Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Are We Being Sold A "Bill Of Goods" With The Promotion of Coffee?

Psalm 119:78 (MSG)
Let the fast-talking tricksters be exposed as frauds;  they tried to sell me a bill of goods, but I kept my mind fixed on Your counsel.

Transition time.
Coffee or no coffee?  That's the question of the day....err...decade.....perhaps even century.  Are you always wondering about the effects of coffee/caffeine on our bodies?  Me too.  I'm pretty sure for every article about the benefits of caffeine, there is an article that counters it with unhealthy claims.  Who do we believe?

In 2014, my goal is to find one unhealthy habit a month and get rid of it by replacing it with something healthy.  For instance, the first bad habit I found in my life, was my insatiable love for Diet Dr. Pepper.  After searching in desperation for some healthy reason to consume this delightfully tasty beverage, I came up empty handed.  It had to go.  There was nothing good about it.  Not one tiny thing.  So, I drank my last sip of soda on December 31, 2013.  Done.  Was it difficult to stop?  A little, but I replaced it with water.  Every time I want a soda, I go for a big tall glass of ice water.  Even now, I find myself occasionally wanting a soda (nearly 3 months later), however, there is no benefit from it....only potential harm, so it got the boot.  If I can't find ANY health benefit to what I'm putting in my body on a regular basis, then I don't want it anymore.

So, back to the caffeine question.  First, you should know that I like my coffee strong and with a lot of sweet white stuff.  I understand that the "creamers" that I use are loaded with sugar and lots of other stuff that has no nutritional value whatsoever, and yet, I still use them.  It is my "treat", I rationalize.  So, for me, right out of the gate, "my" coffee is unhealthy.  I have tried other formulas to whiten it, but nothing I try makes the cut.  I should drink it black if I'm going to drink it at all.  The problem with that is, I don't like it without all of the "extra stuff".  Whine.  (Oh to have such problems, eh?)  But, for this discussion, let's just talk about the caffeine in the coffee and not the cream.

The fact that I like my coffee strong translates that for every cup I drink, I will probably be doubling the amount of caffeine that is found in a regular cup.  (Think dark roast here....although this, too is disputed...dark roast has less caffeine.....huh?)  Anyway, add on top of that, the size of "my cup" which is actually about 16 ounces, of which I drink two daily...perhaps more.  So, when you consider all of that, I am probably drinking approximately 32 ounces of coffee a day.  Who knows with all of these variables how much that translates to as far as the "amount of caffeine" that I am absorbing into my body!  Yikes!

Here's what I do know for certain...from personal experience.  Coffee wakes me up in the morning and helps me kick start my day.  Love that!  Coffee keeps me up at night if I consume it after 3:00pm.  Don't love that.  Caffeine can create irritability and a semi frenzied feel.  Caffeine adds to attention deficit and distractibility issues.   Caffeine can aggravate fibrocystic breast disease.  Caffeine can cause rapid heart dysrhythmias, especially in those who already have a weakened heart or a propensity toward rhythm disturbances.  While I have not directly experienced this side effect, I have seen it many times in my years of working in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.  Unfortunately, there are other negative effects that can be the direct result of consuming caffeine and there are plenty of underlying health conditions that can be awakened by caffeine.  There is a great article that just came out today on this very subject.  It is a quick read if you are interested in reading it simply click here.

New healthy habit!
Well, I suppose that after writing this, I have come to the conclusion that for me personally, at this juncture in my life, I should abstain from a lot of caffeine, and certainly from my sugary fake cream filled coffee.  I think my transition will be to green tea.  While I am aware that there is still some caffeine in Green Tea (25-50mg per 8oz as compared to 120-150mg per 8oz of coffee), I think this is a great place to start.  At least with the green tea, I will not have the cream issue and I will be taking in some extra antioxidants.  Now, the hard part....implementing my plan! Yes, I have tried to eliminate coffee before.  It was short lived.  I failed.  But, you know what they say..."If at first you don't succeed...try try again!"  As I write this, I am sipping my last cup of sugary caffeine filled coffee.  Maybe it won't take too long to fall in love with the green tea!!  Hmmm......

Ultimately, You are our Counselor in all things.  Reveal to us those habits that will keep us from health and empower us to change!  Thank you for always supplying us with the tools we need to remain strong in You, so we can reflect Your love!
In Jesus Name,

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