Thursday, September 1, 2011
Coffee: Friend or Foe?
Then we moved to a new neighborhood and the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf called my name from the corner. Now their White Chocolate Mocha's were to die for. Martin bought me their white chocolate mocha powder, and my home coffee drinking increased a little more. Last year I also acquired a Keurig, and with it about 10 boxes of various kinds of coffee. It has become a hit, and people love coming over and picking out their favorite coffee from the turn style. Suddenly the ratio wasn't a problem anymore, and I love being able to serve the perfect cup of coffee, chosen specifically for the drinker.
And so we come to today. I don't drink coffee everyday. I probably average about 3-4 cups a week. But when I have it, I love it, and it is a comfort of sorts, smelling it brew through the house. I love sitting down with the morning paper and drinking my coffee. What is even more fun is meeting a girlfriend for coffee, sipping it slowly and savoring our time together. It is a treat!
However, I have noticed something very interesting. When I drink coffee, I am not well afterwards. I am not well physically or emotionally. I already knew that coffee exacerbates my hyperhydrosis (sweaty palms). All the articles say to stay away from caffeine because it makes that problem even worse. But I chose to deal with that and drink it anyway. The other physical effects I have after drinking coffee range from shaking, to severe stomach aches, to headaches. I know that if I drink coffee, I need to be near a bathroom for the next few hours. The symptoms are sometimes not enough to notice if I am really busy that day, but then on other days, they are very noticeable and annoying. I switched creamers to an all natural one (which I love and highly recommend), and the problems were still occurring (although it did help calm my stomach a little more). I tried decaf, and the effects still happen, although not as strong.
Yet aside from the physical effects, I have noticed that my mood is remarkably different on days I drink coffee. I am more emotional, I have more anxiety, I worry more, and I feel stressed. On the days I drink it, I just don't feel right. I brought this up to a friend this week and she agreed - she said the same thing happens to her. She said if she drank it every day, she'd probably need therapy. I completely agree.
I looked online to see if there were any articles on this correlation between caffeine and mood and found many.
Is it just the caffeine? I don't feel this way when I drink soda, so I looked up the caffeine content of coffee vs. tea or soda. According to the Mayo Clinic, coffee has between 95-200 mg of caffeine per 8 ounces. A 16 oz. vanilla latte from Starbucks has 150 mg of caffeine. A chai tea latte has 100 mg. of caffeine. A cup of black tea has 40-120 mg per cup. 8 ounces of Coke Zero has 35 mg. of caffeine and Diet Coke has 47 mg. Typically I drink Coke Zero or Diet Coke.
So YES! I think I figured it out! Caffeine does not have a good effect on my body! (Duh.) The bummer is that there are many mornings where I feel like I need caffeine for a quick pick-me-up. Decaf coffee has between 2-12 mg of caffeine. Not sure that would be enough. But for now, it looks like I'll be giving up my coffee habit for awhile, unless I choose decaf.
How about you? Do you notice a difference in your mood or your body when you drink caffeine? What other things do you recommend for a quick pick-me-up?
Posted by Jaimie at 8:59 PM