Guest Author - Gayle E. Santana
As a coffee drinker, you are probably always asking yourself if you are drinking too much coffee. And if you are asking yourself this question, you probably are. But to drink or not to drink coffee and how much you should drink is really a personal matter.
Stimulating drinks like coffee have been around since the beginning of time so we are certainly not unique in our love of coffee. But how do we know when we have had too much?
Studies have shown that coffee can be both good and bad. Vanderbilt University Institute for Coffee Studies (yes, there is an entire institute devoted to coffee consumption) states, “…the latest scientific evidence indicates that in moderation (2 to 4 cups per day) coffee may offer key health benefits.” Yet another study done by Professor Ana Baylin from Brown University shows that a cup of coffee may cause a heart attack in some people within an hour of drinking it.
Check in with your doctor. Get a complete physical and ask your doctor if coffee can aggravate any underlying medical conditions you may have or have an adverse affect with any medications you may be taking. This is a great way to decide if you are drinking too much coffee or if you should be drinking coffee at all.
How are you feeling? Are you feeling jittery or getting headaches? If you are feeling some side affects after drinking a cup of coffee, then maybe cutting back is something you should consider.
If you drink coffee or any caffeinated drink regularly and you try quitting cold turkey, you may experience a few days of withdrawal symptoms like headaches. In the extreme, you could also experience fatigue, depression, irritability, difficulty concentrating, flu-like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, and stiffness. The good news is that most people can quit drinking coffee or other caffeinated drinks without checking into rehab.
Moderation is defined as an avoidance of extremes. Ask yourself honestly, am I being extreme in my coffee consumption? Is it affecting my health or just the way I feel in a negative way? Am I unable to sleep? Do I need a 12-step program to stop? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, consider cutting back.
Try drinking less or even halve your caffeinated coffee with decaf. You can even try making your coffee with half the amount i.e. one scoop instead of two with the same amount of water. After adding your normal fixings like milk and sugar, you may find you like it just as much and yet not feel any of the side affects of cutting back.