Click to listen to the audio…
Java Junkies. The truth about caffeine addiction
The experts both psychologists and pharmacologists, tell us NO you cannot be a java junkie.
You may feel like you “need” a cup of coffee to make it through the day, your body may not appreciate you failing to top it up with caffeine, but this is not true addiction.
Addiction is typically associated with your whole world coming unglued
Real Junkies suffer life meltdowns without their fix
Let’s be honest – have you heard of someone losing their job, spouse or house, because of caffeine. Clandestine meetings at the coffee house, may be grounds for a divorce, but caffeine cannot bear the responsibility for human infidelity.
Physiologically speaking real addictions involve disruptions to an area of your brain responsible for controlling your “rewards”, called the nuclear accumbens.
Now, normal caffeine doses, do buy tickets into the nuclear accumbens theme park, but you don’t get enough tickets, to trigger dependence.
Still need to up the dose to maintain the benefit
That said, you will need to progressively increase your dose of caffeine, because your body gets accustomed to the caffeine.
The problem is tolerance not addiction.
Think of your brain activity, as a see-saw. When you are “normal” (okay, maybe you’re never normal but hopefully you have had times in your life when you have been “drug” free), then the stuff turning you on is balanced by the stuff turning you off.
Caffeine steps into the equation. It is a stimulant, so it turns on the excitatory part of your nervous system. And you are buzzing.
Your body doesn’t like to be out of balance, so it works hard to restore things back to normal, by increasing the inhibitory signals.
Now you can drink a cup of coffee and feel nothing !
You are considered to be tolerant.
Of course there is little value in drinking your caffeine fix and getting nothing, so you adjust and increase the dose (either by adding a second spoon to the first cup or a second cup to the first). The see saw swings down again and once more you are buzzed.
Unfortunately the compensatory mechanism pulls everything back to level.
The cycle continues…
Flat lining on vacation
Your annual vacation arrives and you leave the cell phone, the laptop and the coffee pot and head to a quiet tranquil beach, to vegetate in the sun.
You develop the headache from hell and an unspeakable listlessness, sometime on the first day of your vacation. It hangs around pretty much for the first few days of your holiday – in fact it finally lifts on Friday, as you are packing your bags to drive back home.
You are facing the “backlash” – caffeine withdrawal.
The caffeine backlash
The headache is due to blood vessels in your head dilating.
If we go back to the see saw. Remember your body had learned to compensate for the extra excitation, by increasing the inhibitory signals. Everything was balanced , until you missed the cup of joe.
The see saw swung down with a thump. Too many inhibitory signals, produces the extreme fatigue, as well as the headache.
Your super efficient body machine, quickly begins to work at restoring the balance and by the end of your weeks holiday has got you back to “normal”.
Avoiding caffeine vacuum when holidaying
So a helpful tip, when planning a few days off, one should begin tapering your daily dose of caffeine, since suddenly stopping, is likely to precipitate problems.
If the thought of facing the day without a little pharmacological stimulation is impossible to contemplate, then make sure you take a supply of coffee with, on your vacation.
Join the java junkie club
Stop stressing about being a java junkie and enjoy the numerous benefits of the little bean. Just be sure to use it wisely……………. a good night’s sleep is a must, if you want to enjoy BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY.
Turns out humans are not the only ones enjoying the brain boosting, mood lifting powers of the caffeine molecule. Bees appear to also enjoy the benefits of a sip or two of caffeine.
I’m not addicted to an illicit drug or even caffeine. I have to be connected to the world via my phone, my laptop ….. If you don’t hook me up NOW, I’ll “die”.
Elves, like human children are small containers. Pouring a cup of coffee or a can of coke, into a small container magnifies the effect, leaving BIG results