Coffee Illusions: What The Magic Brew Does To Your Brain
What the Magic Brew Does to Your Brain
Nathan Batalion, Global Health Activist, Healingtalks Editor
With an intro from You Are Not So Smart.
(Healingtalks) Hmmm…………….Misconception: Coffee stimulates you. Truth: You become addicted to caffeine quickly, and soon are drinking coffee to cure withdrawal more than the stimulation.
That can’t be true…Get-off… What’s better than a warm cup of coffee with delicious cream, topped with a frothy head and made sweet to the T. Further you smell it brewing and feel cozy inside as you browse cakes and brownies, scones and biscotti.
You get some of it in you, and you feel ALIVE again – you feel SUPERHUMAN.
Suddenly, you can’t keep up with your own mind as geometric symbols float over the magazine articles in your lap. Someone strikes up a conversation about health car…or whatever… and suddenly everything you’ve ever heard about the topic is at the tip of your tongue.
Damn…Jeez… coffee is AWESOME!
You want to live a life of illusions, knock yourself dead. Want to live a life of integral health, let’s first understand something about illusions….especially GREAT FEELING “illusions.”
Think of a mirror – a thin surface appearance in our overall consciousness. No depth.
Think of a small timer – one that goes off and on for no more than so many minutes – or illusion timewise is temporary, lacking time-depth ….
( As an aside, pharmaceuticals work pretty much the very exact same way. They fool us into thinking they a the best means to heal. No way. There is a whole system of medicine is based on this belief, this illusions and they fiercely claim the mantle of exact science” – depth truth. But in reality, they are best for just symptom modulation, suppression of symptoms especially pain (mirror surface conditions)…and for emergencies (think again a smaller timer) or the surface of time. They belong likewise to any illusionary root worldview (no one every told you this?) that designs all chemicals and pollutes our earth and as much our bodies – the 17th century math-based/mechanical vision that has brought us to where we are after an industrial revolution- a world full of weather crises, the breakdown of social/financial structures, our earth’s ecology, our inner polluted ecology or health pandemics and cancer, etc)
Ok that’s too much to digest. So now back to the much, smaller but nevertheless all-too-wonderful-to- talk about topic of COFFEE…..!
Bottom line with all illusions….you guessed it…there is a let-down. They ain’t completely what they claim to be.
Once you’ve been drinking coffee for a while, the feeling after a cup isn’t the difference between the normal you and the super you, it’s the difference between the addict before and the fix after \
Ok, this is a very simplified explanation:
Caffeine is an adenosine antagonist. This means it prevents adenosine from doing its job. Your brain is filled with keys which fit specific keyholes. Adenosine is one of those keys, but caffeine can fit in the same keyhole. When caffeine gets in there, it keeps adenosine from getting in. Adenosine does a lot of stuff all throughout your body, but the most noticeable job it has is to suppress your nervous system. With caffeine stuck in the keyhole, adenosine can’t calm you down. It can’t make you drowsy. It can’t get you to shut up. That crazy wired feeling you get when you drink a lot of coffee is what it feels like when your brain can’t turn itself off. To compensate, your brain creates a ton of new receptor sites. The plan is to have more keyholes than false keys.
Caffeine Crash and Pickup
Thus you become very sensitive to adenosine, and without coffee you get overwhelmed by its effects. After eight hours of sleep, you wake up with a head swimming with adenosine. You feel like shit until you get that black gold in you to clean out those receptor sites. That perk you feel isn’t adding anything substantial to you – it’s bringing you back to just above zero.
In addition, coffee stimulates your adrenal glands, which makes you feel like you could take a bullet and eat glass. When the adrenaline runs dry, you feel like you’ve been running a marathon, which leads you to look for more coffee to get those glands pumping again. After a few rides on the adrenal roller-coaster, you CRASH!
Getting Addicted to Caffeine Lift
You might think all of this probably takes a while, but it takes about seven days to become addicted to caffeine. Once addicted, you need more and more coffee to get buzzed as your brain gets covered in receptor sites. Neurologists report seeing patients regularly who drink two or three pots of coffee in one sitting before starting their day.
Coffee also releases dopamine, the feel-good chemical in the brain which is released when you have an orgasm, win the lottery and shoot heroin. A similar addiction cycle with dopamine leads to depression and fatigue when you aren’t hitting the beans.
Finally, caffeine takes about six hours to leave your system. So if you drink coffee six hours or less before going to bed, you won’t reach deep sleep as often. This means you wake up less rested, and need more coffee. If you’ve been drinking coffee for a while, you aren’t getting nearly as much out of it as you did in the beginning. You are just curing an addiction.
Caffeine Bottom Line
“The take home is that regular use of caffeine produces no benefit to alertness, energy, or function. Regular caffeine users are simply staving off caffeine withdrawal with every dose – using caffeine just to return them to their baseline. This makes caffeine a net negative for alertness, or neutral at best if use is regular enough to avoid any withdrawal.”
- Neurologist Stephen Novella from his blog, Neurologica
Mind you, this is not a dependency. You will experience withdrawal symptoms upon coffee cessation, but not like with amphetamines and cocaine. Coffee doesn’t seem to affect the dopaminergic structures related to reward, but before you breathe a sigh of relief, ask yourself how long you’ve been drinking it. Try and stop for two weeks and see how hard it is.
A cup or three will still give you pep, but as with all stimulants, over time you need more and more to reach that golden hum. Don’t freak out, 90 percent of Americans are just like you.
My Favorite Alternatives to Coffee
Want to really boost your health, get high on health, a sustained high…and in a different way.. if I can you dare to be so counter-cultural…and with only a slight, not big time up and down stimulation, then try the following. Oh if this doesn’t fully turn you on, play some hip hop or your favorite high-beat music early in the morning to get you revved up and then sluggalug…
- Grapefruit Juice, freshly squeezed. No it doesn’t have that seductive taste of coffee but in the morning it will extend the detoxification process of sleep, stimulate a stronger bowel movement, add vitamin C and anti-oxidants to your blood stream for steady energy – what you really need.
- Wheat Grass Juice, freshly squeezed – This takes a lot more effort to get, grow and juice fresh wheatgrass – but boy is it worth it. This is for the serious health lover as well as those challenged with a major chronic condition. It contains over a 100 essential nutrients, unlike the emptiness of a cup of coffee, and may be the single most powerful blood cleanser on the planet. Before a road race or other sports event, its just fabulous. This because it adds tons of oxygen to you blood. It gives more than just energy but steady power.
- Fruit and Protein Smoothie – The benefit of a smoothie is that you can add a large variety of nutrients to your morning routine, and you can vary that routine easily. Try mango and peach one morning with a protein powder, and another with bananas and sunflower seeds. Try this 2-3 times a week. The potential varieties for this are endless. Compare having a creative smoothie to the same boring cup of coffee everyday (with pasteurized cream and refined sugar, also not so healthy). Yes and again it takes a little effort, some creativity, and being wide-eyed in the morning….but again its worth it.
- Herbal Tea – Alternatively try your favorite herbal tea, but with little or less of a caffeine spike. Maybe add a little kambucha with spirulina and you will still get a BUZZ.
And for many more coffee alternatives, knock yourself DEAD…
Keywords: drinking coffee, research about coffee, is coffee healthy, health effects of coffee
The following MUST SEE video discusses more aspects of the Coffee rollercoaster, the acidic nature of coffee and much more! Its called Quit Coffee Painlessly