Okay. Caffeine- Good or Bad? I have read studies advocating both. I've even seen gyms that promote caffeine. I have heard that caffeine causes insulin spikes, but I have also heard that it is good for your health in certain amounts. I'm looking for clarity on caffeine!
I avoid it. I look around at everyone I work with, and see how they "need" their coffee in the morning to function, and I don't want to be like that. The vast majority of the adult population is dependent on caffeine. It's crazy.
Caffeine is like any other drug -- over time you need more of it to get the same effect. That's how 1 cup of coffee per day turns into several over the long term. There was a study earlier this year (which I can't find right now) which showed that caffeine actually causes fatigue over time. Some good into here also: http://www.naturalnews.com/012352.html
Caffeine is a natural occurring pesticide:
"Caffeine is found in varying quantities in the beans, leaves, and fruit of some plants, where it acts as a natural pesticide that paralyzes and kills certain insects feeding on the plants".
It is probably the worlds most widely used drug. But just because everyone else is doing it doesn't mean you should.
Here is a major problem with coffee. Studies take people who do not consume caffeine and then add it to their diet. Sure, its EASY to show that caffeine helps lose weight and a whole host of other 'pluses' going from no caffeine to caffeine. Bet we could conduct the same exact studies with almost any stimulant including nicotine, cocaine, and amphetamine (all shown to lower weight) and have other 'positive results'.
On the other side of the coin, I have yet to read a single person write 'I quit coffee and feel horrible after the temporary withdrawal side effects passed'. Instead, there are literally millions of people (google) who feel 'so much', '100%', etc better after quitting coffee.
How 'good for you' can anything be, that prompts withdrawal symptoms from you once you stop taking it? Whether it is coffee, opiates, benzos, amphetamines, cocaine, or nicotine?
Furthermore, every single one of those addictive drugs above has been proven 'safe' by studies and the governments of the world.
Coffee - obviously legal and supposedly 'safe'- starbucks,maxwell house, dunkin
Opiates - obviously legal and supposedly 'safe' - morphine, oxycodone, etc , Pain meds
Amphetamines - obviously legal and supposedly 'safe' - ritalin, provigil(sort of), ADD meds
Benzos - " " - valium, xanax
Cocaine - " " - cocaine is still used in medical practice
Nicotine - " " - by itself (without the smoke) another great stimulant like coffee.
The REAL TESTS should be how people feel AFTER stopping and after withdrawal has passed whether it is coffee or any other drug and Im pretty sure you will conclude that there is ample evidence to support that people are better off not consuming any addictive substances.
P.S. addiction = the hijacking of the mind and various body systems/subsystems + the webster definition
Caffeine improves althletic performance. That's why its banned by the IOC. Its a stimulant which puts a load on adrenals and the liver. Best to avoid, but may be fine in small amounts (much like ethanol).
Disclosure: This advice brought to you by a serious caffeine addict.
Gave up coffee recently. My mood and energy levels are so much more stable, even though I did have to whether about a week of withdrawl. I might have a genetic predisposition to chemical dependency though. I remember as a child my father lying in bed in the dark for days with a serious pounding headache when his doctor told him to give up coffee because of ulcers.
I'm pretty happy with yerba mate in the morning now. I don't do much and if I don't drink any it's not like my day is ruined like it was with coffee.
I don't know if it spikes insulin, but it does lower your sensitivity.
I used to drink a lot of coffee, 3-5 cups a day. I decided to cut back on caffeine, but not eliminate it completely. I have 1-2 cups of coffee in the morning everyday. On the rare day that I don't get enough sleep but still want to get in a good workout I'll have a half cup 15 mins before exercising. I don't drink any type of soda or take caffeine pills, so coffee is my only source.
I did a whole bunch of research on caffeine and coffee yesterday (caffeine in green tea and its effects on the body are supposedly different than coffee-and green tea has much less caffeine than coffee) and hope I am not violating etiquette by posting the studies I found here. After reading these things below, I decided to try swapping coffee with green tea for a while and see what happens bc I have a bad insulin problem. I LOVE coffee. This is a sampling of what I found-- too bad some studies have such small subject #s:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17998023 Metabolic and hormonal effects of caffeine: randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial. MacKenzie T, Comi R, Sluss P, Keisari R, Manwar S, Kim J, Larson R, Baron JA. Source Department of Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH 03755, USA. email@example.com Abstract In short-term studies, caffeine has been shown to increase insulin levels, reduce insulin sensitivity, and increase cortisol levels. However, epidemiological studies have indicated that long-term consumption of beverages containing caffeine such as coffee and green tea is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. There is a paucity of randomized studies addressing the metabolic and hormonal effects of consuming caffeine over periods of more than 1 day. We evaluated the effect of oral intake of 200 mg of caffeine taken twice a day for 7 days on glucose metabolism, as well as on serum cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and androstenedione, and on nighttime salivary melatonin. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover study with periods of 7 days and washouts of 5 days comparing caffeine with placebo capsules was conducted. Participants were 16 healthy adults aged 18 to 22 years with a history of caffeine consumption. Blood samples from each subject were assayed for glucose, insulin, serum cortisol, DHEA, and androstenedione on the eighth day of each period after an overnight fast. Nighttime salivary melatonin was also measured. Insulin levels were significantly higher (by 1.80 microU/mL; 95% confidence interval, 0.33-3.28) after caffeine intake than after placebo. The homeostasis model assessment index of insulin sensitivity was reduced by 35% (95% confidence interval, 7%-62%) by caffeine. There were no differences in glucose, DHEA, androstenedione, and melatonin between treatment periods. This study provides evidence that daily caffeine intake reduces insulin sensitivity; the effect persists for at least a week and is evident up to 12 hours after administration.
This is also interesting – about coffee’s effect on people with a gluten sensitivity: http://drclark.typepad.com/dr_david_clark/pcos/
Here's another one: Caffeine May Hamper Blood Sugar Control Caffeine at Mealtime May Cause Problems for People With Type 2 Diabetes
WebMD Health News July 26, 2004 -- Caffeine may cause problems with blood sugar control after meals for people with type 2 diabetes, according to a new study. Although more research is needed to confirm these results, researchers say their findings show that people with diabetes who have problems with glucose and insulin control should consider cutting back on caffeine in their diets. The study showed that after a large dose of caffeine, blood glucose and insulin levels surge in response after meals in people with type 2 diabetes. These patients can have high insulin levels because they inefficiently use the hormone to lower blood glucose. "In a healthy person, glucose is metabolized within an hour or so after eating. Diabetics, however, do not metabolize glucose as efficiently," says researcher James D. Lane, PhD, associate research professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University, in a news release. "It appears that diabetics who consume caffeine are likely having a harder time regulating their insulin and glucose levels than those who don't take caffeine." "The goal of clinical treatment for diabetes is to keep the person's blood glucose down," says Lane. Caffeine May Interfere With Glucose Control In the study, published in the August issue of Diabetes Care, researchers looked at the effects of caffeine on glucose and insulin levels in 14 people with type 2 diabetes who regularly drank coffee. None of the participants required insulin therapy as part of their diabetes treatment. The participants were observed on two different mornings after an overnight fast and abstinence from caffeine. On the observation days, the participants took their prescribed diabetes medications and provided a blood sample 30 minutes later. While still fasting they were then given two 125-milligram capsules of caffeine or a placebo. A cup of coffee contains from 80 milligrams to 175 milligrams of caffeine. A second set of blood tests were then analyzed an hour after the taking the pills. Participants were then fed a liquid meal containing 75 grams of carbohydrates and another 125-milligram caffeine capsule or placebo. Additional blood samples were taken an hour and two hours following the meal. The study showed that caffeine had little effect on glucose and insulin levels during the fasting period, but it caused significant surges after eating a meal. People who received the 375-milligram dose of caffeine experienced a 21% larger increase in glucose levels and a 48% larger increase in insulin levels compared with those who took the placebo during the two hours following their meals. "It seems that caffeine, by further impairing the metabolism of meals, is something diabetics ought to consider avoiding. Some people already watch their diet and exercise regularly," says Lane. "Avoiding caffeine might be another way to better manage their disease. In fact, it's possible that staying away from caffeine could provide bigger benefits altogether." The researchers say that blood sugars after meals correspond more closely to overall blood glucose control and may more accurately predict heart disease risk.
** There are also articles that say coffee raises testosterone, some others say lowers testosterone (you canm look up artciles on coffee and balding). Conflicting evidence that it reduces risk for Type II diabetes but then above show it has bad effect on insulin, glucose, and cortisol. Other studies say it reduces risk of alzheimers' and depression in children. So there's lots of conflicting evidence, and also seems in some respects good for you, some bad. And I've heard it wears down your adrenals and causes stress, anxiety in some. I think I remember reading in this book called The Orgasm Diet that they addressed coffee, but can't remember what they said. Because personally I have such a bad insulin problem, I am not doing it. But I bet most people would be okay with moderate amounts. I also didnt like being dependent on it to function. But boy do i miss it!!!
Also note there are other studies on decaf.
Just thinking evolutionarily I would say that we did not evolve to be who we are today with caffeine-containing things as a part of our diet.
That being said, I view it as a tool that we now posses and that we can use. I have my 1.5 cups in the morning and im done for the day, but its useful for what it does: fuel me to get out that door, then the rest of the day takes its course.
Insulin-relation i dont know. Hope it doesnt spike insulin i suppose, but hoping that most people dont take too much throughout the day even if it spiked the insulin a bit, i cant see it being that big a deal.
I have heard some people (including Wolf in his podcasts) mention having some caffeine in the form of some kind of coffee pre-workout for a little fuel bump. I suppose that would help, but i havent found the need for it. (Then again, if i had little kids at home, a crappier job, and sat in traffic i'd prolly need that bump, too:)
I'm not giving up espresso. The rest of my diet and lifestyle is in check so I don't see how a small vice like this could ruin everything.
Caffeine might not be totally paleo, but if you get some in moderate amounts and that your lifestyle (eating, stress, sleep, etc.) is in check, I say go for it.
It surely did not stop my progress.
I will not give up my morning black coffee. I love the smell and the taste, and I love relaxing with a hot cup for a few minutes before all the morning craziness starts. I have switched to "half-caf," brewed with a mix of half decaf and half regular. Is the hazelnut flavoring/aroma ok? Does anyone know what it's made of?