Coffee, java, joe, mud, rocket fuel. No matter what you call it, some people can’t live without their coffee.
Besides the distinct aroma, what makes people crave that cup of coffee?
Chances are it isn't the taste alone, but more so the jolt of caffeine that keeps coffee ‘fiends’ coming back for more.
The world consumes 2.25 billion cups of coffee a day . Finland is the top drinker, while the U.S. is the largest purchaser, and Japan charges the highest price per cup. Think of how much money and how much coffee that is and you’ll quickly realize – it’s a staggering amount. What’s even more amazing is that in those 2.25 billion cups of coffee is a drug that legally addicts you to wanting, even needing more – caffeine (1).
Many of us view caffeine as some mystery substance that’s simply a part of coffee, soft drinks, energy drinks, etc. It is hardly ever referred to as a drug – more like an ingredient.
Caffeine actually blocks the adenosine receptors (chemical messengers) that signal the brain and body to mellow. It also sensitizes the nerves and causes mental stimulation (2). These effects can be very positive, but they can also be rough on the body too. Caffeine alone has issues but coffee does also, just not as intense. As with any substance, there is the possibility of positive and negative effects that must be considered.
Caffeine: The Good, Bad and Ugly?
Possible negative effects of TOO much caffeine
- high blood pressure
- Heart palpitations
- Medication contraindications: Cipro, Thyroid medications, Tagamet, Psychotic medications, Anti-depressants
Positive effects of caffeine
- Mental stimulation
- Increases energy
- Lowers risk of suicide
- Lowers risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia
Coffee: The Good, Better and BEST reasons to drink it! (Regular, not decaf or specialty)
It must be noted that other than the medication contraindications, coffee and caffeine only show negative effects when consumed in excess. (Author's Note: I've never had TOO much!)
Did You Know that 4 Cups of Coffee a day reduces chances of getting type 2 diabetes by 50%Tweet This!
Possible negative effects of Coffee
- NONE! Are you crazy?
Positive effects of Coffee
- 8 times less likely to get Parkinson’s disease
- Suicide rate is 45% less than non-coffee drinkers
- Oral cancer risk lowered
- Lowers stroke in older women by 20-25%
- Protects against uterine, colon, prostate and liver cancer (3)
Most people do not exceed the recommended caffeine amount, which is no more than 400mg a day (4). This is the equivalent of about four 8 oz. cups of coffee a day. This figure is representative of regularly brewed regular coffee and does not include specialty coffees or decaffeinated coffee.
Most of the excess and problems come from specialty coffees – lattes, espresso, iced coffee, and the other concoctions that have popped up and become daily drinks. Espresso is like a caffeine bomb – it varies from venue-to-venue, but packs a seriously caffeinated punch. The other specialty drinks are very sweet and can be a whopping 500 calories per serving (more than a Big Mac!)
As for your regular cup of coffee, it is actually a relatively healthy way to kick-start your day – so go ahead and grab a cup, enjoying in moderation.
[toggle title=”The Coffee Glossary” state=”open”]
65 Terms for the “Black Gold” which we refer to as Coffee…
…which one is your favorite?
- A Cup of Juan Valdez's Best
- Arbuckles: (Cowboy Coffee! Learn more about it.)
- Battery Acid
- Bean Juice
- Bitter Juice
- Black Ichor Of Life
- Black Tea
- Brain Juice
- Bullet Proof Coffee
- C8H10N4O2 (The molecular formula for caffeine)
- Caffeine Fix
- Caffeine Infusion
- Cup of Brew
- Cup of Joe
- Cup of Jolt
- Cupped Lightning
- Daily Grind
- Drip (i.e. like a “Venti Drip”)
- Five basic grades: Coffee, Java, Jamoke, Joe and Carbon Remover (author Robert A. Heinlein, Glory Road)
- Go Juice
- God's Blessing: Irish Coffee (Author Spider Robinson, Callahan's Cross time Saloon and sequels)
- High Octane
- Jamoke (Java + Mocha)
- Jet Fuel
- Jitter Juice
- Kaffe (Swedish)
- Kape (Manila)
- Liquid Energy
- Liquid Lightning
- Misto: (A Starbuck's Misto is a café au lait – otherwise known as un crème in Paris, France.)
- Morning Jolt
- Morning Mud
- Morning Thunder
- Mother’s Little Helper
- Muddy Water
- My Daily Energy
- One's Daily Infusion
- Rocket Fuel
- Rocket Fuel (strong coffee)
- The Fix
- Wakey Juice
- Warmer Upper
- Worm Dirt (really strong coffee)[/toggle]