“I need coffee to function in the morning…”
We’ve heard it all before. Parents, friends, coworkers, so many people around you professes their love and dependency on coffee. But the fact that in order to get yourself out of bed and ready to face the day requires a cup of coffee is an indicator of something a little more serious than a morning ritual; It’s an addiction. It’s not an addiction to the taste or the familiar warmth of freshly brewed coffee, but is instead your brain’s intense (and trained) desire for the stimulus of caffeine.
Caffeine has become normalized in the American diet. Between energy drinks, enormous coffee sizes at cafes, and sneaky stimulant additives, caffeine is everywhere. The problem is that when people are consuming caffeine, they often don’t realize exactly what it’s doing to their body.
At its core, caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. It’s powerful enough to create a dependency on it, and the withdrawal symptoms are often so intense that people give up hope on trying to kick their caffeine habit. The symptoms of withdrawal include anxiety, irritability, drowsiness, headaches, and migraines. As unpleasant as the withdrawal symptoms are, they’re nothing compared to what caffeine can do to your body when you consume it on a normal basis. Caffeine consumption may lead to:
- Fertility and pregnancy issues
- Increased blood pressure
- Rapid heart beat
- Decreased calcium absorption for bone health
- Adrenal fatigue