I am giving up on coffee. I realized why I was moody, dizzy-headed, and not a fun person to be around and always had a headache; its the fact that I’m drinking four to five double mochas everyday. It’s amazing how it adds up and you don’t realize it. The company I work for has espresso machines in all the employee kitchens, so its free. It became too easy to walk in, steam some milk and then hit the big double button once and then twice. Now that I have been off coffee for about a week, I feel fabulous.
The effects of coffee (aka caffiene) on the body are tremendous. Its starts when you drink the caffenated beverage when the caffeine interacts with your central nervous system and blocks the production of adenosine, a neural transmitter that creates a calming in the body. With adenosine blocked, glucose is released in your blood stream and you begin your caffeine buzz. In addtion, dopamine is released which activates the brain’s pleasure neurons. It is the dopamine that causes the addiction to caffeine.
So what? Well, just wait… there’s more. Caffeine can elevate your blood pressure and perceived stress levels. But that is just the beginning… the half-life of caffeine is six hours. That means if you drink a cup of coffee at 8am, half the caffeine is still in your system at 2pm. If you are like me, you have another cup of coffee after lunch. You then have 1.5 times the caffeine you started with at 8am. Six hours after that, at 8pm, you’ve only lost one quarter of the caffeine you drank at 8am (1.5 divided by two is 0.75, minus 1 for the 2pm cup gives you a net loss of 0.25). While you may then go to bed, you will most likely not enter into deep enough REM sleep to get what your body needs, leading to more stress and emotional problems. The problem simply compounds itself and can simulate severe depression.
So, please do yourself and your co-workers a favor and watch your caffeine intake. While small amounts of caffeine are fine (I had been drinking a single 6oz cup before my consumption got out of control), try and avoid having any caffeine 7 hours prior to bed time to make sure you get the sleep you.
Here are some sites you can puruse to brush up on caffeine and the human body:
Thank you for reading.