The Buzz on Caffeine
The Buzz on Caffeine
By Brenda Jaeck
Many people find it difficult to function without that cup of coffee (or tea) in the
morning. What, besides waking us up, does caffeine really do?
Caffeine has many evil effects. Just of few of them include:
Emotional Disturbances – Anxiety and irritability are common known effects
of caffeine consumption; it can also cause depression and attention disorders.
Remember, caffeine is a foreign substance – something your body does not easily know how to assimilate. As such, imagine how much energy is used to process it internally – perhaps if energy was not used in this way – caffeine would not be
needed in the first place!
Gastrointestinal Problems – Coffee (including decaf) is very acidic – this can
be troubling to the entire digestive system – especially the stomach.
Nutritional Deficiencies – Caffeine inhibits the absorption of some nutrients
and leeches other nutrients from the system.
Stress – We live in a world with a lot of stress. Caffeine exacerbates this by
causing the body to excrete stress hormones; sometimes creating increased
anxiety, irritability, muscular tension and pain, indigestion and insomnia. In
addition continued consumption can lead to adrenal exhaustion leaving you
vulnerable to other health related disorders such as inflammation,
autoimmunity and fatigue.
Cardiovascular Problems – Caffeine increases heart rates and elevates your
blood pressure; as a result it can contribute to heart disease.
Blood Sugar Swings – Diabetics and hypoglycemics should avoid caffeine because it stimulates insulin production.
Male/Female Related Problems – Studies have shown that men significantly increase their risk of developing urinary or prostrate problems. Several
problems have been linked to women’s caffeine use; these include fibrocystic
breast disease, PMS, osteoporosis, infertility problems, miscarriages, low birth
weight infants, and it can exacerbate menopausal symptoms.
Aging – Caffeine dehydrates the body and contributes to the aging of the
skin and kidneys. It also slows the detoxification process of the liver.
What about decaf? When choosing a decaf coffee be sure to look for water
processed. This is a safer form of caffeine extraction; the other form is done
chemically. One would have to argue which is more harmful to the body – the
caffeine or the chemical used to extract the caffeine.
So what CAN we drink? Herbal tea is a nice alternative for a hot beverage – there
are many invigorating choices – peppermint, for example, is a great pick-me-up. Or,
try some of the good grain and herbal substitutes: Techino comes in many different
flavors and tastes similar to coffee. It is made from chicory, barley, carob, almonds
and dates and is brewed like regular coffee. Another option is Celestial Seasoning’s
Roastorama tea – it is made out of similar ingredients but also includes spices; it
comes in tea bag form.
For further information see Stephen Cerise’s book entitled Caffeine Blues, Wake up to the Hidden Dangers of
America’s # 1 Drug.
Brenda Jaeck is a Holistic Nutrition and Lifestyle Counselor, Lecturer and Workshop
Facilitator. She can be contacted at 917 213 9305 or firstname.lastname@example.org.