SaWaSaurus

How harmful is daily long-term use of caffeine?

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Most people see caffeine is virtually harmless, but is that really the case? Sure it isn't as harmful as harder drugs like alcohol, but what are the physiological effects of daily long-term caffeine use?

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I don't know a whole lot, but from personal experience I can contribute the anecdote that it's addictive as hell. I get so groggy without it and basically a huge migraine headache I am barely good for anything for a few days. For some it can be as addictive as any bad hard drug but because basically every society on earth accepts it and it's affordable it's not the worst thing ever.  I do think being addicted to anything eventually can start messing you up mentally, I know I have psychological flaws and knowing that I require drugs just to feel normal & functional probably doesn't help.

As far as I know it doesn't really have many detrimental health consequences, I don't think I've seen a single one really scientifically proven... I believe some studies have even shown better health in long term consumers of caffeine but maybe it's despite it & not because of it.

The fact that it's got some data to support that it enhances athletic performance is mainly why I don't bother quitting and always kind of embraced it.

Edited by CMacD

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2 hours ago, CMacD said:

I don't know a whole lot, but from personal experience I can contribute the anecdote that it's addictive as hell. I get so groggy without it and basically a huge migraine headache I am barely good for anything for a few days. For some it can be as addictive as any bad hard drug but because basically every society on earth accepts it and it's affordable it's not the worst thing ever.  I do think being addicted to anything eventually can start messing you up mentally, I know I have psychological flaws and knowing that I require drugs just to feel normal & functional probably doesn't help.

As far as I know it doesn't really have many detrimental health consequences, I don't think I've seen a single one really scientifically proven... I believe some studies have even shown better health in long term consumers of caffeine but maybe it's despite it & not because of it.

The fact that it's got some data to support that it enhances athletic performance is mainly why I don't bother quitting and always kind of embraced it.

Short term athletic performance, like high bursts of power and energy. This can definitely apply to training. But long term like a 2 hour sports game, it will do you more harm in the end thats why serious athletes dont take it before games.


"Started from the bottom and I just realized I'm still there since the money and the fame is an illusion" -Drake doing self-inquiry

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Not particularly harmful however it does drain your own vitality by calling up on surges of adrenaline and cortisol. This stimulation is rapid, drains a lot of nutrients and may backfire on you by weakening your adrenal glands after years of abuse which may lead to chronic depression, fibromyalgia, lack of mood and a lot of systemic inflammation that won't go away because your adrenals won't be able to pump out sufficient cortisol to couteract the inflammation. 

But taken couple times a week without dairy milk from an organic source is probably alright :) Although matcha tea would be a better go to. 

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@SaWaSaurus try stopping coffee and you’ll see. Most things that are bad for us, when we stop them it creates emotional suffering. Drugs, foods, TV, Social Media, talking etc... 

I’m on day 7 of quitting coffee cold turkey and I hate my life. It sucks bad dude! 

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On 9/6/2019 at 2:18 AM, Michael569 said:

Not particularly harmful however it does drain your own vitality by calling up on surges of adrenaline and cortisol. This stimulation is rapid, drains a lot of nutrients and may backfire on you by weakening your adrenal glands after years of abuse which may lead to chronic depression, fibromyalgia, lack of mood and a lot of systemic inflammation that won't go away because your adrenals won't be able to pump out sufficient cortisol to couteract the inflammation. 

But taken couple times a week without dairy milk from an organic source is probably alright :) Although matcha tea would be a better go to. 

Have you ever looked into ashwaganda for adrenal health?


"Started from the bottom and I just realized I'm still there since the money and the fame is an illusion" -Drake doing self-inquiry

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I recently did a review of the scientific data available about coffee and caffeine and it appears to be safe in moderation if not beneficial e.g.:

 
 
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 Advanced issues found
 
 
Quote

typical moderate caffeine intake is not associated with increased risks of total cardiovascular disease; arrhythmia; heart failure; blood pressure changes among regular coffee drinkers; or hypertension in baseline populations

Caffeine and cardiovascular health (2017)

coffee was associated with a probable decreased risk of breast, colorectal, colon, endometrial, and prostate cancers; cardiovascular disease and mortality; Parkinson’s disease; and type-2 diabetes .... Caffeine was associated with a probable decreased risk of breast, colorectal, colon, endometrial, and prostate cancers; cardiovascular disease and mortality;

Coffee, Caffeine, and Health Outcomes: An Umbrella Review (2017)

I would suggest that you adopt a "caffein strategy", i.e. do your research and then determine when, how often, in which form you want to drink coffee and adhere to it. Additionally, reset your caffein resistance every once in a while e.g. by going coffee-free for a week or two. 

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I'm not sure of scientific data. I follow my experience. I drink tea/coffee without milk or sugar. And I had problems falling asleep for years. I was addicted to green tea, used to drink about a litre of it a day. Now down to maybe 300-400 ml. And stopped drinking it in the evenings. Black coffee raises my anxiety now, I get jittery and irritated and annoyed with minute things. So I avoid it. Tea I find calming. And I try not to drink it out of habit. 

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Caffeine is weird because unlike any other addictive drug that I know of, it actually appears to have a net benefit to health. Some of the benefits include (off the top of my head):

  • increased longevity
  • lower rates of suicide and depression
  • lower rates of many cancers 
  • lower rates of cardiovascular disease

I don't feel like digging up references right now, so if you want to investigate these claims, don't take my word for it and jump on google! These benefits are based on population scale studies, so there's no guarantee that caffeine is right for *you*, it just means that on average, most people are healthier when they drink caffeine.


How to get to infinity? Divide by zero.

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@outlandish I would argue that marijuana is also an addictive substance with benefits. Also sugar is addictive and we need that to live so... 

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For sure marijuana has some benefits for some people some of the time, but I don't think we can even come anywhere close to saying it's of net benefit to consume chronically on a population scale - there just isn't any evidence to support that, whereas with caffeine there is. The little research that exists shows that cannabis is far less harmful than alcohol, but has health risks of it's own, mostly along the mental axis.


How to get to infinity? Divide by zero.

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On 9/6/2019 at 5:18 AM, Michael569 said:

 drains a lot of nutrients and may backfire on you by weakening your adrenal glands after years of abuse which may lead to chronic depression, fibromyalgia, lack of mood and a lot of systemic inflammation that won't go away because your adrenals won't be able to pump out sufficient cortisol to couteract the inflammation. 

 

If you could actually prove this to me I'd probably quit.

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13 hours ago, CMacD said:

If you could actually prove this to me I'd probably quit.

Try an experiment. Go heavy on coffee every single day of a month and then quit for a week cold turkey. The withdrawal will be your sign of the addictive nature of this drink. One can definitely weaken their adrenal glands. This can happen from chronic stress or genetically and aily stimulant abuse contributes as well. In medicine there is a condition called Adisson's disease which is basically adrenal failure but they don't just fail, they gradually weaken which comes with a set of side effects. 

 

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