Most people won’t leave the house, can’t make it through the workday, and refuse to smile or engage in any form of polite conversation without it. It’s become more of a life force than a soothing beverage. I’m (uncomfortably) confident assuming that a vast percentage of people would pump it through their veins if a viable option existed. Yes, I’m alluding to that bold, rich cup of Joe, that steamy cup of black tea, and that enormously super-sized cola. I’m referring to the addictive and all-too-familiar substance you’ve had needy love affair with.
If you’re like most people, you’ve heard about caffeine’s health dangers as well as the benefits and — like any good addict — you’ve clung to the latter statistics to justify your dependency.
I get it.
I was in denial that I had become addicted, too. I didn’t indulge in a cup of coffee until my first Starbucks visit when I moved to California. How could I be a caffeine addict if I hadn’t sipped coffee until my 20s? I had forgotten, however, that my Arizona-raised, iced tea obsession later progressed into a bona fide diet soda addiction. So, even though I was 24 years old when I reveled in my first extra-foamy soy grande caffè latte, I had been hooked on caffeine almost my entire adult life. I just didn’t know it yet.
Caffeine: a Drug or a Drink?
According to a recent survey conducted by the U.S. National Coffee Association, 64 percent of people in the U.S. drink coffee — the highest level in the past six years. My husband and I joyfully joined the likes of this group and became self-proclaimed java junkies. He needed his morning mud to get through the day while I savored the social aspect and soothing comfort. Soon, we started brewing organic coffee at home to avoid consuming pesticides. But the health issues were still there: nervousness, jitters, and insomnia. We were consuming vast amounts of purified water, but the daily caffeine, which acts as a stimulant and creates a diuretic effect, was leading to dehydration. Turns out, too much caffeine can also over-stimulate the adrenal glands, causing symptoms of fatigue, insomnia, mood swings, and weight gain. It can even suppress the immune system. So much for that morning perk.
Caffeine Addiction by the Numbers
Caffeine isn’t just in coffee, tea, and soda. It can also be found in chocolate, energy drinks, some beef jerky, and even prescription medications. So, you may be ingesting more than you bargained for. The United States dominates the world in caffeine consumption, at 971 tons per year, while spending $5.17 billion in coffee retail sales in 2016 alone.
As Americans, we’re consuming 2.06 daily cups of coffee, per capita, according to research by the National Coffee Association. Essentially, we’re gulping 146 billion cups of coffee every year. And, it’s not just adults. If you’ve frequented a coffee shop recently, you’ve witnessed the shocking scene of children drinking caffeinated, sugar-laden beverages with their parents. These whipped-cream-topped decadences are setting children up for – not just caffeine addiction – but sugar addiction as well. A Harvard study revealed consuming one 12-ounce sweetened soft drink per day increases a child’s risk of obesity by 60 percent. With the U.S. leading the way in obesity and caffeine consumption, I’d say we have a problem, Houston. The Mayo Clinic says children should avoid caffeine. I second that.
Decaf Isn’t the Answer
You may think that switching to decaf coffee will cure your java woes. Think again. Not only does decaffeinated coffee still contain caffeine, but most brands are made from a chemical process that increase acidity levels in your body. Plus, you aren’t addressing the issues of pesticides, toxic substances you don’t want to ingest in regular or decaf beverages. Alternatively, USDA certified organic coffee beans are grown without toxic pesticides or chemical fertilizers, while Fair Trade brands provide farmers with stable prices that help them to have a reasonable standard of living.
A Healthy Swap: Nutrients, Not Stimulants
When my husband and I discovered a coffee alternative, I was leery. But what really piqued my interest was the fact that Teeccino is a USDA certified organic, vegan, herbal coffee alternative made from fruits, nuts, herbs, and spices. Besides being acid-free, the best part is you can brew it in your own coffee maker. It smells delicious and tastes divine. Plus, you get an energy boost from, not caffeine, but plants rich in nutrients and antioxidants, including flavonoids. The ingredients lower insulin resistance and provide potassium without that crash-and-burn feeling. Teeccino also provides your body with other essential nutrients such as soluble fiber derived from dates, figs, and barley, while chicory and dandelion offer a prebiotic soluble fiber. Teeccino comes in a variety of flavors with Vanilla Nut being our personal favorite. Teeccino is gluten free and each cup contains 650 mg of inulin soluble fiber, which supports beneficial digestive flora, or probiotics.
Sip Your Way to Savings
Listen up bean counters. If I haven’t convinced you that blood sugar spikes, acidity, pesticides, and addictive stimulants aren’t all they’re brewed up to be, perhaps the money savings will convince you to kick the caffeine. My husband and I saved $15 per month — a total of $180 dollars per year just by switching from organic coffee to Teeccino.
Teeccino tastes better than regular coffee, is better for your health, and costs less. I hope you put your money towards better health and kick this addiction with help from Teeccino’s Kick the Caffeine Habit Program.
Feature photo courtesy of Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash