10 Reasons Why Coffee Doesn't Love you Back
By Nicholas MaffeWednesday, July 28, 2021
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For millions of people around the world, coffee is the go-to – almost default – beverage for a number of occasions: waking up, energy, relaxing, first date, after dinner. And for millions more, it's undrinkable because of a number of health reasons, including those with an elevated heart rate, anxiety, arrhythmia, and even women who are pregnant.
But many people have no idea why they shouldn't be drinking coffee. Or, at least, why they should be drinking less coffee.
Here are 10 reasons why coffee doesn't love you as much as you love – or want to love – coffee:
- It has addictive qualities – The caffeine in coffee effects your central nervous system. This makes it potentially addictive. No, it's not as dangerous as cigarettes or drugs. But it has the same impact on your body. And while you won't be convulsing and shivering in a heap on the floor when you skip a day of coffee, you may find yourself to be particularly anxious or grumpy without it. While the danger level of addiction is low, it is still present. Reducing our reliance on any substance is always a good idea.
- Crash – Caffeine gives many people a happy little high. Sometimes, it gives us a false sense of energy and efficiency. This can be effective when we're really struggling. However, because of the hard spike of energy, there's also a hard crash. It's not uncommon for people to feel lethargic and groggy after the initial high of caffeine dissipates.
- Bad breath and stained teeth – There's not much more to say about this. But yes, you smell like burnt beans after your cup of coffee, and over time, the tannins in coffee will allow color compounds to stick to your pearly whites. The old adage is true: if it can stain your clothes, it can stain your teeth. Meeting someone for a coffee is often seen as a safe and easy idea for a first date. When that date goes well and you lean in for the first kiss, locking lips will taste like the discarded coffee grounds from your americano. Sexy. And yellow teeth are never a good first impression on a first date, no matter what you're drinking.
- Ethical reasons – Coffee is a strain on local ecosystems, and the environment in general. Many farmers plant mono-crops, which have a negative effect on local wildlife diversity. On top of that, its resource intensive, and is usually shipped long distances (Europe, North America, east Asia, and Australia are major coffee consuming regions, and none of them produce coffee locally). Adding further insult to injury is that, much like other tropical products (think chocolate), there are countless examples of exploited labor and corruption in the industry, which makes finding ethically sourced product difficult. Simply reducing our consumption can have a net positive impact on the environment and the people who grow it.
- Digestion/Ulcers – No, coffee alone will not cause ulcers. In general ulcers and associated digestive track issues are caused by a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. This bacteria will, over time, cause open sores in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Coffee, however, because of its high acidity, can make the effects of ulcers worst, since the acid can penetrate these open sores and cause pain. If you have stomach problems, drinking coffee may make them feel worse.
- Anxiety – Caffeine itself will not make everyone who drinks to feel anxious. It can, however, worsen anxiety in people who already suffer from GAD (generalized anxiety disorder). This can manifest in many ways, including headaches, shakiness, irritability, fast heartbeat, and an inability to concentrate.
- Sleep issues – Caffeine is a stimulant, so it's easy to see how it can impact your ability to both fall asleep and get a good night of sleep. For people who already suffer from sleep irregularities, the cause and effect can be even worse. High consumption of – and reliance on – caffeine throughout the day can delay your body's sleep rhythm, make it difficult to fall asleep, and can deprive your body of slow-wave sleep – the kind that the body needs to truly feel rested. Ever notice how your dog sleeps a lot throughout the day? That's because dogs don't get the same kind of slow-wave sleep that humans do, and therefore need daily naps. Missing out on deep sleep will make you sleepy the following day, and in search of coffee to compensate. This is what we might call a vicious cycle.
- Increased blood pressure – This is especially true for people who already have hypertension, and for people who consume high amounts of caffeine (the equivalent of 4 cups or more per day). Either way, coffee – much like smoking, alcohol, and salt consumption – can worsen and even initiate signs of hypertension.
- Headache – If you already have a headache, coffee is known to alleviate the associated pain because caffeine has vasoconstrictive properties (headaches are caused by a swelling of vessels around the brain, and caffeine restricts those vessels). However, when coffee is consumed regularly, the body becomes dependent on the effects of caffeine. When you stop drinking coffee, its vasoconstrictive properties dissipate and cause a swelling of vessels around the brain. Therefor causing a headache.
- Cost – Whether you're drinking cheap coffee or expensive coffee, the true cost of coffee can add up. Most people drink coffee for the energy. Over time, like most drugs, our body adapts to the neurological and physiological effects of coffee, therefore requiring higher doses to feel the same benefits. In other words, we need to drink more and more to get the same alertness and energy. This, for the clueless, is how addiction works. Before you know it, you find yourself clamoring for several coffees throughout the day. While drinking a cup for breakfast at home isn't going to break the bank, people with higher dependency on coffee (especially since the coffee “high” is short lived) will find themselves buying overpriced coffee throughout the day. Before you know it, you're spending hundreds of dollars a month – on coffee, for a quick high. You might be thinking, “I don't spend that much.” Well, you might be surprised.
Caffeine is an effective and proven nootropic to help you focus and stay energized throughout the day. The problem for many people is caffeine's most popular delivery system: coffee. We at Okana have developed the ultimate alternative to coffee. One that gives you the savory taste and comforting ritual of coffee, but one that is also full of superfoods and adaptogens (like ashwagandha, lion's mane, reishi, and ginger) for maximum health benefits. The result is a drink that provides longer-lasting, slowly-diffused energy, without all the negative effects of coffee.