The Way to BE

Are You Using Coffee As A Crutch For Happiness?

By Donna Gates, as seen on:

About 80% of the caffeine in the world is consumed as coffee. For some, coffee is a mere morning ritual. For others, they can’t go a day without it.

Research is finding that one reason so many people are addicted to coffee, is that they may be deficient in dopamine.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter. And it is involved in things like:

  • Pleasure
  • Reward
  • Seeing a project through until it is complete
  • The ability to resist impulsive behavior

Too little dopamine can also pose a problem. Too little, and we see things like:

  • Depression
  • Binge eating
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Addiction
  • Parkinson’s disease

However, it is also possible to have too much dopamine in the system. When this happens, we see a rise in aggression and intense sexual feelings. Illicit drugs like cocaine and methamphetamines strongly increase the amount of circulating dopamine.

According to the Nurses’ Health Study that was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2011, coffee does in fact reduce the risk of depression.

The study was observational, which means that is was by no means conclusive.

However, while this research may give people the license to drink more coffee, it is misleading. This is because the coffee itself may then lead to an increase in the root of the depression by further taxing your system, creating more stress, and damaging the delicate pH of your stomach.

If you drink coffee on a regular basis but are struggling with health issues–even if minor, such as weight that won’t budge or low energy–it may be best to remove coffee altogether.

There are two important reasons:

  1. Coffee is a stimulant. If you use coffee to get through the morning, think clearly or push through an afternoon lull, chances are that coffee is pushing your adrenal glands beyond their limit. The result? An inability to properly regulate blood sugar, weakened immune function, and a system that is in constant overdrive.
  2. Coffee is one of the most cross-reactive substances with wheat gluten. Gluten sensitivity is becoming more common. As more people tune into their bodies and realize that their joint or skin issues have to do with their digestion, they cut out common irritants like wheat and dairy.

However, gluten sensitivity does not end with wheat. Some foods are cross-reactive. This means that they stimulate a gluten reaction, even though they contain no wheat gluten. Coffee is one of the most common cross-reactive foods with wheat gluten.

For those who feel the coffee addiction, do some research on an amino acid called L-Tyrosine. Tyrosine is a precursor to dopamine and often helps give people the lift they need without the side effects. If it’s the taste you crave—there are natural coffee beverages on the market, like Dandy Blend, that will satisfy those taste buds.

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  • Zoe

    Thanks for the article - the question is if we can consume some decaf coffee on the first phase of the diet (eg once a week). Is decaf the same as cafeinated? Thanks!

  • Dustin

    Great article, I have been craving coffee alot lately and now I know why :) I'll have to buy some Tyrosine. Thanks!!

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