Monthly Affirmation

may I be I is the only prayer - not may I be great or good or beautiful or wise or strong. ~e.e. cummings

Monday, December 28, 2009

Why do we crave it?

Caffeine is a natural stimulant. A stimulant is a substance that increases the activity of a living organism or one of its parts. Caffeine was named after the shrubby coffee plant, which is native to the eastern African nation of Ethiopia. Although coffee is an ancient drink, it was not until 1821 that German chemist Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge finally isolated caffeine from the coffee bean.

Chemically speaking, caffeine is a bitter white alkaloidA nitrogen-containing substance found in plants.. Its chemical formula is C8H10N4O2, and it is found especially in coffee and tea. Caffeine is considered both a drug and a psychoactive substance. Such substances alter the user's mental state or change behavior.

As a mild stimulant, it is often used medicinally to treat certain kinds of headache pain. Caffeine consumption speeds up the rate at which chemical reactions occur in the body. By increasing the heart and breathing rates, it helps more oxygen get to the brain. It also acts as a diuretic (pronounced die-er-EH-tik), a substance that reduces bodily fluids by increasing the production of urine.

Moderation Is the Key

Caffeine is usually thought to be safe in moderate amounts. Experts consider 200–300 mg of caffeine a day to be a moderate amount for adults. But consuming as little as 100 mg of caffeine a day can lead a person to become "dependent" on caffeine. This means that someone may develop withdrawal symptoms (like tiredness, irritability, and headaches) if he or she quits caffeine suddenly.

What are you consuming?

More comprehensive listing of caffeine content in drinks.

I know that I have gone through periods of my life where I crave it and periods where I have had hardly any. Now I strive for a balance with a little caffeine in my teas and try to stay away from many of the other options. Today ... as tired as I was this morning I bought a sugar free AMP ... 140 mg of caffeine and had a chocolate bar for the sugar (which would have had more caffeine). But I have been thinking about this for a few days and just had to start pulling together my thoughts somewhere.

I am not telling anyone to not drink what they want but rather be aware of what you are putting in your body.


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"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly." – Buddha