Drink Caffeine Every Morning? You Might Want To Stop.


| 4 Comments
How many of you get up in the morning and simply cannot function before you have your coffee? How many like to drink a can of Monster while playing video games to increase your concentration?

While a large portion of those reading this may not do either of those things, I'm confident a large portion of you do. The ritual of having some sort of caffeine intake every morning or sometime during the day to get a "boost" in energy is something ingrained into our culture. Millions of people do it.

So...what if I told you caffeine doesn't wake you up?

http://www.energyfiend.com/wp-content/caffeine/monster.jpg

This doesn't give you energy, but it does make you twitchy. (image source)

So what does it do? That boost you feel when you drink caffeine is very real, but it's not augmenting your energy at all, in fact, it's just bringing your energy up to the level of someone who doesn't drink caffeine. That groginess you feel the in morning? Caffeine withdrawal.

Yes, everyone who feels the need to intake some sort of caffeine in the morning is addicted. Now, this isn't as harsh as an addiction as being addicted to something like cigarettes, but it is an addiction nonetheless. What actually happens when you consume caffeine is that it blocks the receptors in your brain for the chemical adenosine. Adenosine, to put it simply, helps you relax and clam down. It depresses your system and is a big factor in helping you sleep. While your brain isn't soaking up adenosine, it is still taking in dopamine and glutamate, which are stimulants that your brain creates itself. Soaking up extra dopamine and glutamate doesn't mean your energy levels spike, however, rather it makes you twitchy and increases your anxiety levels.

However, after a short period of time, the side-effects (twitchiness and anxiety) of drinking caffeine do fade, so what your brain is left with is the addiction to the overdose of its own stimulants without adenosine to keep their effects in check. What this means is that you're effectively handicapping yourself by drinking caffeine every day, as the solution to the withdrawal you experience by not getting caffeine in a 8-hour night's sleep is to drink more caffeine. You're not giving yourself an advantage of any sorts by drinking it; the people who don't drink caffeine are already at the same level of energy you are after you have your cup of coffee.

Alright, you're addicted, what do you do? It's no question that caffeine withdrawal sucks, however it doesn't take all that long to break the addiction. You may experience a splitting headache, insomnia, and some joint pain, but generally after a week (give or take a few days) your body will be back to normal.

The science behind this is solid, but it's silly to think that the millions of people who drink caffeine daily are going to stop after finding out this information. Why should you stop? It's true, the negative effects of drinking caffeine every day are negligible, so long as you do it every day and avoid withdrawal symptoms. However, have you ever thought about how much money that daily dose costs you?


              
                                         
                                                       Image Source


Let's say you drink a $4 cup of Starbucks coffee every day to "wake up" (that's a bit optimistic considering Stabucks' prices), and let's say you only drink it on weekdays, so that's $4 5 days a week, or $20 a week. Already, that sounds quite pricey...$20 is enough for a movie or a pretty decent dinner that doesn't consist of ramen. Let's say you do that all year...$20 a week times 52 weeks...that's $1,040 a year. You can buy a lot with $1,040. And when you consider that you only need to go through a week or so of negative symptoms to break your caffeine addiction...it seems silly to opt to keep drinking it every morning.






4 Comments

I was immediately attracted to this blog because I do need my caffeine fix daily. I always knew in the back of my mind that caffeine isn't good for me. I was not allowed to drink coffee until my senior year of high school, so my dad had to have a reason for that. It's probably because he is a coffee feign in the morning and did not want me to end up like him.

It makes a lot of sense that us caffeine addicts are really just that, addicts. I've done a little research on addiction in the past and it's weird to think that our simple coffee and energy drink fixes affect our brain in the same way of an alcohol or drug addiction.

This article really appealed to me because I am a HUGE coffee drinker. I do it for the caffeine yes, but also for the taste and feel of a hot mug every morning. To think I'm addicted is something I've heard of before, and I'm glad to have had the chance to read your article so I could learn more about it. Unfortunately, it won't make me stop my habits because I just love coffee too much haha. But hey! Here's an article that lists reasons how coffee can be good for you as well! I guess theres always pros and cons. http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-02/why-coffee-good-you-here-are-7-reasons

Wow, Sean, this blog was very well written and extremely informative! I am a regular, everyday, coffee drinker myself and I never thought that drinking coffee everyday was that bad for me! You are right with the ridiculous prices of starbucks coffee though! You could go out for a nice dinner and a movie or do something fun with the amount of money people spend during one month on coffee. I have noticed that my sleeping habits can be a bit off and now I am starting to think that it is because of my coffee intake. I have been trying to reduce my coffee drinking to only a couple days a week so that I can stop. I actually heard the other day that coffee drinkers tend to have a reduced risk of alzheimer's disease. According to WebMD, there was a study done that showed that, "people older than 65 who had higher blood levels of caffeine developed Alzheimer's disease two to four years later than their counterparts with lower caffeine levels" (Denise Mann). I totally understand your point and feel that more people should read your blog to understand the negative effects coffee can have on people, but I also feel that coffee can help in some ways too. If you would like to read more about coffee and its influence on Alzheimer's, here is the site that I got that piece of research from: http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/news/20120607/coffee-may-help-turn-tide-on-alzheimers-disease

hey nice post. Like the others who commented I too have to admit that I am also a coffee addict. I wanted to see if you came across any of the side effects of drinking tea. I have been actually gradually but also very slowly switching from coffee to tea. I actually came across this very interesting article about tea and its many benefits

http://healthland.time.com/2012/09/04/13-reasons-to-love-tea/

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