Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Caffeine Question

Here's a post I didn't think I'd be writing ever.

If there's one thing you all have learned about me by reading my blog, it's that I



I love the smell, the taste, the way it warms me up and makes me feel all toasty inside. 

And the way it perfectly compliments anything chocolate flavored, c'mon on now!!!!!! Shut the front door.

 Caffeine has never really been a concern for me, because for some reason in my brain I just think, "Oh psh, I don't really get all that affected by caffeine - what's the problem?"

(Okay, before I go on I feel the need to write a disclaimer: I'm not an RD, nor am I certified to give out any sort of nutrition/medical counseling - this info is based from my own experience, research from credible sources, and info from my own nutritionist.)

Meh. The sad truth is friends, I think caffeine is just doing me no good. And while there are other sources of caffeine, pretty much the main form I ingest it in is the perfectly beautiful nectar of Java.

Let's go science/medical mode real quick. It's a pretty controversial topic in the medical/nutritional world, and here's the facts I found whilst researching.

The good news: there is definitely evidence that caffeine does indeed have health benefits, such as:

-Lower risk of diabetes
-Lower risk of Parkinson's/Alzheimer's Disease
 -Lower risk of gallstones
-Contains antioxidants
 -Stimulates the brain
-Enhances athletic performance
-Just plain gives ya the morning/afternoon pick-me-up you need

However, there is extensive evidence of health hazards caused by caffeine consumption. Among the most concerning to me:

-Higher risk of mood/mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety (esp. in adolescents/youths)
-Acceleration of bone loss and disruption of mineral absorption
-Blood sugar and insulin problems (probably from the burst of energy you get)
-Cardiovascular stress
-Increased stomach acid 
-Disruption in the normal sleep cycle 
-Fertility, pregnancy, and female problems
-Decline in production of hormones 

My take: I don't really have a concern about these medical problems for myself, but there's one thing that I've really been noticing - caffeine just doesn't make me feel all that good. TMI, but I really do get some major bellyaches from it (er...who doesn't?....), and it often ruins my appetite. No bueno! Along with that, I know for sure that it "disrupts my normal sleep cycle" - I'm a night owl/early bird, but 3 am isn't normal for me.

Soooooooooooo. Am I going to give up the cup o' Joe once and for all?

Nope. I believe that a lot of the health problems form because of excessive caffeine intake (as in, 4-5+ cups of caffeinated beverages) - just like all things we put in our body. Also, a lot of these things occur in people who are sensitive to caffeine, already have conditions, so on and so forth. I'm not a professional, but I really believe it is just a personal choice depending on your lifestyle or circumstances.

I'm just gonna stick to a cup mug full in the morning, ditch the afternoon cup for some tea to see if it helps with the appetite and sleep probs, and take it from there. Not to say I won't have some in the afternoon ever again (that would be highly unlikely), but I'm thinking it would be a good idea to cut down the amount when I do. There's also always the decaf option so I just get the flavor I love, but Mom and Dad might not be on that boat quite yet. :)

So there you go. Also, I couldn't imagine waking up in the morning without the aroma of coffee wafting towards me - that's just the way of life in mi casa.

 What's your opinion on the caffeine question?


  1. I switched to green tea and stomach problems solved instantly. same with night time. in fact I hate the taste of coffee now...and u know how much I used to down that stuff.

    1. Hey Jess! Yup, I've noticed over the past few days that the stomach probs have definitely improved, and I still drink it in the morning. I think it's a matter of balance per the individual's body. My mom has no problems at all (so she says..:)). Thanks for stopping by, love ya.

  2. Hi Jess! I've nominated you for the Liebster Award. I'm excited to read your responses!

  3. I am not a coffee drinker *gasp*, but I do love green tea :) Ok.. I reeeeally like green tea... I totally agree with you that a little caffeine in moderation is A Ok :)