COFFEE ADDICTION

it's real

coffee

Coffee is a delicious caffeinated drink that can be made in all sorts of ways and accessed almost anywhere you go, making it very easy to get ahold of, and maybe even addicted to. However, the caffeine in the drink is what makes it addicting. Yes, the flavors and sweeteners in the coffee may add to it, but it is the caffeine in your coffee that makes your body become dependent on the drink. I am a coffee drinker. I love my coffee and drink it multiple times a week. I recently experienced some crazy coffee withdrawals, so I want to learn more about the drink and why it makes me feel the way I feel.

the history of coffee

Coffee is a brewed drink which comes from roasted coffee beans. This strong, flavorful drink has been consumed for thousands of years by people all over the world. It is said that an Ethiopian herdsman had discovered his goats eating berries (coffee berries) and observed that the goats were highly energetic after eating them. Word of these energizing berries was spread to another part of Ethiopia. Here, they mixed the berry with a clarified butter and created a power bar. Similar energy bars are still eaten in Ethiopia to this day.


Fast forward to present-day, coffee is one of the most popular drinks and is consumed daily by millions of people. We consume 400 billion cups a year (nearly 400 million cups a day).

Caffeine in the Brain

Like many drugs, caffeine is chemically addictive. This drug is addictive in how it affects the human brain, producing an alert feeling that coffee drinkers crave. After drinking coffee, the caffeine is absorbed through the small intestine and dissolved into the bloodstream, which is then sent to the brain. Structurally, caffeine resembles a molecule that is present in our brain, called adenosine. Adenosine eventually locks into receptors and causes a tired feeling. The caffeine from your coffee fits into our brain cells’ receptors for adenosine, blocking them off which prevents you from becoming tired. This gives a person a sense of alertness and energy for a few hours.


The brain tends to change in avid coffee drinkers due to daily intake of caffeine. Brain cells grow more adenosine receptors to try and maintain balance from constant caffeine being put into the body. Because your brain is producing more adenosine receptors, it takes more caffeine to block them and achieve the desired effect of the caffeine.

Statistics

  • At least 68 million Americans drink three cups of coffee every single day
  • Consuming as little as 200mg of caffeine every day can lead to addiction and altered chemistry in the brain
  • 3 out of 4 regular caffeine users are actually addicted to the substance
  • 2,655 people died in 2011-2012 from overdose on caffeine

addiction

Being addicted causes one to be physically and mentally dependent on a substance in order to perform daily activities. When one drinks coffee every single day, maybe even multiple times a day, their body learns to need that caffeine in order to do certain things. Their body become dependent on it, which forces a person to continue the consumption of caffeine every day. This dependency has the potential to create great health risks for a person, and can even affect their behavior and personality. If a coffee drinker doesn't get their fill of caffeine, they can become irritable, tired, and may not be able to perform as well as they could when they have their coffee. This can create serious problems for a person, physically and mentally.

how to break the addiction

Within 24 hours of quitting the drug, withdrawal symptoms begin. There are two different methods a person can try in order to break their addiction;


1. Cold Turkey: a person simply stops consuming caffeine.


pros

-a realization of caffeine's influence on a body's functioning

cons

-severe withdrawal symptoms

-can lead to loss of productivity

-produces more of a tendency to give up


2. Weaning: person gradually reduces the amount of caffeine he/she consumes daily


pros

-withdrawal symptoms are less severe

-most people can continue to function and be productive

-less shocking to the system

cons

-can take longer to detox depending on the beginning daily dose of caffeine

-requires tracking caffeine intake


Common withdrawal symptoms include:

tiredness, irritability, lack of alertness, fatigue, mentally foggy, headache, depression, muscle pain/stiffness, lack of concentration, flu-like symptoms, insomnia

benefits of taking caffeine out of your daily diet

-breaking addiction

-financial savings

-lower blood pressure

-better sleep

-decreased anxiety

-fewer headaches

-better mood

-healthier teeth

-weight loss

-healthier diet

-no more jitters

-less risk of cardiac events

-better over-all health

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