The coffee drinker kick-starts their day with a cup of coffee in the morning. It’s a great way to wake up and stimulates the mind making it easier to achieve simple tasks such as getting the kids dressed and not bumping into the neighbours car when reversing out of the driveway. Coffee for breakfast, or as part of breakfast, soon becomes a regular occurrence during the working week, and probably on the weekend. Once a day doesn’t sound like a lot, but soon coffee can start to show up as an aid to help get through the day. The 7.30am beverage appears at 11am to make the next few hours until lunch fly by. Then after lunch? Well the afternoon can drag and feel like a long time until leaving the office is possible, so why not get a coffee and settle back down to work? Then sometimes there’s a lull around 3-4.30 and the desire to make a final push, meet a deadline and leave with a sense of achievement.
Does this sound familiar? What about when you hear people say “I don’t wake up properly until I’ve had a cup of coffee”. Can you relate to that? It’s not too far removed from the truth about the effects of coffee, so it’s easy to connect the dots.
Coffee is also considered by many to be a relaxant. “Wanna meet for coffee?” is the question before the diary comes out and dates, meetings, re-acquaintances and get-togethers are planned. Enjoying a latte and some food is a nice thing to share with others. If the conversation is awkward then the food and drink can become the default talking point. The caffeine seems to magically work its way through the conversation, encouraging expression and debate, giving the confidence to question or exclaim and empathise with others. You feel good because you’re bonding with people, and it’s easy to become a fan of coffee for helping out.
Which is okay, isn’t it? But can coffee actually become addictive?
The ‘active ingredient’ (as medical writers put it) in Coffee is caffeine. You can become ‘dependent’ on caffeine and develop something called ‘caffeinism’. Caffeinism is the combination of caffeine dependency with physical and mental difficulties from anxiety to something called ‘psychomotor agitation’.
Caffeine can lead to difficulties with medical conditions related to the increased production of stomach acid. It’s possible to become intoxicated by caffeine, but it’s not going to kill you unless you have 80 to 100 cups of coffee in a limited time frame, and this depends on other factors.
Enjoying regular cups of coffee is okay for the health of most people. It’s not likely to kill you, and it is likely to make your day better. If you feel you’re starting to depend on anything in life then it’s a good idea to take a break and get some perspective.
The information about caffeinism comes from Wikipedia.
Robert is a writer and coffee enthusiastic coffee drinker who works for Espresso Deco, a company selling espresso cups and related items online.
Photo by nettsu.