Dearest Bean Brethren, let us go over the facts:
1. Caffeine is produced by 80+ plant species that utilize the bitter taste of their caffeine seeds as a biological poison to ward off predatory insects and animals. If predators persist and eat one of these plants, the fact is the caffeine can cause central nervous system disruptions and lethal side effects. The insects, however, build up an immunity to the coffee plants over time. This is why coffee plantations use grievous amounts of pesticides and herbicides to stave away infestations. Fact: Coffee is one of the most heavily sprayed commodities today 😬.
2. When you consume a caffeinated drink, YOUR POOR OVERTAXED LIVER has to break down the caffeine toxins that are dumped into your bloodstream and distributed to every organ of your body. It has to deal with all the aldehydes, alcohols, and sulfides as well as all 25 by-products within caffeine, all of which have atrocious effects on the body. Even though Google search might give information otherwise, the fact is caffeine heavily burdens your liver and poses serious health risks (especially when also ingesting pharmaceutical drugs and smoking cigarettes.)
3. Being a strong diuretic, caffeine saps the body of calcium, magnesium, zinc, and copper as well as flushing out water-soluble vitamin B’s and C. It also interferes with Vitamin D absorption. Fact: Caffeine leaches calcium from your bones, crippling their strength. You lose about 6 milligrams of calcium for every 100 milligrams of caffeine ingested!!! That means for a 12 oz. cup of coffee you are draining 15 milligrams of calcium from your bones. Ladies, you heard me
4. Given all the stress hormones that caffeine stimulates, a cascade of physical and emotional changes occur, due to a heightened stress response. This includes sugar and fat being dumped into your bloodstream that then go unused and which then cause metabolic stress. When this becomes chronic, the fact is caffeine can eventually cause a clogging of your arteries, among other alarming disturbances.
5. Caffeine causes hypertension (clenching and grinding teeth at night), impairs sleep and digestion, constricts blood vessels, and weakens adrenal glands. Too many ugly facts, but this last one’s the worst of them. Let’s take a moment to elaborate on our #1 anti-aging partner: our adrenals.
6. Our dear adrenal glands produce the crucial vitality hormone called DHEA. When DHEA production diminishes, the aging process accelerates. Maintaining healthy levels of DHEA is fundamental to aging spectacularly well. By elevating cortisol levels, caffeine leads to DHEA deficiency. That is a fact, fellow high-octane fans. Are we really caring for our adrenals as we should?
I could list sundry other negative effects but let’s now address the motivation to drink caffeinated drinks. THE TASTE. As a child, I’d melt a pint of Haagen Däz Coffee ice cream in the microwave and guzzle it down entirely. Yes, quite the fanatic even at such a tender age. Fortunately, there are alternatives if you can’t survive without the taste, such as Dandy Blend, a mix of rye, dandelion and chicory root, and frankly the brand’s taste is the most indistinguishable from coffee (yes, I’ve tried them all).
[Sneaking in an INCREDIBLE Dandy Blend mocha cappuccino recipe:
In a small pot, simmer 1-1 ½ teaspoon Dandy Blend in ¼ cup filtered water, monk fruit to taste, a pinch of Celtic salt, and one square of dark chocolate (I like Dr. Bronner’s or Alter Eco 80%) until mixed then pour into an electric frother with ⅓-½ cup raw or A2 whole milk. Then brace yourself. Nothing again will compare.]
Apart from taste, the likeliest motive is the supposed jolt of energy that most “depend on” from these caffeine culprits. Yet, caffeine is a major cause of fatigue, which means chronic fatigue for habitual coffee drinkers. Clearly counterproductive and literally not an uplifting fact.
In a nutshell, caffeine is a stressor. It only intensifies the stress in our lives and makes us less capable of coping. Now that you know the facts,
IS IT WORTH TO DRINK COFFEE HABITUALLY?
[Important note: not all caffeine is created equal. The caffeine in high-grade matcha tea is slowly released into the system and instead of working as a diuretic, it helps the body with fluid regulation. A post on matcha’s glorious benefits to come, stay tuned.]
[A word on my personal experience. To say I was passionate is an understatement. I’d been drinking coffee daily for 26 years. Not a day would pass without one, two, sometimes three double espressos, scouting a city for the perfect third-wave cafe or preparing it meticulously at home. After discovering I had low thyroid and on-set osteoporosis, I began to see a local naturopath. Following the tenets of biological medicine, and rebuilding the body on a cellular level, I discovered that caffeine wasn’t my hero after all. The decades of daily caffeine intake had been flushing out all my vital minerals and vitamins, and luckily after one year off coffee, my thyroid and bone density levels jumped back to normal levels, with the help of proper quality supplements, and without the use of medication. Thank goodness, I got to know my facts.]
I BREACH WHAT I PREACH MORE THAN I PRACTICE IT. (I do cheat. Lately, even 1, 2 or 3 per week 😬). Cheating aside, coffee can be a helpful aid in helping to recover from jet lag or vacationing or socializing. When absolutely sapped of energy, it can serve well to give a much-needed jolt of energy before a long day or night ahead. And as for coffee-flavored chocolate? Well, no one is perfect.