(Warning: You're going to either love me or love your coffee by the end of this post, probably not both. That's ok. I'll still love you.)
Here's something profound that you need to understand for excellent health: Fuel vs. Energy.
They're not the same thing?
Nope! And it's important to your health to understand just how very different fuel is from energy and then I'll explain why drinking coffee is not in your best interest...even though it tastes so yummy, wakes you up, and keeps you regular. Ah-hem.
Think of a car: energy is generated by the car battery and fuel goes in the gas tank. To operate correctly a car needs both energy and fuel. We humans have vital nerve energy which is the low-grade electrical current generated by the brain (our head battery) and innervates the body so that all functions are performed within their normal and healthful parameters. Fuel for humans goes in the mouth in the form of food with calories. We need both, just like a car.
Innervation = good.
When we are tired (low energy) there is no amount or type of food (fuel) that can make us authentically un-tired. Only sleep, rest, fasting, meditation or prayer can recharge the brain. Energy drinks and energy bars can not give you energy, only fuel at best.
What does this have to do with your beloved cup of coffee?
First, did you know that 300 million Americans drink about 400 million cups of coffee every day? And 1.7 million cups of coffee are consumed every day worldwide? Coffee is one of the highest traded commodities in the world, second only to oil. Hmmm.....
Coffee contains caffeine which is a stimulant, on that we can agree. The primary, but temporary, effect of caffeine stimulates the body into a heightened, but false, sense of well-being. However, the second and longer lasting effect produces weakness and exhaustion, otherwise known as enervation (as in "you're on my last nerve at this point, Carla!"). Caffeine squanders vital nerve energy.
Enervation = bad.
Caffeine is a bodily poison. The body speeds up the metabolic process (enervation) to rid the body of the caffeine poison as quickly and efficiently as possible: increased heart rate, increased urination & defecation, and increased muscle contractions and activity (ie: the jitters). This is a survival step but one which exhausts vital nerve energy, hence the crash after the caffeine has successfully been eliminated.
Did you get that? The body wants caffeine out of the system as quickly as possible because of the chemical danger, but we tend to like this rush of "energy," and, in fact, erroneously depend on it.
Caffeine is an addictive drug. Any substance not required for survival that is addictive is not beneficial to the body, especially drugs that squander vital nerve energy for elimination while providing no nutritional gain (fuel). If you do not believe that caffeine is addictive, quit cold turkey and let me know how you feel.
I know coffee lovers probably hate me at this point (if you're still reading), but let me continue...
The caffeine in coffee robs your body of vital nerve energy. This is now clear. It needlessly wears down your battery creating less energy available for basic eliminative tasks at the cellular level. When cells are not regularly cleansed well, toxemia ensues, inflammation occurs and the descent into disease begins.
If coffee is your one and only drug of choice - no cigarettes, alcohol, prescriptive or recreational substances, or sugar - and you eat a predominantly plant based diet, then you can probably get away with minimal coffee consumption. If this is not your dietary landscape then I recommend weaning off coffee - 1/2 decaf to decaf to black tea to green tea to water - especially if you have episodes of acid reflux, bad breath, insomnia, anxiety, dehydration, acidosis, adrenal fatigue or tell-tale yellow-brown teeth.
Oh, and make no mistake, all this goes for caffeinated energy drinks and soda too!
I drink green matcha tea daily (LOVE the chlorophyll, though it comes with a bit of caffeine) and coffee on road trips (because arriving alive is worth the enervation) so I'm not there yet either. During phases of injury or health crisis I would forgo the matcha in order to free up all vital nerve energy for recovery.
By God, if coffee is your one true love in life then cling to it, however if you want true health freedom consider weaning off the bean and reclaiming your vitality.
Be well, Almost Caffeine-Free Carla.
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