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Dear Coffee Haters. Please, Stop Throwing Shade in My Cup.

by Katarzyna Portka 11 days ago in humanity

All reasons I enjoy my coffee, and you can too.

Dear Coffee Haters. Please, Stop Throwing Shade in My Cup.
Photo by Gian Cescon on Unsplash

Whenever I am forced to go out or rush through my coffee ritual, I dread it. I would rather skip it altogether than drink it in one gulp.

I have learned to cherish the ceremony of sipping through my beloved beverage while musing in my thoughts and soft coffeehouse playlist.

Call it an addiction. Call it sentiment.

Couldn’t care less. Coffee seems to be the right drug.

Some scientific jargon about caffeine if you care:

It boosts your creativity.

Caffeine is absorbed into your bloodstream. Next, it travels to your brain where the amount of other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine increases, leading to the heightened firing of neurons. Many studies show that coffee improves various aspects of brain function — including memory, mood, vigilance, energy levels, reaction times, and general mental function. Caffeine makes us super productive.

Michael Pollan, author of This Is Your Mind on Plants, hazards a statement that:

caffeine contributed to the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason, and the Industrial Revolution all of which required us to think in much more focused, linear terms. Caffeine was an amazing aid to the rise of capitalism.

I like my ideas after drinking that cup of Joe, although coffee is not a must-have for my creative thinking. It is a welcomed companion, not a forced partnership.

Isaac Newton was a big coffee fan, Voltaire, the Enlightenment figure, apparently had 72 cups a day. Diderot wrote the encyclopedia on caffeine. This new, sober, more civil drink was changing the way people thought and the way they worked.

In yet another Harvard study published in 2011, women who drank four or more cups of coffee per day had a 20% lower risk of becoming depressed.

It lowers your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

For some reason, coffee drinkers have a significantly reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Studies observe that people who drink the most coffee have a 23–50% lower risk of getting this disease. One study showed a reduction as high as 67%.

Drinking coffee reduces your chances of developing Alzheimer’s and other diseases.

Several studies show that coffee drinkers have up to a 65% lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. A study also singled out the compounds in roasted coffee that may be responsible for preventing the build-up of the brain plaque believed to cause the disease.

A large new study of nearly 500,000 people has found that coffee lowers the risk of chronic liver disease, liver cancer, and other liver maladies.

It is an abundant source of antioxidants.

Scientists have identified approximately 1,000 antioxidants in unprocessed coffee beans, and hundreds more develop during the roasting process. Antioxidants fight inflammation, an underlying cause of many chronic conditions. A study from Monash University even further demonstrated the antioxidant capacities of brewed coffee.

Studies don’t support the idea that coffee raises your risk of heart disease. It’s often claimed that caffeine can increase your blood pressure. This is true, but with a rise of only 3–4 mm/Hg, the effect is small and usually dissipates if you drink coffee regularly. Some studies also show that coffee drinkers have a 20% lower risk of stroke.

It enhances your physical performance.

I know many individuals also prefer to have a strong cup of coffee prior to hitting the gym, as caffeine breaks down body fat, making free fatty acids available as fuel, thus it improves physical performance on average. Plus, Two cups of coffee can cut post-workout muscle pain by up to 48%.

I personally don’t drink caffeine before any fitness practice because it just does not make me feel good. I like slowly enjoying my fresh homemade cup with time on my hands, sipping it mindfully. That is another great point for your favourite drink, not necessarily coffee, to become your partner in meditation practice. The whole ritual of brewing my precious cuppa is a journey of mindfulness, taking in smells, all steps that get me to the last sip. It is not about a destination to the empty cup, but an entire process of preparing and enjoying the ritual.

Bear in mind, the intake I am raving about is moderate consumption. That is whatever suits you and whatever makes you feel good.

Enjoy your coffee as long as it serves you.

Enough with the scientific excuses.

What it all boils down to is if it makes you feel good, engage in it. If it helps you relax and tackle your to-do list, by all means, carve out the time and sip your coffee with gratitude.

If coffee makes you anxious, or you constantly debate whether to have another cup, then don’t. That stress of your frantic thinking about the drink is probably what causes more damage to your health than the fact alone of drinking that coffee.

My attitude and how I feel after having coffee have changed drastically since I stopped making myself guilty for having it in the first place. I know I am going to proceed with my coffee as long as it serves my body and my mood. Whenever I become stressed about having one, I am going to step aside.

I strongly believe that the circumstances around do not happen to us. Instead, we create the circumstances like people, food that affects us. I have travelled a long journey of mental diet, changing my core beliefs about health and the world in general. Finally, I am happy to say that I can drink coffee with no guilt prior or anxiety afterwards.

What is the reason for you drinking the coffee?

Is it a pick-me-up tool after a meal saturated with carbs? You lack energy, so you boost yourself with coffee. Don’t actually enjoy the taste as much as you need that fuel.

Is it comfort food for you? Does it give you security, a comfy blanket, an excuse for something sweet?

Many people don’t react well to coffee, as they treat it like a substitute for something they seem to lack. The news? Coffee will never give you that. It is just a beverage. Glorious indeed. But still a beverage.

Since I started drinking coffee for the sole pleasure of it, not because I have to or mindlessly choke it down the throat, it started serving me. Or precisely does not affect me at all. It just is.

First, ask yourself why does your lifestyle make you tired so that you require that coffee? Perhaps instead of reaching for that next cup, change your daily routine? Why are you craving comfort? Where are you not feeling safe and satisfied that you need to search outside yourself for it?

Emotional stress, like that from blocked emotions, has not only been linked to mental illness, but also to physical problems like heart disease, intestinal problems, headaches, insomnia and autoimmune disorders.

— Time Magazine, Ignoring Your Emotions Is Bad for Your Health. Here’s What to Do About It

You can remove the ailment surgically. But unless the root cause of the discomfort is discovered, the next disease is going to pop up. You can get that disorder from drinking coffee, alcohol, or, as I had, from eating only raw foods. Not because I was malnourished, but because I was stressed out about my body and looks so much that the obsession has run me down. Everything in excess will affect you poorly.

Whatever we consume in excess has its reasons. Those reasons affect negatively our health and mind. Not the substance itself.

Find the root of any discomfort and what feelings lie behind it, instead of relying on external pills and substances to make you feel better. Because guess what? With time, they will not suffice, and you will be tempted to search for more. And that chase is a never-ending hamster wheel that makes you unproductive, though it may seem you are heading somewhere. The chase for more never stops once you jump on that treadmill.

How about going decaf?

Food detoxes rise in popularity. And I am all for it. For one particular reason: it tastes so much better when you come back.

That is why I like having an interval without my coffee. It may be a week or a month. I have never experienced any headaches or symptoms of withdrawal. It depends upon the individual. Perhaps you will discover that the taste of caffeine no longer suits your palate, and you are better off without it. Any food detoxes I have ever willingly embarked upon served my mood, energy, new perspective, and the discovery of fresh preferences. Experimenting is fun, and everything you engage in life should be fun, stress-free, and guilt-free.

All in all, caffeine delivers much more than it takes away. So enjoy your caffeine for good reasons from feeling complete and enough.

I savour it while it lasts. For now, I enjoy my coffee and its creativity boost afterwards. I enjoy my sleep with no interruptions. Until that time, I am going to look for positive aspects of my coffee affair. No toxic side effects on the horizon. Keep your way of living. And let me keep mine.

After all: the only size that matters is the size of my coffee cup.


Katarzyna Portka

Mindset coach. Writer. Reader. Coffee enthusiast. Tolkien’s fan living in Harry Potter’s world.

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