Jitters Are Not Just About Coffee
According to New Scientist contributor Richard Lovett, in his article dated 24 September 2005, Coffee: The Demon Drink?, “Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance on earth, prized by almost every human culture for its ability to perk people up and keep them awake. In North America, around 90 per cent of adults report using caffeine every day.”
The problem — some people would call it a solution — with caffeine in coffee is compounded by the fact that coffee as a crop is the third most sprayed crop in the world (behind cotton and tobacco). If the caffeine doesn’t ruin your health over time, the sprayed pesticides will.
Pesticides banned from use within the 48 contiguous states, Alaska and Hawaii do not go away. They are sold and used in other countries, to be found coming back to you on your coffee beans.
Besides the moral and ethical issues behind that kind of activity, there is the very real issue of harm to your caffeinated, defenseless immune system, especially in North America.
Some more (indelicate) facts about coffee and caffeine*:
- “Coffee is THE most popular beverage worldwide.
- The average coffee drinker consumes 3.41 cups daily. More than 60 percent of North Americans are daily coffee drinkers.
- Coffee is the second largest agricultural crop in the world (Cotton is number one).
- After cotton and tobacco, coffee is the most heavily sprayed crop in the world.
- Three-fourths of coffee growers worldwide spray their plants with some of the most dangerous chemicals in the world – benoyml, chlordane, cabrflurane,DDT, endulfan, paraquat,and zineb. Several of these chemicals are banned in the USA due to toxicity.
- Of the 2.4 billion pounds of coffee that are sold per year in the United States only about one sixth (400,000,000 pounds) is organically grown.
- One pound of coffee consists of 4000 hand-picked beans. One hundred coffee beans = one cup of coffee. One coffee tree yields one pound of roasted coffee.
- If you drink two cups a day, you’ll consume about 34 gallons this year, which represents the harvest of 18 coffee trees.
- If you drink conventional, non-organic coffee, the 18 trees that supply your morning brew annually will be treated this year with about 11 pounds of chemical fertilizers and 8 ounces of pesticides.
- Most of those chemicals will be washed down hillsides in the streams that carry away the 43 pounds of pulp stripped from your beans.
TEA: Keeping Company With Coffee**
“Tea is also treated with many toxic fertilizers and chemicals. A study by the Chinese non-governmental Centre for Community Development Studies, found that although Chinese farmers experienced higher yields and profits when first using pesticides, they are now losing crops due to ecological disruption and pesticide resistance is common.
“A report published in 2000 attributed thousands of deaths in China to the use of pesticides in crop production. There is however, a growing organic movement in China and farmers are taking part in ‘back to the land’ movements.”
The facts are the facts, and the numbers never lie: the withdrawal symptoms that addicted coffee and tea drinkers face are daunting, to say the least, but not impossible to overcome. The list is extensive:
- inability to concentrate,
- pain in the stomach, upper body, and joints.
And those are only the ones that may appear within 12 to 24 hours after discontinuing caffeine intake.
Fortunately, there is a viewable end in sight right from the start of a caffeine rehabilitation. The worst symptoms peak at roughly 48 hours, and these usually last from 2 to 9 days. Withdrawal headaches, experienced by 52% of people who stop consuming smaller amounts of caffeine, go away after two days. Prolonged caffeine users also report increased depression, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, physical pains and an intense desire for more caffeine.
The bottom line is: caffeine withdrawal , like any other drug addiction, can be painful. And beaten.
Many symptoms of caffeine withdrawal mirror the symptoms of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Indeed, replenishing stores of these nutrients, including calcium and magnesium, lessens the harshness of getting off of a caffeine dependency.
To calm down your caffeine jitters, look to restore the basic nutrients that your body stores, or needs on a daily basis from dietary intake, with supplements that are proven to strengthen the nutritional foundations of your body’s basic health patterns.