 

These are the 7 reasons coffee is good for you,

according to the site, which will remain nameless. Just so you know, I will follow up with more research and let you know the outcome at the end of this article.

 

1. Coffee Can Help You Burn Fat and Improves Physical Performance

 

2. Coffee Can Make You Smarter

 

3. Coffee May lower Your Risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

 

4. Coffee May Drastically Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

 

5. Coffee May be Extremely Good for Your Liver

 

6. Coffee is loaded with Nutrients and Antioxidants

 

7. Coffee May Decrease Your Risk of Dying

 

The Pick-Me-Up

 

From here we’ll look at the other side. For some of you,

“The Dark Side.”

You know, those of you who adore your morning Joe.

 

Caffeine is a drug in the global trade market and second only to oil which says a lot about both addictions.

 

The Daily Mail reports that every morning millions of people perform an essential daily ritual, their first cup of tea or coffee.

 

It concentrates the mind and acts as a pick-me-up. Or does it? The latest research suggests that the familiar buzz from coffee doesn’t so much as give us a lift but fight the caffeine withdrawal symptoms: fatigue, mental fogginess and a dull headache that has kicked in since the last cup of coffee.

 

Coffee, Experts and the Addiction

 

“Indeed, experts suggest that this morning ritual is actually a sign of mass drug dependency. People who consume caffeine regularly will become dependent on it - if you take caffeine away from them, they will function below par,” says Peter Rogers, professor of biological psychology at Bristol University and a leading expert on caffeine.

Pot of coffee, and work load on desk.

Professor Rogers has studied coffee and its effects for more than 20 years and, as a result, he and his colleagues have given up caffeine.

 

Dr. Rogers is the professor of Biological Psychology in the area of Research Nutrition and Behavior, a large part of this research is concerned with how physiological, learned and cognitive controls on appetite are integrated. The results are relevant to identifying the causes of obesity and disordered eating, and to understanding food choice, food craving and food ‘addiction.’ His work examines dietary effects on mood and cognition; which includes research on how food consumption affects alertness and attention, and studies of longer-term influences of diet on psychological health. Linking the above themes is his third area of interest – the psychopharmacology of caffeine. His research on this ubiquitously consumed substance began with questions about how preferences for caffeine-containing drinks develop, and now focuses on caffeine’s psychostimulant, anxiogenic and motor effects.

What other effects does caffeine have on the body? Well, for your body to run optimally your pH level has to be approximately 7.0. The pH scale is a measure of acidity and alkalinity. 0-7 is acid. 7 is neutral, 7-14 is alkaline.

Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Caffeine provides a 

good example of the distinction between dependence and addiction.

When frequent caffeine consumers interrupt their habit for more than half a day they function below par (dependence), but this does not cause a strong compulsion to consume caffeine.

 

“Coffee drinkers just don't function normally without the drug on board. If it's your first tea or coffee of the day, it gets you back to normal, but beyond that you don't get much more of a kick. On balance, caffeine is not particularly helpful. It triggers withdrawal and increases your blood pressure, which is not a good thing.” -Dr. Rogers, Bristol University

 

Caffeine withdrawal symptoms:

Headache, Fatigue, Anxiety, Irritability, Depressed mood, Difficulty

Concentrating, Flu-like symptoms

 

Sugar withdrawal symptoms:

Anger, Anxiety, Appetite changes, Cravings, Depression, Dizziness

Fatigue, Flu-like symptoms, Headaches, Insomnia, Irritability,

Mood swings,

Shakes, Sleep changes, Weight changes

Reni and Scampy at the beach, for the newsletter.

Anne Marie Colbin, PH.D. writes in her book, “The Whole Food Guide to Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach", “If the blood becomes too acid, the bones release calcium and other buffering minerals into the bloodstream to rebalance the pH.

 

A number of studies have shown that

caffeine intake is related to both calcium depletion and fractures.“

 

It is well established that caffeine has a modestly damaging effect on bone mineral density and fracture risk (Hallstrom et. al 2006) - US National Library of Medicine.

Caffeine on your Body

 

What other effects does caffeine have on the body? Well, for your body to run optimally your pH level has to be approximately 7.0. The pH scale is a measure of acidity and alkalinity. 0-7 is acid. 7 is neutral, 7-14 is alkaline.

 

In general, ANIMAL FOODS are acidifying. As are dairy foods, seafood, processed foods, yeast products, grains, bread, flour, sugar, fruit sugars, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, chocolate, coffee, black tea, and sodas.

 

VEGETABLES are alkalizing. Generally, the freshest, dark GREEN and richer color foods are the most alkalizing. Apple cider vinegar, vegetable juice, lemon squash, and green drinks are very helpful.

 

Are you eating these acid-forming foods: meat, cheese, fast food, sweets, chips, white flour, and processed foods? Are you smoking and drinking coffee, alcohol or sodas?

 

Human blood requires a slightly alkaline solution.

The body’s ability to maintain a pH balance is compromised by many factors: aging, toxic environments, and consuming acid foods with few alkaline fresh foods. As the body becomes more acidic; inflammatory, degenerative diseases, and viruses, thrive.

 

Everything in moderation, but

coffee is high on the acidic chart

and with a poor diet you can see where I’m going with this. If your diet is that of a vegetarian and a cup or less of caffeine a day, and you kept it to that, well, maybe you’d be alright. However, everyone’s tolerance level rises for caffeine therefore requiring more to keep the same energy level they’re looking for.

Adrenal Glands

Their function is to release hormones that trigger the fight-or-flight response. When we’re confronted with stressors, adrenaline floods our bodies, our muscles contract and our heart rate quickens.

Adrenal Glands and Kidneys.

Adrenal Gland and Caffeine Cortisol Connection

 

Dr. Jesse Chappus, DC, health/nutrition/super food enthusiast, explains the adrenal gland and caffeine cortisol connection like this: 

 

The adrenals are small but mighty glands, which sit on top of the kidneys. Their function is to release hormones that trigger the fight-or-flight response. When we’re confronted with stressors, adrenaline floods our bodies, our muscles contract and our heart rate quickens. Basically, the body is put on alert and is made ready for action.

 

Here’s the problem. Coffee stimulates the adrenal glands, which means that every time you drink coffee, you’re activating the body’s fight-or-flight response. But instead of releasing adrenaline so the body can react to a true stressor, the adrenals are releasing this hormone in response to your coffee consumption.

Adrenal Gland Burn Out

 

What happens over time is that your adrenal glands start to burn out from overuse, which can lead to adrenal fatigue. Naturally, you can help to prevent adrenal fatigue simply by avoiding coffee, or keeping your consumption to a minimum.

 

Does caffeine really give you an energy boost?

Depending on how much caffeine you consume, it can make you feel as if you have more energy, especially within the first couple of hours after consumption. 

 

However, once the effects of the caffeine have worn off, you’ll actually feel more tired than you did before you drank it.

Adrenal Glands and Their Essential Bodily Functions.

Here’s the truth: Caffeine increases cortisol secretion the stress hormone in people at rest or undergoing mental stress or not, according to a study published in the September/October 2005 edition of “Psychosomatic Medicine.” Conclusion: Cortisol responses to caffeine are reduced, but not eliminated, in healthy young men and women who consume caffeine on a daily basis.

 

Cortisol production is naturally high in the early morning, around 8:00 a.m. because one of its functions is to help you rise and shine for the day.

 

But, people who

chronically stress their adrenal glands

to overproduce cortisol change their cortisol concentrations so that it’s low instead of high when they wake up in the morning. Of course, then they reach for a cup of coffee to artificially spike their cortisol levels again.

 

Chronically elevated levels of perceived stress affect cortisol levels. Cortisol which have been associated with increased risk for central obesity. Studies have demonstrated that acute stress affects dietary behaviors. For some it's a craving, for others, it's a loss of appetite. Certain foods increase the levels of serotonin (also a feel-good hormone), improving your mood. Many people crave foods under stress such as candy bars, soda, or ice cream, but different people have different cravings.

The Body-Mind Connection of Stress

According to the National Institutes of Health and many other sources, the stress response is caused by hormones. Hormones are chemicals, produced by glands and carried through the bloodstream, that affect the activities of organs in the body. The hypothalamus and pituitary glands, located in the brain, and the adrenal glands, situated on top of the kidneys, control the hormones that help the body cope with change or a stressful situation. The hypothalamus signals the pituitary gland, which signals the adrenal glands to release the stress hormones epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol. These chemicals increase heart rate and breathing, which provides a burst of energy (to fight or flee), as well as affect other bodily functions. The release of these hormones can result in a wide range of physical reactions to stress, including headache, dry mouth, difficulty swallowing, rapid heartbeat, nausea, cold hands, lack of concentration, difficulty sleeping, certain food cravings, and angry outbursts.

Premature Skin Aging

 

How about skin aging and wrinkling? Caffeine dehydrates the body and elevates cortisol levels. This leads to dehydrated skin and premature wrinkling. Skin regenerates mostly during the night. Elevated cortisol reduces skin regeneration. Normal cortisol rhythm is essential for skin health, especially conditions such as "adult acne."

 

In his bestselling books, The Perricone Prescription and The Wrinkle Cure,

Dr. Nicholas Perricone encourages people to quit coffee to prevent skin aging. His patients have shown him the consequences of elevated cortisol levels on skin aging and wrinkling—dehydration and a decrease in collagen and elastin production. It’s a good reminder that we must drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day to maintain healthy and beautiful skin, as all biochemical reactions in the body take place in the presence of water.

According to Dr. Group of the Global Healing Center,

“Caffeine can dehydrate the body and interfere with digestion. Caffeine also interferes with the absorption of magnesium, which is critical in maintaining regular, healthy bowel movements. Coffee stimulates the digestive system and can induce a temporary laxative effect, causing the bowels to expel waste before they have the chance to process and utilize vital water and nutrients.”

 

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine,

“Coffee, is a popular drink in western countries, which also possess high incidence of bladder cancer.”

In addition to increased risk of bladder cancer, pancreatic cancer  and cardiovascular disease have shown to be other detrimental effects of chronic coffee consumption.

 

Is Organic Coffee Better for You than Conventional Coffee?

 

Conventional coffee is among the most heavily chemically treated foods in the world. It is laden with synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, fertilizers and insecticides. Not only is the environment adversely affected by these toxic chemicals, but also the people who live and work in it.

Farmers are poisoned

and the surrounding communities are impacted through chemical residues in the air and water. When you understand that your choices for good health have an effect on not only your health, but also the health of others and the planet, you can make buying decisions based upon social and environmental responsibility.

Here’s a list of reasons coffee is not good for you:

 

1. Depletes calcium from bones

 

2. Exhausts the adrenal glands that are necessary for over fifty bodily functions

 

3. Interferes with stage 4 sleep, rest and recuperation

 

4. Causes dehydration that leads to aging and wrinkling skin

 

5. High cortisol levels lead to overeating and weight gain

 

6. Interferes with the absorption of nutrients

 

7. Contributes to anxiety and high blood pressure

Easy Way to Kick the Bean

 

This method works great for me. Rick “cold turkeys” it.

 

To minimize headaches, irritability and major fatigue, wean yourself off the bean slowly. Mix 1-part regular coffee to 1-part decaf. Drink only organic decaf. The other stuff is extremely toxic. Start 1 week to 10 days prior to your target date. By day 4 or 5 you’ll be more relaxed and laid back. If you drink more than 1-2 cups you’ll be defeating the purpose.

 

The best thing about quitting coffee is the relaxation and deep sleep you will get. You will

sleep like you’ve never slept before.

Muscle aches and pains are greatly reduced and stomach distress will disappear. And don’t worry about not having it as a laxative. Your body will adjust and you’ll experience healthy “movements” again. Keep your body well hydrated as it becomes accustomed to your healthier body.

 

It will take 30 days for your adrenal glands to heal. By that time you’ll have a lot more energy than you ever did drinking coffee.

 

Remember, coffee is a drug.

A powerful stimulant at that and highly addictive.

 

Keep telling yourself all the reasons why you want/need to quit, i.e. sleep better/ look better, happier and more patient with others, less chance of extra fat around your waist, save money and most  of all, you’re doing it because YOU LOVE YOURSELF! -Reni

 

Despite some published reports (most likely funded by the coffee industry) coffee is not good for you. Don't use coffee studies or propaganda as an excuse to hang onto your coffee habit!

 

You can put lipstick on a pig, but you still have a pig.

Sources:

Is Coffee Good or Bad For You?

by Dr. Edward Group

 

The Impact Of Coffee On Your Adrenal Glands

by Dr. Jesse Chappus

 

If coffee perks you up, you need to STOP drinking it:

by Daily Mail

 

Organic Vs. Conventional Coffee

by Equal Exchange

 

Caffeine increases cortisol secretion the stress hormone

by Psychosomatic Medicine

 

Nutrition and Behavior

by Professor Peter Rogers (University of Bristol)

 

Coffee consumption and bladder cancer

by U.S. National Library of Medicine (PMC) Pub Med Central

 

Coffee intake and risk of pancreatic cancer

by U.S. National Library of Medicine (PMC) Pub Med Central

 

Chronic coffee consumption has a detrimental effect on aortic stiffness and wave reflections

by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

 

The Whole Food Guide to Strong Bones

by Anne Marie Colbin, PH.D.

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