June 3, 2012

Well Gary, you were right.  At least about the stiffness.

Woke up this morning, and my lower back is no better.  I really need it to ‘crack’.  I think if I can do that, then it will be better.  Gary was trying to convince me that coffee is not good for a sore back.  You know, there’s been a couple of articles about coffee posted on the Internet in recent days, extolling the benefits of coffee.

Doing a search on the Internet for COFFEE, pulls up over 293M hits.  Narrowing that search to COFFEE, BACK PAIN pulls up over 91M hits.  COFFEE, AGING, 74M hits.  Considering that the population of planet Earth is a bit over 6B, that means about 1 in 1000 (approx.) has an opinion about coffee consumption and its effect on our bodies.

I was going to post a few links, however, with so many links available, and very easy to obtain, you can narrow your search parameters.

I did however, read/skim through some of these links.  Some were ‘medical’ entries, others were blog entries.  Some were [apparently] written by medical/professional people, while others were written by ‘someone’.  Going through the 20 or so entries I choose at random, I can tell by the writing, who IS a coffee drinker, and who IS NOT a coffee drinker.

Some articles gave the benefits, while others told the woes of coffee consumption.  Some concentrated on the caffeine contained in coffee, some the antioxidants in coffee, and some the cortisol effects.  Some articles were pro-coffee, and others were not.

Sure, it would have been easy to just choose articles that I wanted to read – those that back up my opinion, that coffee is okay.  But I was also willing to read what others had to say.

Coffee has been around longer than most human beings.  The most common ingredient in coffee that everyone seems to be more concerned with, is caffeine. Okay, caffeine has been [apparently] proven to be a drug.  A legal drug, but a drug nonetheless.  Once you include caffeine as a harmful thing, well, then you have to start considering tea, coffee, chocolate, and soft drinks.  BTW, caffeine garners almost 50M hits.

I will admit, that I’ve been drinking coffee for a very long time.  On occasion, I can remember times as a kid, mom would put a couple teaspoons of her coffee into a glass of milk and we’d drink it.  My earliest recollections of drinking coffee.  However, I’m sure that I was eating chocolate WAY before that!

I’m not a big proponent of tea, but I have had my share over the years as well.  In fact, here in Taiwan, when I’m looking for a nice cool drink in the summer months, a cup of oolong iced tea, is a very refreshing change.  For some reason, I’m not big on iced coffee.  I guess I just like a nice hot cup of freshly brewed java.

One particular article I read, basically confirmed what I would tend to agree with.  Coffee and/or caffeine and/or cortisol affects different people in different ways.  When I was younger (teens and early adulthood), I had no problem drinking coffee, literally, all day.  When I was working with the federal government, there was rarely a time when I didn’t have a cup of hot coffee sitting on my desk.  It never seemed to disrupt my sleeping habits having a cup of coffee before bed.  In fact, to me, it made me sleepy.

I used to drink coffee, double double.  That is, double cream and double sugar.  Over time, and actually very early in my 20s, I dropped the sugar, and then the cream.  I found that it was a lot tastier to actually TASTE the coffee that I was drinking.  It’s gotten to the point where I can almost tell the coffee comes from, just by the taste.  I can definitely tell the difference between brewed coffee (that is, coffee brewed from real coffee beans) and instant coffee.  I can also tell the difference between coffee that is fresh, been sitting for a while, and been sitting for a LONG time.

So after all this ‘research’, what have I learned about coffee and caffeine?  I don’t think I’ve really learned anything new.  I’m not naive.  I know that, perhaps in the long run, caffeine is not good for you.  However, when I do read articles that show studies done on thousands of people over a long period of time, and seeing that certain conditions such as heart problems, could actually be reduced by coffee consumption, well, that just adds to my desire to NOT stop drinking this ‘nectar of the gods’.

Do I think that drinking coffee is the cause of this recent back problem?  Certainly not.  If that were the case, considering that I’ve been drinking this nectar for decades, wouldn’t I have come to a similar conclusion several years earlier?

I think I just slipped, landed hard on the ground, not being prepared for the chance that I might slip, and that’s that.  I think it’s more that I’m a little older and my body is just not as supple and flexible as it once was.  That’s just plain aging.

As for the coffee/caffeine situation, you’ll have to make your own decision.  If you feel that it is somehow detrimental or potentially detrimental to you, then stop drinking it.  Keep in mind though, that means you should, and I stress SHOULD, stop drinking tea, soft drinks, and eating chocolate.  If you’re ready for a complete lifestyle change, and think that dropping all these ‘goodies’ from your diet, then so be it.

Personally, coffee is still part of my life, and will be for the foreseeable future.  I can’t see myself giving up on and never again having a cup of freshly brewed coffee, or that wonderful piece of chocolate.

Besides, I think there are more chocoholics out there than coffee hounds!

That’s it, that’s all… for now!


1 Comment

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One response to “June 3, 2012

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