http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/caffeine.shtml Ray's caffeine ideas have made me think more about it.
I stopped drinking coffee and black tea a few weeks ago as an experiment, and I am not going back.I have more energy(bye bye mid-day work crashes),and my formerly flagging libido has returned.Skin looks better,teeth looks better.Think it's just a matter of personal body chemistry,though.I was an amphetamine addict and have gluten ataxia,so my nervous system doesn't function at top level.
Thanks for the article. Pre-paleo I think it was a necessity for me because I was on the grain roller coaster that just made mornings awful. So I sort of love/hated it. Now that I'm eating cleanly and wake up easier/have more energy, my morning coffee is my friend. Taking the "need" for it away has let me enjoy it. I'm actually sipping from my mug and typing right now! Great way to start my day.
In general it's one of those things that some people will do well with and others won't.
I see caffeine in the same light as anything else people digest: it effects everyone differently and you can find evidence for healthful and deleterious effects that are attributed to it.
I think caffeine in small doses (1-2 cups of coffee or several cups of tea) is fine for most people and can be a great treat. It can even be beneficial; however, I agree with the poster who said it is personal. I can handle caffeine just fine, but my husband gets headaches and other annoying/painful side effects from it so he avoids it.
A very interesting article - but remember 'correlation does not equal causation'! Personally I love coffee, but there is a high level of acrylamide in instant coffee so I limit instant coffee to one a day. Ground coffee is enjoyable but can disrupt my sleep, so again I limit it to one a day.
IIRC, coffee increases cortisol, so if you are fasting, coffee can help you get through the hunger. Whether you want to repeatedly stimulate your cortisol receptors chronically and regularly is another matter. It may be best to skip coffee every other day, or at least vary your intake.
Caffeine often gives me headaches and makes me extremely irritable in higher doses (or normal doses taken over a longer period of time, say, everyday for a week) so I tend to stay away from it although I thoroughly enjoy the taste of coffee. I don't see that it is necessary to incorporate into a healthy lifestyle. On occassion I'll partake but more often than not I'll drink 95% decaf/5% caf (if I make it myself) as a treat. I think the notion of elevating caffeine beyond a drug, as per the article, is going a little far.