Can we just get a health decision on Caffeine — please?!

Today’s post comes courtesy of three hours of restless sleep.  If I fade into a ramble of utter nonsense, stick with me — I’ll come around to the my point again…eventually.  And while the occasional bad night’s sleep is far from unusual, I’m not so sure we do much about them except pray for deep slumber the following night.  But I can’t seem to let it lie.  I have to diagnose “why,” determine a “what,” and conclude with the “how” I’m going to prevent a recurrence.  It’s my nature…I’m a Controller-Analyzer…I can’t be helped.  When it was all boiled down to a heaping mass of confusion, a simple change in my daily habits seemed to be the culprit!

Recently, I’d cut my usual intake of caffeine from four cups (grande, or viente specifically) to nada.  Yep…complete cold turkey.  I had help and I’m not ashamed to tell you about it.  We’d lost electricity in a February storm for about four days…days I was not going to the office…and  with no means to make coffee, and with our town’s power down as well…no means to buy a brewed cup…I found myself decaffeinating over a four day period.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner

“Great,” say the experts, “caffeine is not good for your overall health…and at your age you don’t need the increased stress, blood pressure, heart disease, impact on your diabetes, etc, etc.”

Not so fast!  First off…I do feel better.  I don’t hit that point at 3pm when I’m so ramped-up I can’t think…or I find myself trying to think about 20 things simultaneously.  I don’t have the 6pm crash…followed by a 9pm reawakening that keeps me up way too late.  So things were good until today…that’s when I read this:  How Caffeine Works, which offered four benefits of caffeine that immediately caught my eye:

  • Regular coffee drinkers were 80 percent less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease.
  • Two cups a day reduced subjects’ risk for colon cancer by 20 percent.
  • Two cups a day caused an 80 percent drop in the odds of developing cirrhosis.
  • Two cups a day cut the risk of developing gallstones in half.

So now something else to keep me awake…should I take my chances with high blood pressure and diabetes (both under great control by the way, and have been dating back before the de-caffeination!)?  Or cut my risk of Parkinson’s, colon cancer, and gallstones?  I discount cirrhosis because I’m not a heavy drinker!

This all really just boils down to a simple request…please:  “Can’t we just get a final health decision on caffeine, one way or the other?”  Is it too much to ask?  Well, now I’m so worked up I need some chamomile tea — decaf, of course!

Until next time…cheers!

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