Rethinking Caffeine

Caffeine is prevalent in so many of our common indulgences like coffee, soda, energy drinks and chocolate. But it’s also a bona fide stimulant, not unlike cocaine, that affects the central nervous system. Accordingly, this addictive substance can play a role in many health maladies like heart palpitations, high blood pressure, constipation, diarrhea, ulcers, restlessness and sleeplessness. (And to the extent that you “get by” on less sleep due to your caffeine intake, you then open yourself up to all of the potential issues associated with inadequate rest, like premature aging.) Caffeine is also a known diuretic, depletes your body of iron, potassium, calcium and trace minerals, causes a quantifiably acidic reaction in the blood, and can be heavily addictive.

The addictive nature of caffeine can create a vicious cycle in and of itself because, like many other kinds of stimulants, your body will typically develop an immunity to caffeine and you will often need increased amounts to get the same pick-me-up effect that you got with considerably less. This is why the serving sizes and/or frequency of caffeinated products tend to increase over time for most caffeine consumers.

Additionally, caffeine can upset your body’s natural hormonal balance which, in turn, can lead to a number of other symptoms like irritability, anxiety, nervousness, heartburn, hypertension, headaches and various levels of fatigue. Many caffeinated beverages also have something called tannic acid in them. This is a known gastrointestinal irritant that is notorious for interfering with your body’s proper absorption of other key nutrients.

With countless cups of coffee and the over-50-million sodas sucked down in the U.S. everyday, I understand it may be a tall order to suggest eliminating one’s caffeine consumption. And yes, the ultimate dangers of caffeine are somewhat commensurate to the amount one consumes. But I still must advise: “Just say no!”

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About Bobby Rock

Bobby Rock is a world renown drummer, the author of seven books, and a recognized health and fitness specialist with certifications in exercise, nutrition and meditation. He has recorded and toured with a variety of artists, released three CDs as a solo performer and is recognized as a top drumming educator. (He is currently touring with rock icon, Lita Ford.) Through speaking, writing and activism, Bobby remains committed to a number of animal and environmental causes. Bobby lives in Los Angeles.
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13 Responses to Rethinking Caffeine

  1. Lisamarie says:

    Thanks for this, Bobby. I admit I do like to drink coffee when I first wake up, but it’s only one cup, if even that and alot of times I don’t even finish it. Other than that, for the most part I’m pretty good about drinking my water the rest of the time though.
    One cup or less of coffee is ok, right, or is that not advisable either–and if not what about decaf?

  2. Edith says:

    So no more drinking tea switch to the decaf crap thats gross! drinking green tea is just as bad. So wants your view on tea?

  3. Lisamarie says:

    Actually green tea, I hear, has some health benefits. I’ve drunk it before and it IS pretty good, so maybe I will consider replacing my coffee with that–I didn’t think about that.

  4. Jason says:

    Funny that you mentioned this. I was just having a conversation with someone today about the dehydrating effects of caffeine. I don’t drink coffee but I have a weakness for diet Dr. Pepper. After the conversation and reading your blog, I am going to cut WAY down.

  5. Garg says:

    “I don’t have a problem with caffeine.
    I have a problem without caffeine.”

    The Necro Files

  6. Lisamarie says:

    All the more reason to cut down, cut it completely OUT, Garg. 😉

  7. Edith says:

    Lisamarie. are you some kind of expert on this if not please let Bobby comment on this THANK YOU.

  8. Lisamarie says:

    There is nothing wrong with giving your views, based on what you might have read or heard–this is a COMMENT section. If Bobby wants to jump in and comment/set us straight on this that’s GREAT–I’d love to hear from him on this, too, but if I happen to see something I might know a little about and have done a little homework/reading on then I mightl add my two cents, too–thank you!

  9. Bobby Rock says:

    Now, now, kiddies…

    Sorry for the delay in responding, gang. Been out of pocket for the last week.

    Check out today’s blog for responses to these posts.

  10. Lisamarie says:

    Sorry Bobby–LOLLLLL!! Maybe that did start to get a little out of hand there, and I didn’t mean to sound like I was trying to argue–just trying to help and I think we all have the freedom to add a comment of our own on something if you’re not available for a time and kind of assist each other, as well as value YOUR input.
    Thanks. 🙂

  11. Sound advice, thank you Lisamarie.
    However, I did tea-toll on coffee for a while.

    No really, I only drank rooibos tea instead of coffee for a few months to see if my sleeping patterns would improve. Instead of sleeping more, I actually slept less. This probably points at other problems in my diet, but I really enjoy a cup of coffee. To me, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. But you are free not to drink coffee and with good reason.

  12. Lisamarie says:

    That’s cool–you’re entitled to your preferences. Even though I’ve been drinking more of the herbal green tea, I still do occasionally allow for the good ole’ cup of fresh coffee myself! So trust me–I’m not perfect and have my indulgences, too–LOL! 😉

  13. I was a major Mt. Dew addict. But I’ve been off the Dew for 6 months now and I feel great! Of course I had to get over the initial week of major headaches, but after that it was all good.

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