Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Oh look, it's...

For as long as I can remember, my mother has called the 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. time span "coffee o'clock." At one point during that time frame, you will see Jane Bradshaw walking around with a coffee mug in her hand full of fresh brew. Although I have been out of the house for almost 4 years now, this habit has followed me over into East Tennessee. I don't know if it is a force of habit or what but when I hit that after exhaustion 'wall,' I hear Jane in the back of mind saying that it's time for the brew.

Caffeine is an ever growing need that I must satisfy on a daily basis. I have a cup of coffee in the morning, a Diet Dr. Pepper with lunch, and another cup of coffee or other source of caffeine in the afternoon. A lot of times I don't drink them to perk me up, I drink them out of habit. "Coffee o'clock" has forever ruined me in needing caffeine in the afternoon hours, even if I haven't had a strenuous day. Today for example, I needed the 4:27p.m. Java Chip frappacino (no whip cream) from Starbucks that I bought because I have class until 8:00 tonight. So my coffee obsession comes from not only needing it but also as a force of habit.

Some of you may be asking, can you even become addicted to caffeine? As a matter of fact, you most certainly can! According to WedMD, caffeine is a stimulant to the nervous system, and regular use of caffeine does cause mild physical dependence. Just an hour ago a friend of mine asked me what I was giving up for lent. I said I didn't know yet and she mentioned to maybe give up soft drinks...NOOOOO MA'AM! If I do not have a diet soda everyday, I get the absolute worst caffeine headaches. Now I am not blaming my mom at all but she made me caffeine dependent starting at an early age (at least 9). I do not consider caffeine or coffee to be bad things, they have both positive and negative health effects.

-possible protection against Parkinson's disease, type II diabetes & liver cancer
-no connection between coffee and heart disease OR cancer
-high antioxidant content
-gets your hands warm on a cold day

-high consumption is associated with mild elevations in cholesterol levels
-4 to 7 cups a day can lead to: restlessness, sleeplessness, irritability and anxiety
-the old myth "it will stunt your growth"
-yellowing of the teeth...

With no regard to the positives or negatives of this hot, dark brown brew, I will continue to consume my coffee as long as it is available to me. In a way, even after moving to Knoxville, I still acknowledge "coffee o'clock" because it is like having a piece of my mom with me. So next time you raise up your brew in your favorite mug or Starbucks cup, remember these points that proves that coffee is your friend...
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