Drinking a cup of real coffee is one of life’s small pleasures. Caffeine is the world’s most widely used stimulant drug and coffee is the form in which millions of people prefer to take it. It improves short-term memory, raises alertness and it tastes delicious. I love coffee. In truth, I crave the smell, the taste and the ritual of brewing it. I’m not a coffee snob but I know what I like. I’d be lost without my morning cuppa.
Caffeine is absorbed and distributed throughout the body very quickly. After absorption, it passes into the brain where it acts as a central nervous system stimulant. As it has diuretic properties, caffeine is not accumulated or stored in the body, but is excreted in the urine some hours after it has been consumed.
Contrary to popular belief, caffeine does not not reduce the effects of alcohol, so a cup of coffee will not “sober up” someone who is drunk. Caffeine may be used as a treatment for migraine and will, for short time spans, relieve fatigue or drowsiness.
However, excessive caffeine intake can lead to a fast heart rate, increased urination, nausea, vomiting, restlessness, anxiety, depression, tremors and difficulty sleeping.
Abrupt withdrawal of caffeine may cause headaches, drowsiness, irritability, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms. Reduce caffeine intake gradually to prevent any symptoms of withdrawal.
The body has no nutritional requirement for caffeine. However, a moderate tea or coffee intake is not likely to have a negative effect on health, as long as the person lives an otherwise healthy lifestyle.
While three 8oz cups of coffee per day would be considered a moderate intake of caffeine, ten 8oz cups per day would be considered excessive.
Information source: Irish Times HEALTHplus
These days, I restrict my intake of coffee to 2-3 mugs per day. When I temporarily lost my sense of smell and taste last summer, I gave up drinking coffee as it held no pleasure. Interestingly, I found this loss much more difficult to accept than the loss of being able to enjoy food. I know, I’m hooked! It was like manna from heaven to discover I could smell and taste coffee again. Life just ain’t the same without coffee!