The Sweet and Bitter Side of Coffee – How Caffeine Might Be Stressing You Out!

The average U.S. citizen drinks two to four cups of coffee a day, that translates to over 50 percent of Americans who want to satisfy their caffeine fix. All in all, the International Coffee Organization estimates the daily world consumption at more than 1.5 million cups!

Several debates and studies in the past have been discussing both sides of the coffee conundrum. Is coffee good or bad for your health? Allow me to share with you my two cents on the matter.

Let me start by sharing the  advantages of drinking a cup of coffee:

  • Coffee is the world’s best known source for caffeine, a naturally occurring plant compound known for its stimulant properties. If you’re feeling a bout of tiredness or loss of concentration, caffeine can fix that by stimulating your nervous system. I’m pretty sure you know this very well, judging from the fact that coffee breaks are an essential part of many peoples work routine.
  • If you are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes or part of a family with high diabetes risk factors, then moderate coffee use might help you lower the negative probability. A study conducted in 2010 by Japanese scientists confirmed the decreased diabetes risk as a result of coffee intake.
  • Perhaps due to its ability to perk the body up, coffee has been studied to lower depressive stages by 20 percent when taken in moderation.

Alas, all good things have their respective dark sides, and so does coffee. Here are a some health disadvantages to hailing coffee as a wonder food:

  • The bitter drink comes from coffee beans, which are loaded with natural acids that may affect the acidity of your stomach. That is why coffee is not recommended for people diagnosed with ulcers, because a highly acidic stomach lining is susceptible to attack by the ulcer-causing bacteria H. pylori.
  • Caffeine has been studied to cause an increase in blood pressure and abnormal heart palpitations. Any irregular cardiovascular contractions are never a good sign, so doctors advise those diagnosed with goiter and irregular heartbeats against coffee drinking.
  • When you consume caffeine, it starts initiating uncontrolled neuron firing in your brain, according to Stephen Cherniske in his book, Caffeine Blues. This excess neuron activity triggers your pituitary gland to secrete a hormone that tells your adrenal glands to produce adrenalin.Adrenalin is the source of our “fight-or-flight” response, which enabled our prehistoric ancestors to escape from saber-toothed tigers and other predators.

By stimulating your adrenal glands to produce adrenalin, caffeine puts your body in this “fight-or-flight” state, which is useless while you’re just sitting at your desk. When this adrenal high wears off later, you feel the drop in terms of fatigue, irritability, headache or confusion. At this point, you may reach for another “hit” of caffeine, followed by another, and another and maybe even one more.

If you constantly keep your body on a caffeine high, you’re constantly keeping your body in “flight-or-flight” mode. Cherniske explains your body’s “perspective” of this constant state: “Imagine you lived in a country that was always under threat of attack. No matter where you went, there was a perpetual state of alert. Not only that, but your defenses were constantly being depleted and weakened. Does that sound stressful? Caffeine produces the same effect on your body, like fighting a war on multiple fronts at the same time.”

Cherniske calls your body’s constant state of alert “caffeinism,” which is characterized by fatigue, anxiety, mood swings, sleep disturbance, irritability and depression. After prolonged “caffeinism,” your body enters a state of adrenal exhaustion.

Ralph T. Golan, ND, describes this unfortunate state in his book, Herbal Defense: “Caffeine forces your glands to secrete when they don’t have much left to give, and they have to keep digging deeper and deeper, making you more and more tired over time. And over the years, it takes more and more coffee to get the same result. Some people reach the point of drinking half a dozen or more cups of coffee to get the same result and it’s barely keeping them awake. That’s severe adrenal depletion.”

In other words, caffeine affects your body just like any drug. You start taking it slowly, but as your body develops a tolerance to it, you need more and more to feel the same effects. Eventually, your body reaches a point where it can’t be without it; otherwise, you will start to experience withdrawal symptoms.

So there you have it. Benefits and Side Effects of coffee.

As with everything else in life, coffee is something that should be used sparingly or in moderation, otherwise the disadvantages soon outweigh the advantages.

For help eliminating caffeine from your diet check out our 3-Stage Program here.

Facebook Comments

About the author

Viance Nutrition

Hi! I'm Walt Landi the founder and CEO of Viance Nutrition. Welcome to our Blog. I maintain this Blog as a free resource for anyone wishing to improve their health. Your comments and feedback are always welcomed and you can email me direct at if you have any suggestions. Thanks. Ps. Spread the word and check out our products at :)

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment