It is time to be clear and admit to the fact that many of us are addicted to caffeine. We have bought into social conditioning and brainwashed ourselves into believing that we need caffeine to wake us up and keep us going. We need to realize that caffeine, harmless as it may seem, is actually a legal stimulant that causes havoc with our nervous system.
Before you groan, "Not something else I have to give up," please understand that I am not saying that anyone should deny the pleasurable taste and rituals associated with coffee, tea, and chocolate drinking. After all, remember that age old saying: "A little of what you fancy does you good." Instead I am merely offering a reality and perspective that some of us may not have considered. Did you realize that eighty five percent of all Americans drink coffee? Are we in this country running on a caffeine perpetuated false high? Each day we hear more about the effects of stress and many of us long to slow down and take life at a slower pace, yet we continue to race around and experience the symptoms of caffeine overuse i.e. depression, anxiety, restlessness, stomach upsets, nausea, and vomiting.
Did You Know?Caffeine is a substance found naturally in the leaves, seeds, fruits and nuts of more than sixty different plants including tea leaves, coffee beans, and is also found in many carbonated beverages such as colas. Synthetically produced caffeine is added to certain food products and added to many over-the-counter medicines.
How Much Caffeine?There is no real answer to this question. Each individual will have a different tolerance level toward caffeine. One person may feel totally wired after just two eight ounce cups, while another may be able to tolerate four, five, or even six times as much caffeine in one day. The answer has to be that we each monitor ourselves, being mindful of the effects of caffeine on our own bodies and nervous systems.
Caffeine is absorbed and distributed very quickly into the body; it passes directly into the central nervous system or the brain. Caffeine is not accumulated in the body or bloodstream, but is excreted in the urine many hours after it has been consumed. It is a fact that abrupt withdrawal is not recommended by doctors, and withdrawal symptoms may include headaches, drowsiness, depression, vomiting, and other symptoms. Instead, gradual reduction of intake is advised although many people find that first switching to decaffeinated products helps them to break the addiction.
The Hooks. . .Just how did we manage to get addicted to caffeine? There are numerous reasons as caffeine often seems like a harmless quick-fix when we are not getting enough sleep and not making the time in our busy lives to fulfill our emotional and physical needs. Addiction also includes our over-identifying with products and images that are socially accepted and encouraged. It has become noble to always be on the run. "Busy" has come to be seen as important, secure and fulfilled, but is it really? Perhaps the biggest hook of all is that we have bought into the myth ourselves that we need caffeine to wake us up and to keep us going, and have thus become slaves of habit.
Harmless EnoughCaffeine overuse, even addition, may seem harmless enough. Everyone is doing it, right? But there are far greater implications.
Let's step back and look again. When you are constantly wired and running on a false high, you stop feeling and knowing how you really feel. You simply get out of touch with your physical and emotional self. You don't feel tired and know that you need to rest but, instead, you push yourself further and further taking on way too much stress in the process. Think about that blown up bloated feeling you experience when you have drunk too much coffee, tea, or Coke. You feel out of touch with your stomach and that part of your body does not feel good. Then it's easy to continue overindulging even further with unhealthy food.