Wednesday, September 8, 2010

starBUCKS: the debate continues

now i know what you may be thinking:

aNOTHER blog about the costliness of starbucks coffee, right? ZzzZzzZzz...

but, while the money factor certainly plays into this, considering i'm the type of person who gets on a starbucks kick that dictates that i must have a cuppa joe every time i turn around, there are other things to consider as well.

justin has always been the first to remind me that the consumption of enormous amounts of caffeine is not good for you. and as he has progressed through pa school, he has been able to back these opinions up with medical proof. i found similar viewpoints in this 2009 aol health article, '11 reasons to stop drinking coffee.'

1. You get used to it, ok? According to a new study published in "Psychopharmacology," habitual coffee drinkers may not really be getting an energy boost from their morning ritual. The reason? Caffeine tolerance.

2. Liver damage: not just caused by alcohol. If you don't think coffee is doing damage to your liver, think again. Jennifer Zartarian, N.D., the Wellness and Research Coordinator at Long Island College Hospital of Brooklyn explains, "Caffeine is broken down by the liver through the use of enzymes. The more these enzymes are involved in breaking down caffeine, the less available they are for breaking down other chemicals in the bloodstream. Excessive caffeine use, therefore, causes the liver to work less efficiently at its job of detoxifying the body."

3. 'I see dead people.' According to a recent study reported by the BBC, people who drink too much coffee could start seeing ghosts or hearing strange voices! Students in the study who drank more than seven cups of instant coffee each day were three times more likely to hallucinate than people who drank one cup.

4. Not for preggers peeps. "A recent study [by Kaiser Permanente Division of Research] found that consuming more than 200 mg, or two cups, of drip coffee a day doubled the risk of miscarriage. Another study published in the British Medical Journal in November 2008 found that more than one cup or more than 100 mg of caffeine a day while pregnant resulted in a lower birth weight for the baby, which can be a marker for future health issues for the developing infant," Zartarian explains.

5. I'm soooooo tiiiiiiiiiired. When you combine stress, anxiety and coffee, the eight hours of sleep you're supposed to be getting start dwindling and become easily interrupted. "Put coffee on top of that [stress and anxiety] and you'll wake up during the night, wake up too early in the morning and experience insomnia." Dr. Group mentions the body heals itself at night, so additional coffee may disrupt this normal cycle.

6. The vicious cycle. "When used at more than 12 ounces a day for energy, it becomes an energy 'loan shark,' crashing you later and taking more energy than it gives," says Dr. Teitelbaum.

7. Dehydration: It doesn't feel good. Consider this: Caffeine is a mild diuretic, so while many people start their day with a cup of joe, they are already at a deficit as far as the six to eight glasses of water we need to stay hydrated each day.

8. Fatigue: I'm even tired-er. Feeling fatigued lately? It's no surprise: Coffee releases the "stress hormone" cortisol and adrenaline. Together, they help us respond to stress and provide us with energy and vitality throughout the day. "Heavy coffee drinkers secrete more cortisol and adrenaline than those without a coffee habit, which may ultimately result in fatigue of the adrenal gland."

9. Ew! Yellow teeth. If you'd like your pearly whites to stay that way, stop drinking coffee, or at least cut back. According Zartarian, coffee is not friendly to teeth. "The dark brown color of coffee that develops when it is roasted via a biochemical reaction, called the Maillard reaction, causes a stubborn stain -- which is difficult enough to remove from your clothes or living room rug, so just think of what it is doing to your teeth!"

10. Absorption? I don't think so. Zartarian explains that caffeinated beverages like coffee have an acidic and astringent effect on the tissues of the body. "This prevents optimal absorption and assimilation of nutrients and fluids in the digestive tract in particular," she says.

11. The whole enchilada. According to a University of Scranton study, while coffee is a top antioxidant in the American diet, it's most beneficial when people consume a variety of antioxidants, not just coffee. Although there are positive aspects of drinking java, to prevent the negative health risks people should drink the beverage in moderation.


as a person whose grandmother starting giving her 'coffee milk' in a sippy cup, these facts seem a bit disconcerting. is this whole 'coffee is bad' thing going to be like the 'smoking is bad' thing? like, everyone thought it was harmless, and then it turns out it causes cancer?

i really hope not... because, in all honesty, i don't see myself putting away the coffee pot any time soon.

1 comment:

Jaime Wessler said...

Well, one cup of coffee has also shown links in improving memory retention in women and delaying signs of alzheimers. I think it's ok in moderation as are most things. I'm sure you're fine, honey!