Coffee: What the hell is all the fuss about??

20 Apr

I cannot function without my first coffee!”

Heard this today at the office, wish it was the frist time I had.

I don’t understand. I really, really don’t. There Tim Horton’s across the street from my building, and every morning while waiting for my bus, I can see the huge lineup of motorists, waiting in the drive-thru to get their morning java. I can just imagine that there is a similar scene at all Timmie’s – which is almost on every major street in town.

Everything today is so go-go-go. People are expected to be super-human… we all want to “have it all” and often that means balancing relationships, house work, jobs, running a household, and getting to the gym. People eat on the go, drink on the go, reply to e-mails on their blackberries at stop lights; it never ends. It’s getting worse and worse.

When I was in NYC in 2008, waiting for a bus, a lady approached me and told me I would waiting a “long time” – this is slowest route in the city, she explained. It only came every ten minutes. every.ten.minutes. That is faster than 99% of the bus routes in the city where I currently live.

Are we draining ourselves so much that we need to rely of coffee or other caffeinated substances to get through the day? We need to rely on artificial energy to get through it all? I’ll admit, I’m guilty of this too. Particularly on night shifts! I do try to drink green tea rather than coffee (less caffeine), and I have it so rarely that one tea is usually enough to get me through a 12 hour night shift.

Let’s take a quick look at what experts are saying about caffeine consumption:

“Caffeine is considered a psychoactive drug since it stimulates the central nervous system and alters mood and behavior. Physiological effects may be experienced in adults after as little as one cup of coffee or 2 cans of cola. The unnatural stimulation or high is usually followed by a depression or low. Unfortunately, caffeine has a variety of adverse physiological effects.

Adverse effects include insomnia and disruption of sleep patterns; tremors, nervousness, restlessness, and irritability; headaches; elevation of blood fatty acid levels; elevation of blood pressure and/or serum cholesterol levels; irregular heartbeats and palpitations, and increased risk of cardiac arrhythmia and heart attack; increased gastric acid production & aggravation of peptic ulcers; increased heartburn; increased symptoms of PMS; increased risk of bladder and rectal cancer; higher risk of the birth of a low-birth-weight child; and increased urinary calcium losses.

In addition, the use of coffee and tea reduces the non-heme iron absorption of a meal by 40 to 60%, thereby increasing the risk of anemia. While caffeine improves performance of simple tasks that require attention it actually worsens performance that involves short-term memory. Caffeine causes a worsening of fine motor coordination due to an increase in hand and arm tremors.”

I think I’ve just decided to cut out caffeine. Anyone with me ??
Not only that, I am going to make an effort to just slow down. Sometimes I think things moves at such a fast pace that we forget to stop and enjoy it. How many times have I eaten on the go, and can’t remember what the food I just ate tasted like?? We need to stop, take it easy, and enjoy the things we are doing. I am not a super-human, and I’m not so sure I would ever want to be one.

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One Response to “Coffee: What the hell is all the fuss about??”

  1. rovisi April 21, 2010 at 6:32 pm #

    I am proud to say that coffee gives me hot flashes and I avoid it. I can only tolerate it in something like a latte where it’s diluted with milk. Oh and Timmies is gross.

    I drink green tea if I get up early in the morning. And if I think I’ll be too tired for work, I’ll bring some white tea with my in my travel mug.

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