What is it about Coffee?
If you have been following my Facebook posts from last week, you may have noticed that one of the biggest issues I had with losing our power, was not the loss of AC, lights, water or refrigeration, but it was the loss of my morning cup of coffee!
(Now please take this for what it is…a spoiled-brat complaining about a trivial issue when there are bigger things that could be much worse!)
I always have a cup of coffee every morning.
Who doesn’t really???
At our house we have a coffee pot that my husband fills every night and sets the timer, so that first thing in the morning the coffee is made bright and early. As I rush out the door for work, I will grab a travel mug, fill it and go.
During the pandemic, our routine changed. Whomever got up first would make the coffee. In the early stages of the pandemic, my husband would get up earlier and make the coffee. Then something switched in our routine and I was the early riser, so I was making the coffee first thing when I got up in the morning.
After a few days of me taking on the “Barista” role, my husband told me that he was finding it difficult to sleep and was experiencing a racing heart, the shakes, and was trying to drink water to flush this ill-feeling he had…he was concerned he may have COVID. After discussing his symptoms further, we ruled out that he was sick, but realized that it may be my coffee which was making him feel bad. I was using much more caffeine in my “mix” of coffee grounds. Unfortunately, I did not realize that when he was making the coffee, he was using a 60/40 combination of 60% decaf and 40% regular coffee. Instead, I was making it 100% high-octane and fully-caffeinated! (Yum!)
It did not seem to affect me whatsoever but it definitely affected my husband!
It is so interesting how coffee affects different people...
Why is it that coffee is one of our greatest addictions? For many of us the morning routine consists of that first cup of coffee, maybe two, maybe three, and then more later in the day. For me, a morning cup of coffee with a bite to eat and something to read provides me one of the most calming and relaxing points in my day.
When we lost power last week, I lost that morning comfort and in-turn I couldn’t seem to get my Sh&%$T together.
So, I began to wonder what does coffee offer us besides this feeling of comfort, well-being, and energy?
Here is what I found through surfing the internet (of course, while drinking a cup of coffee)!
- Coffee drinking has been linked to lowering the risk of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
- Coffee is one of the biggest antioxidants.
- Coffee provides vitamin B2, vitamin B5, Manganese and Potassium, and Magnesium and Niacin (vitamin B3).
- Coffee improves energy levels—although not a surprise, coffee has caffeine that is absorbed in the bloodstream, travels to the brain, and blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter that leads to a stimulant effect.
- Coffee improves brain function, memory, mood and reaction times.
- Coffee improves physical performance—caffeine stimulates the nervous system that sends signals to the fat cells to break down body fat, as well as increase adrenaline levels in the blood. This allows the body fat to be used as fuel. Reports indicate that having a strong cup of coffee about an hour before going to the gym or out for a run makes sense.
- Coffee boosts your metabolic rate.
- Coffee may help you live longer-Coffee drinkers are less likely to get many diseases: 20% lower risk of death in men and 26% lower risk in women.
- Coffee may reduce risk of heart disease and lowers risk of stroke.
- Coffee drinkers have a lower risk of developing type II diabetes.
- May protect your liver—people who drink coffee have up to an 80% lower risk of cirrhosis.
- Coffee can make you happier—a Harvard study published in 2011 indicated that woman who drank 4 or more cups of coffee per day had 20% lower risk of becoming depressed.
- Coffee may lower certain types of cancer such as liver and colorectal cancer.
Can you have too much caffeine?
Here are some potential adverse side effects-some of which my husband experienced!
- Anxiety or edginess.
- Digestive issues—too much coffee can speed up bowel movements too much leading to looser stools and diarrhea.
- Muscle breakdown—some studies show that excessive caffeine intake can cause rhabdomyolysis.
- Addiction—going without caffeine can cause psychological or physical withdrawal symptoms for those who consume large amounts daily.
- High Blood Pressure—for those who do not regularly consume caffeine, coffee can temporarily increase blood pressure.
- Rapid Heart Rate
- Fatigue—there is a rebound effect that when the caffeine wears off you may feel fatigued.
- Frequent Urination and Urgency—caffeine can cause frequent urination and therefore contribute to dehydration. Dehydration in some people can lead to muscle cramps.
In summary, coffee can provide health benefits when consumed in moderation. Excessive caffeine consumption can lead to adverse side effects. Everybody is different and your reaction to caffeine and health benefits or adverse side effects may differ from person to person based on your genetics, body composition and activity level.
As in my husbands’ case, a quick review of his symptoms (more anxiety, reduced ability to get to sleep, inability to stay asleep, a racing heart, and the shakes) revealed that something was affecting his body adversely over the course of a few days. We discovered that his new “Barista” had changed his normal consumption of caffeine, which proved to be a bad thing for my husband 😊
In summary, take an inventory of your own body’s reaction to caffeine and if you are having trouble sleeping, frequent urination, muscle cramping, agitation, and anxiety, you may be taking in too much caffeine (and not enough water)!
If you would like to discuss any other issues, like a nagging injury, feel free to contact me for a free consult at my office in Avon CT. I would love to chat and see if my model of physical therapy could help you. Click Here for a free 20 minute consultation!
Here is a picture of me almost hooking up the power cord to my car to make coffee by using it's AC outlet...fortunately I decided that this may not be a good idea which was a good thing because I found out later that this could have possibly blown all of my electric circuits in my car!