There is an odd American sentiment, leftover from Puritans and teetotalers, that productive behaviors are corrosive. We look at the minority of people who abuse a certain food, agent, or lifestyle, and then we proceed to deem the food, agent, or lifestyle as evil. That fallacy leads us to try eliminating or banning things for the majority. No. Alcohol isn’t bad. Abuse is counterproductive. Caffeine isn’t bad. Abuse is counterproductive. No behavior which helps us perform or manage stress better is bad. Merely, its abuse is counterproductive.
Caffeine is an anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and mitochondrial efficiency agent. Check the Blue Zones. The longest lived people on earth have coffee and/or tea. Studies confirm that even cardiac tissue works BETTER (take note, I did not say HARDER). Caffeine helps regulate brown fat to counter obesity:
That all said, there are people who are sensitive to caffeine. When gut health is compromised, caffeine may not be well tolerated. Those with MTHFR gene variants have to microdose and pair with other supplements like b vitamins, vitamin c, taurine and magnesium. And then, of course, we should all fast from certain things periodically. So there should be a season of time every once in a while where we stop, so as to re-upregulate receptors, and ensure we truly aren’t becoming chronic abusers.
Regardless, when considering a “taboo” substance, you’d do well to evaluate the known chemistry. Pointing to a statistical analysis is misleading. There are studies which tried to tie energy drinks to tachyarrhythmias. I don’t doubt it. This doesn’t call caffeine into question. It doesn’t call energy drinks into question. It calls wanton abuse and unknown dosing into question. Likewise with a personal anecdote or a neighbor’s scary story about a “caffeine reaction,” that story tells us that the person wasn’t healthy enough and didn’t dose low enough for their given body mass and current status of resilience.
That is, if 400mg caffeine strikes you as too much, even when you pair it with vitamin c and/or other management techniques, then try 200. Try 100. Try 50. Try 25. The dose makes the cure. The dose makes the poison. The chemical isn’t good or bad. But how can you utilize it to be productive? How can you abuse it to be counterproductive? Those are the questions. And, if you can’t find their answers, then don’t have it. That’s fine too.
Just please stop vilifying it in the face of understood mechanisms. That’s unscientific, purposely unsophisticated, and disingenuous. It’s a leftover sentiment from a bygone American era. Caffeine could help someone you know survive.
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