Monday, December 7, 2009

Coffee is a drug, but some drugs are useful.

As a follow up to my earlier post on coffee, where I noted the drug-like characteristics of caffeine, I should give fair hearing to the other side of the issue. While caffeine does act like a drug in that we build a tolerance to its effects, that is only one aspect of caffeine. Many benefits have been noted over the years by medical researchers, including decreased incidence of diabetes and Parkinson disease, and, believe it or not, enhanced athletic performance. Of course, as with everything, it's a trade-off. Still, for me, just the smell of brewing coffee is electric.


Vincent said...

Now you are talking, Patrick. You had gone all pious about it in the previous post, o quaffer of the great Murphy's stout (so much more malty-sweet than the Guinness)! Understandable if you have children who may be reading the blog, for we must set them a noble example. I'm not sure that I do, though. I am hardly allowed to see my grandchildren, for this reason. ( I rant on, fuelled unreliably by the drug of my early morning cup of sweet tea, which prompts me to verbal excesses ...)

PatricktheRogue said...

I confess I do prefer Murphy's, but I also like Guinness - only one problem, (here's another confession) Guinness gives me gas. As for taste, I always think of Murphy's as smoother and slightly smokier than Guinness.

As for resetting my caffeine tolerance - if you notice, I didn't say anything about negative consequences of drinking coffee or tea, simply that the body builds tolerance. Caffeine actually does have pretty well documented effects on improving performance in athletics and sharpening mental acuity. My only point was one should be aware of its dimishing effects over time. I figured that if I abstained for a few days, and punched up the use of caffeine only on days when I need it (such as big briefing days when I need to be sharp on my feet) I would be maximizing use of the drug's useful effects.