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Not Without My Coffee
What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘coffee’? A cup of a fresh, steaming hot liquid whose aromatic whiff of your cuppa joe to kickstart your day, or wake you up in the middle of it, catching up with an old friend, keeping warm on a winter’s day, or simply giving into your cravings. Some like it black or an Americano or Espresso; some love their Lattes or milk coffee and some just have their own special version of it with a hint of sugar.
Coffee has a powerful hold on its drinkers. Its effects are a hotly contested topic much like the beverage itself. While too much of coffee can interfere with sleep, regular intake of coffee has shown health benefits according to research like increased energy levels.
Coffee has an interesting history. Coffee’s origins date back centuries to the ancient forests on the Ethiopian plateau (National Coffee Association USA, 2020), It is said that coffee was discovered by a goat herder named Kaldi. A native of Ethiopia, Kaldi took his goats for grazing and after eating some berries from a tree, the goats were so energetic they kept awake all night! Next, Kaldi plucked some more berries and took them to a neighboring monastery and told the monks what had happened. The monks made a drink using those berries for Kaldi to test Kaldi’s theory. After consuming it, Kaldi stayed awake throughout night time prayer. The stories of this magical drink began to spread. After its discovery in Ethiopia, coffee cultivation spread to Arabia and from there throughout the world.
According to Statista.com, “Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. In 2018/2019, around 165.35 million 60 kilogram bags of coffee were consumed worldwide, a slight increase from 158 million bags in the previous year.” Coffee is one of the world’s most consumed drinks and with good reason.
So what is it about coffee that makes us crave it so much? If you meet the following criteria, then you are a coffee craver:
5 Reasons Why You Crave Coffee
1. It’s a habit
There are many habits that we develop over time because we practice them every day. Drinking coffee is one such habit or an unnoticeable habit that we have become so used to we can’t do without it. Coffee drinkers become restless and dull if they don’t have their cuppa in time. The same goes for people who are tea drinkers or even fizzy drink consumers.
2. Instant freshness
Given how stressful and hectic our lifestyles have become, there is always a craving for an energy boost to refresh and revitalize. For example, working late in the office or home demands staying awake and being alert. Coffee contains caffeine that does exactly that. However, coffee is not an energy boost, it (caffeine) is a stimulant that keeps us alert.
3. Morning must have
Let’s face it. Even if you are trying to cut down on coffee, you have to have your morning dose of coffee. Otherwise, your mornings simply don’t take off. You get moody, irritable and unproductive till you get your cup of coffee.
4. It’s an easy stress manager
We all hate those days when we are feeling down and out and drinking coffee seems to fix it all. It is your go-to when you’re feeling stressed, lonely or you are in a bad mood after a fight. Coffee soothes your nerves and makes it all better.
5. Helps you work longer
Working late to finish pending tasks before the weekend? Coffee is the answer! Having heaps of coffee helps us stay up round the clock and can virtually turn us into a nocturnal animal. Dependance on coffee to get work done is pretty common.
The Physiological Reasons For Coffee Cravings
1. Your body is asking for it
If you meet the above criteria, chances are you are low in catecholamines or hormones such as dopamine, epinephrine – adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine produced by the adrenal glands. Our adrenal glands send catecholamines into our blood when we are under physical or emotional stress. Coffee stimulates these hormones which essentially regulate our body’s response to stress such as emotions, memory, the brain’s reward mechanism, the fight-or-flight response, etc. According to Austin Woman Magazine, “…a 12 oz. cup of coffee can spike cortisol levels by 30 percent After you drink coffee, cortisol levels can remain elevated for up to 18 hours”. So what’s so bad about the body releasing hormones that are good to fight stress? When too much or too little of hormones are secreted they create imbalances in the body such as weight gain, sleep disruptions, weight gain, etc.
2. Your Brain Demands It
According to Austin Woman Magazine, “Coffee contains amino acids, which are the building blocks of neurotransmitters – the feel-good chemicals in our brains. When our brains are depleted of these feel-good chemicals, we reach for…cigarettes, alcohol, sugar, and even coffee…psychoactive drugs (drugs that change our brain chemistry).” Too much coffee can disable the body from breaking down amino acids drawn from healthier foods like chicken, fish, eggs, etc. as over-consuming coffee also interferes with gut health. So eat the right stuff and limit your coffee consumption to avoid health problems.
Coffee is one of the most consumed drinks or beverages in the whole world. Every year, its consumption is increasing despite certain health concerns. Drinking coffee is fine but craving it and becoming addicted to it is not. Craving and addiction to anything is never healthy and if you are craving coffee then your body is definitely trying to tell you something. Also, getting irritated or moody just because you didn’t get a cup of coffee is also a dangerous sign. We cannot bank on a substance like coffee to determine our productivity at work or at home.
Remember, that consuming too much coffee can send your hormones into imbalances that are detrimental to health in the long run. So while having a cup of coffee can invoke positive and calming emotions, do keep a check on your consumption. In order to remain stress-free and productive, get in exercise, eat healthy and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Coffee is not the solution to manage stress and solve life’s problems!Consuming too much coffee can send your hormones into imbalances that are detrimental to health in the long run. Click To Tweet