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Coffee addiction remains a divisive topic

Coffee+products+are+now+warranting+an+entire+isle+dedicated+to+them+at+supermarkets%2C+such+as+Festival+Foods+in+Eau+Claire%2C+WI.+
Coffee products are now warranting an entire isle dedicated to them at supermarkets, such as Festival Foods in Eau Claire, WI.

Coffee products are now warranting an entire isle dedicated to them at supermarkets, such as Festival Foods in Eau Claire, WI.

Coffee products are now warranting an entire isle dedicated to them at supermarkets, such as Festival Foods in Eau Claire, WI.


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By Parker Reed & Seth Abrahamson

coffee at Festival Foods

Coffee products are now warranting an entire isle dedicated to them at supermarkets, such as Festival Foods in Eau Claire, WI. ©2017 Parker Reed

A hot cup of coffee after you rise out of bed is not like anything else. To your daily coffee drinker, a day would not be the same if it did not involve that cup or two of java each morning. The sensation of sipping that black liquid cannot be compared to any other drink. Millions of people around the world drink share the same desire every morning and fulfil it with only what a cup of coffee can fulfil. Many of these people do it on a daily basis and could not see their day starting without it, they might even call themselves addicted, but can they be?

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Health Educator, Kate Wilson, said coffee is most certainly a substance an individual can become addicted to.

 

A hot cup of coffee after you rise out of bed is not like anything else. To your daily coffee drinker, a day would not be the same if it did not involve that cup or two of java each morning. The sensation of sipping that black liquid cannot be compared to any other drink. Millions of people around the world drink share the same desire every morning and fulfil it with only what a cup of coffee can fulfil. Many of these people do it on a daily basis and could not see their day starting without it, they might even call themselves addicted, but can they be?

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Health Educator, Kate Wilson, said coffee is most certainly a substance an individual can become addicted to.

 “You can definitely get addicted to coffee,” Wilson said. “When you have too much you build a tolerance to it, and when you take it away you get headaches. If you don’t have your coffee, and you get a headache, you need to address that because you are leaning towards a potentially harmful addiction.”

The question is not whether coffee is addictive. As most researchers and doctors would agree caffeine addiction is real. but they have debated for years if whether coffee can be a healthy addiction, or whether that morning joe can hurt.

Ryan Bleau, a student at the UW-Eau Claire enjoys his daily morning coffee just like many others do. He does not consider himself addicted, regardless of his daily consumption, but does believe it can be an addictive substance.

“I think people can get addicted, a professor of mine experienced withdrawals when we had an immersion trip to China,” Bleau said. “She was miserable for a few days before we could get some coffee.”

In addition to the pleasant taste and odor of coffee, Bleau said coffee is an integral part of his daily routine.

“I drink more than 2 or 3 cups a day, it is a mood enhancer and energy booster,” Bleau said.

Approximately 180 million individuals in the United States start their days with caffeine, according to healthambition.com. Many of these people choose coffee as their caffeine source, and popular coffee outlets such as Starbucks, Caribou Coffee and Dunkin’ Donuts are helping fuel the increased intake of the drink.1991, there were 1,650 specialty coffee shops in the United States, but that number has steadily increased over the past two decades with over 30,000 in 2016, according to healthambition.com.  However, there may be a downside to the cup- sized pick-me-up. According to the Institute for Scientific Information on coffee, a non-profit organization exclusively devoted to studying the health impacts of coffee, drinking coffee in moderation supports heart health and is associated with lowering heart disease. Drinking three to four cups a day could also lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 25 percent.

Paul Weirsgalla owner of Café Tempo in Eau Claire, said that regular consumption helps fight the deadliest disease in the country.

“The majority of Americans get antioxidants from coffee, rates of cancer would go way up if people did not drink coffee,” Weirsgalla said.

Coffee doesn’t just help with lowering the risk for many diseases, it is also our main source of antioxidants, researchers at the University of Scranton found. They noted that coffee is the number one source of antioxidants among Americans, and is by far and away the top source.

It is noted by many of the research studies, antioxidants are a big reason why coffee helps lower the risks of so many of these diseases.

UW-Eau Claire student, Nick Bubolz said, “People drink it probably for the social aspect of it, and for the energy kick you get.”

While many coffee enthusiasts stand firmly behind the positive aspects of the drink, a number of studies show that the drink may not be the “superfood” it is being referred to as.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) recently listed caffeine intoxication among the many disorders known to psychiatry. Some common symptoms associated with caffeine intoxication include restlessness, nervousness, excitement, red face, gastrointestinal upset, muscle twitching, rambling speech, sleeplessness, rapid and irregular heartbeat and other symptoms.

according to Anish Parikh, MD of NYU online Journal of Medicine Prolonged use leads to withdrawal, can cause headache, fatigue, decreased energy and concentration, depression, and irritability (Withdrawal begins within 12-24 hours after the last cup, peaks at 1-2 days, and usually resolves by 8-9 days).

A Starbucks store Manager Trevor Davis sees hundreds of people a day come in for their daily cup of coffee, but also knows what happens to them when they don’t.

“Negative side effects can be the dependency of it, especially when you stop, getting jittery, the withdrawal gets a lot of people, but it only last for a few days,” Davis said.

According to Harvard Medical School, heavy excess in drinking coffee may cause health concerns for women such as cancer and osteoporosis. It also has cardiovascular effects: Increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and occasional irregular heartbeat.

In addition to these negative health effects, a common criticism of the beverage is that it may be an addicting substance, which would worsen the negative health effects theorized to be incorporated with it.

UW-Eau Claire student, Mitch Bohrer, said he believes that coffee may be an addictive substance.

“I am not sure of any harmful benefits, but I know you could become addicted because of the caffeine,” Bohrer said.

The mass amounts of coffee consumption are not the only issue, what else that is consumed by coffee drinkers that causes health problems. According to Parikh from a study mentioned earlier, alcohol use is 50-100% among women who drank over six cups of coffee each day when compared to those who drink one cup or less. Men showed similar results. Heavy excess in drinking coffee may cause health concerns for women such as cancer and osteoporosis. The risks seem higher for women than they do for men, but that could be caused by pregnancy and childbirth. Research shows that drinking coffee on a regular basis can affect the health of the child during pregnancy.

While many of these side effects are worsened by having an addictive consumption habit, Weirsgalla believes that the amount someone should drink is based on their tolerance.

“PersonallyPersonally, I don’t think it’s bad to drink too much, I think people should push to see how much they can consume,” Weirsgalla said.

UW-Eau Claire Health Educator, Christina Purst, echoed Weisgalla’s statement saying cognisant consumption is the key to not having coffee negatively disrupt your daily routine.

“If you’re drinking this cup after cup after cup it is going to affect your sleep at some point, and that is going to greatly deteriorate your health,” Purst said. “I always recommend confine your coffee consumption to before 2 p.m. so that your sleep schedule is not affected.”

After seeing the amount of conflicting surveys and reports, UW-Eau Claire Health Educator Kate Wilson said the judgment should be made by smart consumers of these articles.

“It’s important to be a smart consumer of research,” Wilson said. “For example, if you’re looking at a research study that’s telling you coffee is good for your health, well who is paying for that research? Is it the coffee industry or an unbiased organization? You can really spin things according to what your agenda is.”

Even after doing some independent research on the topic, Wilson said this topic is one in which much debate will be had.

“It’s a gray area. Some experts are saying it’s good, some say it’s bad,” Wilson said. “There have been studies that have shown it’s protective from depression in women when drunk in moderation. But then again it can increase anxiety in some people. It’s a tough one to nail down.”

While there are conflicting reports regarding whether coffee is an unhealthy drink or not, many individuals believe that the substance (and specifically the caffeine within it) have a strong probability of addiction associated with it.

Until more conclusive evidence is found, Weirsgalla said the drink is really the “superfood” it is being proclaimed to be.

“If a man has nothing, and you give him a cup of coffee, he’s suddenly human again,” Weirsgalla said.

 

A long form discussion between the two authors about the positives and negatives of drinking coffee, based on professional sources.

©2017

 

 

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Coffee addiction remains a divisive topic