QUESTION: “TODAY WAS SUPPOSED TO BE MY FIRST DAY WITHOUT COFFEE – I MADE IT TO 9AM. THEN, AS I WAS DRINKING IT, I READ IN YOUR COLUMN THESE WORDS (OBVIOUSLY A SIGN!): ‘IF YOU WANT TO STOP DRINKING COFFEE (WHICH IS ONE OF THE WORST SUBSTANCES ON EARTH),…’ CAN YOU PLEASE ELABORATE? WHY IS COFFEE SO BAD? I KEEP THINKING I SHOULD QUIT IT SIMPLY FROM MY INTUITION, BUT IN 15 YEARS, I’VE ONLY EVER ABANDONED COFFEE FOR A MONTH AT A TIME. IT JUST MAKES EVERYTHING SEEM BETTER.”
Psychic Advice : Coffee is a legal drug peddled on almost every street corner, in stronger and stronger doses. When people have a drug dealer move into the neighborhood, they are usually outraged, but when Starbucks moves in, people these days are often thrilled that they won’t have to go so far to get their morning “fix”. (Starbucks regular drip coffees are known to have more than twice the caffeine of other brands.)
Caffeine (which is also found in soft drinks and colas) makes you high, which is why it “makes everything seem better”. It affects your nervous system, which affects the brain and every other vital function in your body, and can cause anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, cardiovascular disease, etc (and may even effect fertility in women). It is an “upper” that makes you feel energized, alive and alert, which is why many people drink it, but those effects wear off, as with any other drug, leaving you feeling down, depressed, and in need of another hit. Caffeine does not actually increase energy, but it does increase stress hormones, blood pressure and heart rate. Decaffeinated coffee is not the answer, because not only does it still contain caffeine, but the chemical processes used to remove the caffeine are even more harmful than the caffeine itself.
Coffee has become the largest agricultural product in the world, and rainforests have been destroyed in order to grow coffee (unfortunately, coffee is also one of the most heavily sprayed crops, which further contributes to its detrimental effects on health). Drinking coffee has become so prevalent that most people in most cultures on Earth not only drink it, but wouldn’t even think of going a day without it. Servers in restaurants throughout the western world are often shocked if you don’t order coffee at some point during your meal. The work day even allows for an official break to take this drug to keep workers functioning properly, because those who are hooked on it become agitated, distracted and antsy without it, but become seemingly more productive, clear thinking and energized with it. These are the same symptoms of methamphetamine use!
If you were to give a child a cup of coffee without the brainwashing of selling its desirability, that child would probably spit it out. Like hard alcohol, coffee is an acquired taste that people drink more for its effects than for the enjoyment of its flavor (without adding cream and sugar). There is definitely something wrong with a substance that an enormous percentage of the world’s population is not only addicted to, but even denies it is an addiction. Most people claim they just enjoy their daily dose of coffee and are not addicted to it, even though they can’t stop drinking it for more than a few days at a time.
Everything we consume alters our biochemistry. We literally become what we eat, drink and ingest, because those substances become the cells of our body, and affect the functioning of the cells and vital organs of the body and of the brain. If you truly want to have a sense of feeling better, of being calm and centered, then drink herbal tea instead. Even mainstream brands have embraced the different biochemical effects that different herbs have on our bodies, and will call herbal teas with chamomile “Sleepytime” because of its calming effects. You can look for a herbal tea with a name that speaks of the state you want to experience, such as “Calm”, “Tranquility”, etc. Although green tea contains caffeine, it also has a calming effect and contains many health-promoting benefits, such as being a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-cancer agent. Coffee makes claims of increasing mental alertness, but it cannot claim to be health-promoting, because the opposite is true.
I found some interesting info at: www.somacon.com/p147.php: “Caffeine is a bitter, white alkaloid with molecular formula C8H10N4O2. It is chemically related to drugs like morphine, nicotine, and cocaine. Like those drugs, it is toxic and can cause death if consumed in sufficient quantity in a given period of time. In fact, due to caffeine’s bitter taste and toxic effect, biologists believe its purpose in plants is to act as a natural pesticide. Apparently, according to Death by Caffeine, it takes 68 mg of caffeine per pound of weight to kill a person.” (A Starbucks Venti 20 oz. coffee has 480 mg of caffeine!
Your intuition has been right all along in telling you to quit drinking coffee. Anything that you must “quit” has become an addiction, particularly if you have not been able to let it go for more than a month at a time. After a month, the chemical effect is out of your body, so the addiction is not only a physical, biochemical one, but it has become a mental addiction and craving. You desire the effect that coffee is giving you, of “making everything seem better”. This is part of the reason why it is so addictive to our entire society that just wants to feel better instantly. Also, because caffeine use alters biochemistry, people become dependent on drinking it each day just to feel “normal”.
What you are really after is a feeling of well-being. This feeling comes when chemicals like serotonin and dopamine are released in the brain. You can activate the release of these chemicals through things like meditation, exercise, nutrition, love and joy, which will not only make everything seem better, but will actually make your life better. Nothing that comes in a cup can give you that, no matter what the advertisements might promise or imply. If the “best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup”, then you must find a way to improve your life so that it gives you peace, joy and inspiration without the need for external substances and chemicals. Remember, your body is a natural pharmacy – it will produce everything you need to be healthy and enjoy your life if you give it the right stimulus.