Java Junkie

13 Mar

I have to have my coffee in the morning.  I am not a morning person.   I have been trying for years to talk myself into being a morning person, but I still can’t quite get there.  The morning is beautiful, fresh, new.  I have visions of blue birds happily chirping (Walt Disney style), squirrels prancing through the yard excitedly gathering up nuts and seeds, and the bright happy morning sunshine welcoming me into a new day.  Then I remember…I have to leave my big comfy warm bed.  Ouch!  Coffee eases the pain.  But what about that darn caffeine?  Is it dehydrating me?  Am I hooked on it?

Caffeine is indeed a drug, and an addictive one.  It stimulates the central nervous system and can be a mild diuretic (it can stimulate urine production).  Up to 90% of americans have caffeine daily.  Coffee has caffeine, which is a bitter substance.  Thats why many of us sweeten our coffee.  Caffeine, because it is a stimulant, makes us feel more alert.  That is just what I need first thing in the morning to get going. But as a person committed to wellness, is it healthy?

Caffeine does have some health benefits.  Many studies have been conducted focusing on caffeine.  Some benefits of this drug, according to some studies, include reducing risk of developing Parkinson’s, colon cancer, gallstone development and diabetes.  Hey, if thats the case, pass that cup of joe! But it must have a dowside to it.  right?

Studies indicating that caffeine is harmful are more related to the quantity of caffeine consumed rather than pointing to the actual drug itself.  One to 2 cups of coffee a day really isn’t harmful.   1 to 2 pots a day may be.  And caffeine is hidden in many foods, such a chocolate and soda.  Knowing where caffeine is will help reduce intake, so it is important to read the labels and be aware of where it lurks.

I will continue to have my 1 to 2 cups of coffee in the morning.  I think of it as my little gift to my family!  I have a coffee maker with a timer on it, so I do not have to even speak to anyone or perform any labor prior to my first cup.  That is the way to go!




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