Have you heard about the most recent story about the man named Jimmy Craig who got banned for life from Tim Horton’s. It made me put down my cup of joe and think about what coffee really means to us as a society.
Coffee truly is a daily ritual for many of us and a day doesn’t really start until we’ve had our first sip. The taste, aroma, and the sense of refreshment and energy we get after a cup of coffee brings us pleasure in a way no other drink can.
It’s an addiction to say the least. Along with nicotine and alcohol, caffeine is one of the three most widely used mood-affecting drugs in the world. Consuming as little as a cup of coffee a day can make you coffee dependent, which means when you stop drinking it, you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, irritability, and drowsiness.
We simply need it.
But it’s not so bad. Coffee does have some positive health benefits. It
- Stimulates your heart, respiratory system, and central nervous system,
- Causes messages to be passed along your nervous system more quickly (allowing you to be more focused),
- Raises blood pressure and stimulates blood circulation.
New research also shows that coffee drinkers, compared to nondrinkers, are:
- Less likely to have type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia,
- Have fewer cases of certain cancers, heart rhythm problems, and strokes.
On top of everything, researchers from the University of Scranton released on August 29, 2005 that coffee is the number one source of antioxidants in the American diet!
Don’t rush for that third cup of coffee just yet.
There are some negative health effects as well. Coffee
- Makes digestion less effective by relaxing the muscles of your intestinal system,
- Affects the length and quality of sleep,
- Leads to decreased bone density or osteoporosis in women (American Journal).
But here’s one thing you probably didn’t know.
Peter Rogers of experimental psychology at the University of Bristol summarized his study: “That kick in alertness we get from our first coffee or tea in the morning is in fact just the removal of the fatiguing effects of caffeine withdrawal, which occurred from overnight abstinence.”
The post-caffeine levels of alertness among frequent consumers were no higher than among non-consumers who received a placebo, the researchers found. The finding suggests caffeine only brings coffee drinkers back up their normal baseline level or alertness but no higher, the researchers said in Wednesday’s issue of the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.
So there you have it!
So what does coffee mean to you? Can you go a day without it?
Leave a comment below and let us know!