Coffee: Friend of Foe?

I recently made the decision to stop drinking coffee (and all caffeinated drinks) for at least the next 30 days. I’ve been playing with short periods off caffeine for several months but this time it seemed like a good idea to go longer.

Why would I do this you might ask? For those of you who have read my blog in the past you know I’m very into nutrition and natural health. And while all these years I have continued to drink coffee I have long suspected it maybe wasn’t the best for my health.

Each time I have stopped I have been hit with at least 2-3 weeks of headaches, fatigue, poor memory, irritability and stomach problems. It got me thinking “Do I really want to be drinking something that makes this happen to me when I quit?”. The answer it turns out is no.

I’m not one to just go off experience alone. I like research to back up my decisions. I’ve read extensively on caffeine and I can tell you definitively it is not your friend. The real question is just how bad is it for you?

Consider the following: Caffeine is a known addictive substance. When you quit it you you experience withdrawals.

It is also well known that caffeine reduces the absorption of calcium, magnesium, zinc and the B vitamins. Caffeine is also linked to heart disease and Mitral valve prolapse because of this.

Ingesting caffeine causes the body to secrete epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol (stress hormone) which forces the body into a fight or flight mode. Once this happens all other bodily functions are essentially halted to deal with the “emergency”. This means digestion, tissue healing, hormone creation, etc… are all affected directly. The chronically high stress hormone levels also contribute to anxiety and feelings of burnout as well.

I could go on and on but I think you get the point. It’s really no surprise that long term use of caffeine (as little as 90mg a day which is less than a cup of coffee) has negative health effects. They are subtle and damage builds up over time.

It’s not easy, but reducing your caffeine intake or eliminating it all together will certainly benefit your health.

Austin EricksonAbout the Author

Dr. Austin Erickson is a chiropractor with offices in Glenwood City and the 4 Corners near New Richmond, Wisconsin. He is an expert at combining chiropractic treatment with nutritional advice to achieve excellent results. He has cured himself of psoriasis and autoimmune related arthritis using his protocols. Connect with him on Twitter and Google+

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