You wake up in the morning, stretch, and start to prepare for the day. If you’re like most people, chances are that one of your first thoughts is about your morning cup of coffee and that one of your first actions is brewing a “cup of joe.”
Coffee is a hugely popular morning wakeup in North America and is also deeply ingrained into popular culture. An estimated 150 million people drink coffee in the United States alone; this translates to about half of the country’s population!
When you pass successful coffee shop chains in the morning, the drive through and in-store lineups are bursting with people eager for their coffee. You can find plaques in stores and posts on social media revering the caffeinated beverage. And you’re pretty much guaranteed to receive laughs and agreement when you make a comment to a group of people about your need for coffee.
Whether you sip on it all day or drink it down in one big gulp to wake you up, you probably look forward to your daily coffee. Even if you didn’t originally enjoy the scent or flavor, it began to grow on you over time to the point where it became part of your routine. We know because this is the pattern many of us follow.
But if there’s one nagging thought in the back of your mind when you’re trying to enjoy your daily coffee, it’s this: Is drinking coffee actually good for you? Find out more in this article or follow the Greenwell Farms blog for more coffee facts.
Is Your Coffee Ritual a Positive or Harmful Routine?
We hate to think it because we don’t want to say goodbye to one of our favorite parts of the day, but what if all that coffee drinking isn’t actually a good habit to have? When you were younger, your parents probably prevented you from drinking coffee until you reached a certain age (which most likely only increased your fascination with the liquid and made you want it even more). Their reasoning? Various ideas revolving around it stunting your growth, leading to addiction, and just generally being bad for you.
You’ve likely managed to push these thoughts aside for the majority of your adult life, but it’s time to reassess the question. Let’s dive into common claims against coffee and whether they hold any validity, courtesy of our friends from IdentityCoffees!
Claim #1: Coffee Is Addictive
This claim might not sound far-fetched to you when you consider the joy you get from your daily coffee habit; your natural response might be a glib “Of course it is!” But is it actually addictive, to the point where cutting back echoes the motions of weaning yourself off any other addiction?
Let’s consider the statistics. Not only do fifty percent of Americans drink coffee, but they drink an average of three cups a day. That’s not just a routine cup each morning, but rather multiple servings. And 21 million Americans drink upwards of six cups of coffee a day, far more than simply a morning “pick me up.”
The truth is that yes, coffee can become an addiction since it stimulates a response in the brain that mimics a positive feeling (from an increase in dopamine, the “happy hormone”) in a similar vein as the response to drugs and alcohol, but to less of an extent. You can build up tolerance to the caffeine over time until it takes more and more of the liquid to produce the same effect it once had; cutting back your intake mimics standard withdrawal symptoms. The World Health Organization (WHO) even recognizes an addiction to caffeine as a disorder.
Claim #2: Coffee Prevents Sleep
This claim also holds some truth, as the amount of caffeine you consume and your genes determine whether this will affect you. Although coffee is prized not only for its flavor but also for its ability to help you stay alert, the effect of alertness can seep into your sleep patterns. Even if you drink coffee earlier in the day, if you’ve had too much for your specific system, it can keep you up long into the night.
If you’re experiencing restlessness and difficulty falling asleep, it’s worth looking into the connection between your coffee consumption and your sleep.
Claim #3: Coffee Affects Digestion
If you’ve noticed that coffee speeds through your system rapidly, you’re not the only one. Coffee is a diuretic, which means it can lead to increased bowel movements and may even create a feeling of urgency. On the one hand, coffee can be used as a type of laxative, but on the other hand, if that’s not your reason for drinking the beverage, you may experience some discomfort.