Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sexy Saturday: Caffeine Makes You Fat and Sick

In recent years, the media has flooded us with new stories and studies about the benefits of coffee.  After all the research telling us that coffee causes a plethora of health challenges, we're suddenly supposed to believe that coffee and caffeine are actually beneficial.  Where are these studies coming from and who are we supposed to believe?

Coffee is most of the developed world's drug of choice.  In America, an estimated 80% of adults drink coffee.  That number is rising though because teenagers are one of the primary targets of coffee marketing now and can often be seen at your neighborhood Starbucks.  While the focus of this article is really caffeine, coffee weighs in heavily because it's the primary source of caffeine for most of us.  In fact, coffee contains more than two times the amount of caffeine as black tea and almost ten times the amount found in dark chocolate.  100 milligrams of caffeine a day should be considered a bad habit; most people drink two, three, four even five times that amount.

Many of these articles tell us that if we drink coffee black with no sugar, it's really a healthy drink.  While it may be better than soda, this information is misleading (some would say deceptive).  The articles claim that coffee has a lot of antioxidants, can increase metabolism and moves the bowels.  The truth is that there are better places to get antioxidants, it wreaks havoc on your metabolism over time and it irritates your bowels. Over the last couple of days, I have read a lot of information about caffeine and coffee from several sources.  You decide what is true.

The book I'm reading right now really sums up all of the information I have read in the last week about caffeine and coffee.  In The DHEA Breakthrough, Stephen Cherniske explains the devastating effects of consuming caffeine for decades.  Long-term caffeine use can cause anxiety, depression, heart problems, high blood pressure, insomnia, gastrointestinal problems, mood swings and the list goes on.  One of the main reasons for this, according to Cherniske, lies in the evidence that caffeine raises our cortisol levels (stress hormone) and lowers our DHEA levels (a hormone that may be responsible for keeping us young among other things).

Here's how it works: Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, putting us into a state of stress (you've heard of the fight-or-flight response).  This pumps cortisol into the blood stream, raises blood pressure, dilates the eyes, increases the heart rate and puts us on alert.  This is the reason most of us think that coffee gives us energy, but what it's actually doing is robbing of us energy.  Another thing that happens during this time of chemically-induced stress is that the body floods the blood with glucose and fat to deal with whatever stressful situation is at hand.  Later this means that our bodies have to deal with more sugar and fat than we actually burn, which increases the risk of diabetes and obesity.  Think about it.  If coffee were a great diet drink, most Americans would be thin.

After learning this information, I'm seriously reconsidering consuming any form of caffeine including green tea. To me, it's apparent that caffeine works against us in achieving a great state of health, balance and natural beauty.  If we want to have energy every day, it needs to come from this state, not from artificial or even natural stimulants.  If you drink a large amount of coffee or other caffeinated beverages daily, please consider reducing or eliminating them.  Be healthy.

Mystic Merman

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