Coffee drinking has become a regular part of life in America (as in much of the world). It is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug/herb in the world. While it is a wonderful natural stimulant that many rely on to feel good it also has numerous negative effects that are important to consider.
Caffeine is a natural pesticide and is contained in the leaves, seeds and fruit of over 60 plants in the world. This is great for the plant to protect itself from insects and plant eating animals but not a healthy chemical compound to be ingesting on a daily basis. This natural pesticide is the same chemical found in many nerve agents, chemical weapons and poisons.
Caffeine in a acetylcholinesterase inhibitor.
wikipedia: Acetylcholinesterase (HGNC symbol ACHE; EC 126.96.36.199), also known as AChE or acetylhydrolase, is the primary cholinesterase in the body. It is an enzyme that catalyzes the breakdown of acetylcholine and of some other choline esters that function as neurotransmitters. AChE is found at mainly neuromuscular junctions and in chemical synapses of the cholinergic type, where its activity serves to terminate synaptic transmission. It belongs to carboxylesterase family of enzymes. It is the primary target of inhibition by organophosphorus compounds such as nerve agents and pesticides. Without the breakdown of neurotransmitters in the nerve synaptic junction the receiving nerve suffers overstimulation and lack of inhibition and therefore overstimulation.
It is interesting to consider the half-life of caffeine in the body: the half-life is the amount of time it takes the body to eliminate half of the caffein consumed at one time. This can be anywhere between five and thirty hours depending on age, liver and kidney function, medications, pregnancy and several other factors. For example, if the half life is 10 hours it takes a 330 mg. caffeine drink 10 hours to be cleared from the body to one half it’s initial dosage = 165 mg. is still in the system after 10 hours. After another 10 hours there is still 82.5 mg. remaining in the body. In this example twenty hours after the initial caffeine drink there is still enough caffeine in the body to be affecting the central nervous system, the nerve synapses and your sleep cycle. And it’s time to have another drink of coffee!!! The national sleep foundation states that 500 mg of caffeine is an excessive amount — not that much more than the 330 mg drink in the example above. Excessive caffeine intake can cause insomnia, headaches, nervousness, dizziness, anxiety, irritability, rapid heart rate, increased urination leading to dehydration (constipation, headaches, dizziness and dry skin), decreased memory and ultimately a caffeine crash. Studies have shown that even 200mg of caffeine decreases sleep quality and total sleep time.
Cortisol, is a hormone secreted from the adrenal glands in response to stress and fear. It is the chemical in our body that initiates the fight or flight response. Coffee increases the adrenal production of cortisol which is known to contribute to colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, lupus, anxiety, insomnia, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity and belly fat (which is correlated to cardiovascular disease).
IMHO: The best way to go off coffee (and any caffeine drink) is to decrease the amount of intake by replacing it with decaf coffee or a non-caffeine drink by half the amount of coffee you drink each week. This will help to minimize the withdrawal symptoms. It is best to save your caffeine intake for the late night drive home when you need it to stay awake or that super busy day at work after short nights sleep. It’s not great for health if used on a daily basis and can cause or contribute to numerous chronic diseases.