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What About Caffeine?

Close up of coffee cup on businessman hand. Man working with lap

What About Caffeine?

Even though many of us consume caffeine without a second thought, we should be aware that caffeine triggers a classic fight-or-flight reaction in the body. Our fight-or-flight response normally activates for events that occur only occasionally (such as a lion chasing you). Now, with the help of caffeine, we can put our bodies in fight-or-flight every day! 

Of course, we don’t respond in a literal fight-or-flight way. Instead, other physiological things may happen. For example, sugar and fat get dumped unused in the bloodstream. Sugar can create more stress, fat can clog your arteries, and your digestive system may slow or shut down.

Most people drink caffeine for energy. Caffeine stimulates your nervous system and adrenals. But, that’s not energy; that’s stress. As you may have guessed, this type of unhealthy stress is a significant factor in disorders such as anxiety, insomnia, depression, ulcers, rheumatoid arthritis, headache, hypoglycemia, asthma, herpes, hypertension, and heart disease. Students traditionally use caffeine to stay awake and as a drug to improve their performance on exams. Solid research, however, illustrates as little as 100 milligrams of caffeine (one cup of coffee, two cups of cola) can cause a significant decrease in recall and reasoning!

Malnutrition is one of the most well-defined effects of habitual caffeine intake. A cup of coffee can reduce iron absorption from a meal by as much as 75%. Caffeine also depletes your body’s Thiamin and other B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc supplies.

For your good health, take a closer look at your caffeine intake. Most likely, a gradual reduction in consumption can be advantageous. However, try not to make a “cold turkey” stop! After a gradual cleansing of this drug from your body, you’ll feel better and healthier!