Coffee - An addiction or just a daily treat
Caffeine is the world's most popular drug without a doubt
Probably one of the most widespread drugs sold to people of all ages in various forms throughout the entire world is Caffeine. Caffeine is a CNS stimulant found naturally in coffee seeds (beans), tea, chocolate (cocoa) and a number of other plants. Few drugs have been as prolific and became such a staple in our daily routines as caffeine, the social aspect of grabbing a coffee with friends or office colleagues has become a daily ritual for many. In the form of tea or coffee caffeine provides for many people a warm wakeup, however for those of us who consume caffeine daily the effects may no longer be noticeable. Although I'm hesistant to considered myself 'addicted' to coffee, if I look at my usage history it is clear that I, and most of society is addicted.
Do we really like coffee or are we actually addicted
By addiction I mean that we go more days with it than without, the days without are spent thinking about it or looking for ways to avoid thinking about it. Although for me getting a coffee has become a mindless endeavour where I don't really think about my dependence on this product it is clear that my brain is wired. If I go a day without caffeine I get slight headaches that subside when I drink some. Although I don't really see my addiction to be problematic in any ways other than financially (I'd have to calculate but I guess I spend around $1000 a year on coffee), others who drink more than me may start to see health consequences.
Like many substances tolerance quickly builds and regular doses may no longer be effective. For us daily drinkers we probably barely notice the effects a cup o' joe has, instead drinking coffee becomes a habit, one that can be difficult to break. When I started drinking coffee I told myself that if I drank coffee every day of the week then I had a problem, so I'd make sure to take a few days off a week. Later my rule became I should only drink 1 cup a day, occassionally allowing myself to have two cups on certain stressful days, but definitely not two cups every day of the week. Now I'm at the point where I drink 2 cups, sometimes 3, every day unless I'm travelling. For me the withdrawals of caffeine have been noticeable even drinking 1 cup a day, if I'd go without caffeine for an entire day i'd start to notice small headaches that
This post isn't to encourage you to quit your habbit. There is pretty convincing science behind the positive effects of drinking both tea and coffee. These effects only seem to be present in tea and coffee and not the actual caffeine, when taken isolated there are few positive health effects of caffeine, most come from the other compounds in the plant. While there is plenty of research supporting the benefits of coffee it can become quite an expensive habbit, especially if you're buying your coffee every single day, possibly multiple times a day, and maybe with other snacks.
My personal reason and probably the most compelling is to give the gut a rest from the constant assault of coffee. Leaky gut syndrome can be caused by coffee and leads to intestinal permeability where undigested food particules make their way through the intestinal wall into the blood stream causing inflamation. Caffeine stimulates the intestines as many of us know and can leave you running for the toilet if timed incorrectly.
If you ever decide to take powdered caffeine, the far cheaper option, rather than drinking coffee or tea be careful with your dosage. People have died from caffeine powder by being uninformed and accidentally dosing several grams of pure caffeine.
If you drink coffee daily please consider using resuable cups, disposable coffee cups and coffee pods are one of the biggest produces of waste. Just think about how many people you know who drink coffee each day, that all just piles up in our landfills.