I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but yes, it’s true that caffeine is bad for your health. You never hear about the adverse health effects of caffeine on your body in a Facebook feed or on cable news because the whole world is addicted to both drinking caffeinated beverages and to growing, selling and promoting caffeinated beverages! Every day, we get our fix from millions of Mr. Coffee machines, in thousands of coffee shops, in fancy restaurants and local quaint coffee shops. It’s one of the biggest industries in the world as well as one of the most profitable. As a result, the people we rely on for information, sadly, are all heavy coffee or tea drinkers. Doctors, journalists, scientists, writers – they all drinks coffee and tea. So few ever speak out against this popular drug. In fact, some of the biggest caffeine addicts I know are doctors! The real truth is that caffeine actually doesn’t give you any energy at all. What really happens when you have a cup of coffee, and to a lesser extent tea, is that the caffeine enters your bloodstream, giving your body the signal that it is under attack. Your body responds by mobilizing all your bodily functions. This gives you the illusion of greater alertness by dilating your pupils, increasing your heart rate and raising your blood pressure. What you are actually experiencing now is more like a fight or flight response. This may “wake you up” at first but ultimately leads to irritability, mood swings, panic attacks, depression and chronic fatigue. Any increase in alertness or perceived energy you get is just the stress hormones you body releases when trying to survive!
Stimulants like caffeine, guarana and yerba mate work by blocking the effects of adenosine, a brain chemical involved in sleep. They temporarily increase some bodily functions that simulate energy, but this is really just temporary, like the stimulation you get from a fender bender – you were falling asleep and then BANG, and suddenly you’re wide awake. You see, coffee and tea are not really foods or drinks at all. They’re poisons, loaded a whole array of toxic chemicals including hundreds of volatile compounds and more than 200 acids. Caffeine is a just poison used by plants as a pesticide to gives the plants a bitter taste, discouraging insects from eating them. If the insects and animals eat a plant containing caffeine it cause central nervous system disruptions and sometimes even lethal side effects. So most pests soon learn to leave those plant alone – but not us humans! We’ve like to con ourselves onto enjoying the these poisons by adding a bit of milk and sugar – while fool ourselves into thinking this is good for us. Of course, this is also true for chocolate. We’d normally never think of eating cocoa beans because they taste awful unless we mix them with plenty of sugar and fat (also not good for us). Though chocolate contains a bit of caffeine, it’s also loaded with a toxic chemical called theobromine. Similar to caffeine, theobromine produces similar physiological response. When you combine the caffeine and theobromine in a one-ounce piece of chocolate, you end up with the stimulating effect of about 40 milligrams of caffeine!