Why is Coffee Bad for You?
That delicious fragrant morning brew which makes you slightly friendlier and puts a bit of dance in your step might just be the underlying source of numerous physical and emotional complaints according to some top researchers and medical authors. But wait a second… How can caffeine be bad? Is this propaganda designed to pry us away from everything we’ve grown to love, associate fond memories with, and enjoy as a daily ritual? How can something so pervasive and used for so many years suddenly be off limits? Find out how coffee has instilled itself into the fabric of our lives. Find out why coffee is bad for you.
The Turks were the first country to adopt it as a drink, often adding spices such as clove, cinnamon, cardamom and anise to their brew. Today, grown and enjoyed worldwide, coffee is one of the few crops that small farmers in third world countries can profitably export. By conservative estimates, humans consume more than 4 billion cups o’ joe a day, without any thought or understanding of the debilitating effects that caffeine addiction can cause.
Just short of shooting this stuff intravenously, I’ve had a wild passion for dark roast with a splash of vanilla creamer. Organic. I spent enough years learning about my personal connection between caffeine and headaches, fatigue, low back pain and poor sleep. Finally, I realized that I had to get off it as a daily addiction so that I could enjoy it randomly—without the neurosis of a daily fix. It wasn’t easy, but I learned how.
What most consumers are in the dark about is that this innocent looking little cup sets their bodies up for a daily blood sugar rollercoaster of highs and lows, only to result in predictable exhaustion, poor sleep and a strong contributor to digestive acidity, not to mention that a high caffeine intake can increase the chance of developing cancer. While researchers do not understand the precise mechanism of how caffeine influences cancer, they believe that an excess of caffeine could affect how tumors grow and flourish.
Dark Eye Circles As An Indicator Of Adrenal Stress?
But its lows warrant greater need for the stuff and this cycle eventually keeps people in fluctuating states between hi-energy and foot-dragging exhaustion. Eventually, the one organ system that suffers most is the adrenal glands. Adrenalin is responsible for that winning burst of energy and for giving compassionate individuals the ability to instinctively rescue people by lifting cars. Adrenalin is the origin of our “flight-or-fight” response. Supposedly, this response enabled our prehistoric ancestors to escape from mammoth-toothed predators.
When we continually stimulate our adrenal glands to produce this discharge of adrenalin, we put our bodies into deficiency and irregular blood sugar patterns. It’s important to remember that Caffeine does not provide energy—only chemical stimulation.
However, you may be knee-deep in Java denial; assuming that you don’t drink nearly enough to become addicted to it, but common patterns indicate you actually are. Careful research conducted by the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reveals that low-to-moderate caffeine intake (as little as one 14-oz. mug daily) can immediately produce withdrawal symptoms. This is because caffeine is essentially, a drug.
What Caffeine Does To Your Body
There is an old saying I’m fond of: “Every front has a back and the bigger the front, the bigger the back.” It doesn’t take a Ph.D. to see that there might be negative drawbacks to all of this displaced neuron activity that temporarily makes you feel alive and vital. In fact, uncontrolled neuron firing from caffeine stimulation creates an internal emergency situation that stimulates the pituitary gland, housed in the brain, to secrete a hormone called, ACTH. This hormone signals the adrenal glands to begin furiously pumping out stress hormones—another side effect of caffeine. Therefore, enough caffeine can keep your body in a state of chronic stress.
Five minutes after you’ve downed that morning Java, the caffeine begins to stimulate your central nervous system, releasing stress hormones and creating an internal emergency response. If you’re facing a life-threatening situation, this can be useful, but if you’re at a desk, playing with your kid or reading a paper, you may begin feeling agitated, anxious, hungry and eventually exhausted. In this condition, you’re usually temped to eat more sweet food or take more coffee…and the cycle continues until burn-out.
There is also a concern that caffeine depletes the body of B vitamins. This group of vitamins is necessary for brain and nervous system function, as well as for energy conversion. Dr. Michael Murray, an author and naturopathic physician in Seattle, states that caffeine can interfere with iron absorption, which could potentially lead to weakening condition of anemia. This is a condition where you suddenly have too few oxygen-carrying red blood cells, a major contributor to fatigue, as well as shortness of breath.
Caffeine is also known to elevate blood-cholesterol levels, irritate stomach and bladder and possibly instigate prostate and breast problems. Medical research has linked caffeine consumption to fatigue, mood swings, PMS, hypertension, anxiety, panic attacks, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine, restlessness, headaches, joint pain, insomnia and other sleep disorders. As if that’s not enough, coffee acids can deplete available calcium, forcing it to be excreted through the kidneys. It is estimated that one cup of coffee depletes over 25 milligrams of calcium, thereby increasing the risk of osteoporosis.
Decaf consumption paints a nastier picture. The chemical solvents used in extracting the caffeine content remain as a residue that shows up in your cup. Even the Swiss-water process, which exposes the beans to a hot-water bath, leaves behind oil and acids.
So what’s the bottom line? Now that you know why coffee is bad for you, try to gradually reduce your intake over the course of several weeks so that you are ingesting no more than 1 cup a day. Experiment with caffeine-free tea, and caffeine-free herbal coffees. A whole-food, plant-based diet of whole grains, vegetables, beans and small amounts of fruits, nuts and seeds, is an effective way to maintain acid-alkaline balance overall.