Coffee Conundrum


Like most coffee drinkers, I find that consuming a cup of hot, cinnamon-dusted, slightly sweetened coffee is an essential start to the day. In fact, going without it creates a huge void in my routine and prevents me from operating at normal speed throughout the day. It’s more than just routine, though, as it wakes me up from restless nights of attempted sleep, helps my body functions stay on track and washes through my systems with a sense of comfort that tea or water just don’t accomplish.

The media messages about coffee’s benefits, harmful side effects and overall impacts on health can drive anyone into a dizzying state of confusion. In the past month alone, I have read multiple stories from different sources – some stating that even one cup can ruin a night’s sleep and others claiming that “extra caffeine may reduce the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease!” The messages are unclear, the effects vary and the contradictions are exhausting. So what should we do? Do we forgo our morning cup of Joe to ensure a restful night’s sleep only to ruin the day’s energy levels and risk withdrawal symptoms, or do we have an extra cup to reap the cardiovascular and cognitive benefits?

The key here is one word that we hear all-to-often but never really understand – MODERATION. Yes, we admit that we sometimes tend to go overboard when we feel extra sleepy and slip in those extra sips, but sticking to a daily cap will keep us in line. If the feeling is okay after that second cup but we’re accustomed to having three, that’s an indication we need to pause and think about whether that extra caffeine intake will provide benefits or push us overboard. Consider the of time day it’s being consumed, how much water and food were consumed along with it, and determine what is best.

Everybody reacts differently to supplements, stimulants, ingredients, and additives, so our intake of coffee and other caffeinated foods and drinks can depend entirely on our own systems. Some drink coffee for support and necessity, while others are “social drinkers” and fine either way.

With all these points in mind, I end with this: “It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity.” ~ Dave Barry

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