Maybe it’s a coffee, maybe it’s a latte, and maybe it’s a white chocolate mocha, extra flavor, half caff, no whip, with soy milk. What do all of these have in common? They all have caffeine. And lots of it.
Caffeine is a stimulant to your nervous system, blocking melatonin from reaching your brain to tell you you’re tired. Regular use of caffeine can cause physical dependence, which is why it is considered a mild drug. One mug of coffee turns to two, to three, and more and more until your body builds a resistance to it, so it has a limited effect on you. What’s the problem with that in the United States? Too many people have built a resistance to it, and it can cause many problems physically.
Because caffeine is categorized as a stimulant, it does some of the same things other stimulants do, such as meth, cocaine, and amphetamines. It makes your heart beat faster, your muscles react faster, your blood pressure go higher, and your sleep pattern go awry. Exhaustion due to crashes is a very real issue. People fall asleep on the job, on the highway, and at important events.
Caffeine is said to lead to addiction-like symptoms, such as anxiety due to withdrawal, irritability, and depression. It may be contributing to the extremely high depression rates in America, as well as stress and other factors.
So what can be done about it? It’s as simple as changing what you’re consuming. Swap your morning coffee for a tall glass of ice water. Because of all the work your body is doing due to the caffeine, it is easy to become dehydrated. It has been shown that drinking water to start your day gives your brain a boost and improves energy. You could also swap for an herbal tea. Tea also has traces of caffeine, but it is healthier for your body. Herbal tea has many natural elements that boost your body’s immune system. You’re getting your fix and doing your body a major favor.
Maybe it’s time to rethink your drink. Pass up on that iced caramel latte and get yourself some ice cold water. It’s good for you.
Harley Atchison, firstname.lastname@example.org