To Drink or not to Drink Coffee

Growing up in Australia during the 50’s & 60’s drinking a good cup of Tea was the done thing, it wasn’t until the early 70’s & 80’s that coffee became the drink of choice. My coffee journey started with the typical Bushels instant muck with plenty of milk and sugar. I did upgrade to Moccona freeze dried, not only because it tasted better, but they had the best glass storage jars. Of course once I was introduced to Cappucino’s I was hooked, nothing quite beats that foamy, chocolate dusted topping, that were available at some of the Italian cafe’s in town and always shared with a toasted cheese, ham and tomato sandwich 🙂

When I made a conscious decision to eat a healthier diet, I quite happily gave up my occasional hit of caffeine, changing to anything herbal. It was  a lot of years before I had another coffee and when I did man O man what a blast, not that I have ever taken any drugs, but I guessed the sensation I felt was like being on speed, I was flying high!!!  This experience was enough to make me leave the coffee alone again, then ever so gradually tantalised  by the luscious aroma, I have added the occasional brew back into my routine, and truly do enjoy, the buzz, the taste, the aroma, generally the whole coffee/caffeine experience an all levels of pleasure.

I do set my standard of choice of coffee to Organic, freshly brewed, full bodied flavour, not bitter, not decaf and drunk only when I feel I would truly feel totally enlivened by the experience.

As with any health food and lifestyle you will always find as much information for as against why you can or can’t, should or shouldn’t do something, eat something or believe something.

My personal belief in all of this is, I will tune into my own body and make my own choice in any given moment, I am not know to follow a crowd, on anything, so if it feels right to me, that’s it 🙂  I suggest you make your own mind up.

Many of us feel like we cannot function without our first cup of coffee in the morning. Why do we feel that way? Does the caffeine in the coffee have a physiological effect on our body? If so, is it harmful or is it beneficial? As with so many things, there are benefits and there are risks.

Caffeine, the main ingredient found in coffee is a stimulant. It causes your heart rate to increase, your pupils to dilate, and your muscles to tighten up. Caffeine injects adrenalin into your system to give you a boost and make you feel good.

BENEFITS OF CAFFEINE

Believe it or not, certain amounts of caffeine can have beneficial effects. Historically, small amounts of caffeine have been used to help control weight, alleviate pain, open up airways for improved breathing, and overcome chronic fatigue.

Small amounts of caffeine are found to provide the following benefits:

*Can benefit people who are at high-risk for liver disease.

*Increases muscle strength.

*Increases metabolism by breaking down fat, freeing fatty acids and forcing them to be burned. (Caffeine is the most active ingredient in many diet pills.)

*Increases pain relief medication effects.

*Increases mental faculty.

*Reduces asthma symptoms.

RISKS OF CAFFEINE

Two cups of coffee a day is considered an acceptable amount. Caffeine does not become a problem until you start consuming an excessive amount of it. As your body gets used to caffeine, it becomes addicted to it. The symptoms for drinking too much caffeine and the symptoms for caffeine withdrawal are very similar.

EXCESS CAFFEINE – Too much caffeine can cause an array of problems including:

*Restlessness

*Irritability

*Anxiety

*Heartburn

*Headaches (sometimes severe)

*High blood pressure

*Sleeplessness

*Rapid heartbeat

*Nausea

CAFFEINE WITHDRAWAL – Symptoms can begin as soon as 12 hours after your last cup, depending on the amount of caffeine your body is used to. Symptoms can last for up to a week and include:

*Restlessness

*Irritability

*Anxiety

*Headaches (sometimes severe)

*Muscle stiffness

*Chills and/or hot spells

If you are attempting to reduce your caffeine intake, do so gradually. Cutting back slowly will help you avoid some of the withdrawal symptoms. If you simply must have a cup of something in the morning, try decaf or an herbal tea.

ALOHA Roslyn

Diary Day   45 Kauai Hawaii

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