Let’s face it. We’re hooked on the stuff.
Most of us can’t even start our day without a nice cup of joe. According to the International Coffee Organization, over 1 billion cups of coffee is consumed every day.
So it’s safe to say, as a whole, we’re big-time cafaholics. So, what would happen to you if you stopped drinking coffee? And what would happen to our society if we took away that energizing brew?
Coffee goes hand in hand with caffeine. Caffeine is a pro at mimicking a neurotransmitter called adenosine.
Adenosine slows down nerve impulses in the brain, causing drowsiness as it depresses the central nervous system in the process. In other words, it makes you feel relaxed.
Caffeine, on the other hand, is kind of ‘Trojan horse,’ its molecules bind to these adenosine receptors and block them, increasing your dopamine levels, and making you more alert. It’s a stimulant drug, helping the brain get messages to the body quicker.
In general, caffeine is not the worst thing in the world for a person — in moderation. And that’s a key word here.
It has some pros, but there is also a risk of developing a caffeine dependency that can result in some serious health issues. So, what would happen to you if you stopped drinking coffee?
If you did, you’d want to wean off the stuff. If it disappeared this instant, you would be more than grumpy.
It’s almost guaranteed that you’d feel some withdrawal effects. You could expect to have headaches, fatigue and insomnia, not to mention nasty bits of constipation, depression and anxiety.
But if we were all on board, could we benefit from taking coffee out of our morning rituals? Well, in the long run, technically, we would be a lot healthier. But that doesn’t mean we’d be in the clear.
Without coffee in our day, we’d be eliminating the biggest source of caffeine for the majority of Earth’s population. So, people would find other ways to get their fix.
The energy drink market could see a spike in sales, and that could be dangerous. To name just one example, the World Health Organization is officially on record as saying that the health risks associated with energy drinks are mainly due to their caffeine levels.
Some of these include heart palpitations, nausea, convulsions and vomiting. There would also be another cost if everyone stopped drinking coffee – a literal one.
What would happen to our society? Well, the top commodity in the world is oil. But do you know what’s right behind it, in second place? That’s right – coffee.
Coffee is grown in more than 50 countries, and 25 million farmers around the world rely on coffee crops to make a living. In the United States alone, the coffee industry is worth $225 billion, and has created nearly 1.7 million jobs.
Sadly, this is a case where economics is going to win out over the well-being of humans. If coffee simply disappeared overnight, no questions asked, we’d be looking at the collapse of a billion-dollar industry.
So, do you think everyone could really stop drinking coffee? Well, it’s doable, to a smaller extent.
If you decide to quit drinking coffee, there are caffeine-free alternatives such as chicory coffee, which is made from chicory root. If you still want to drink something with caffeine in it, like black tea, be aware of the dangers.
Like alcohol, caffeine is a socially acceptable substance that can lead to some issues. And while it’s rare, in extreme cases, too much caffeine can kill you. So, it’s safe to say that coffee drinkers are not in a rush to take coffee out of their lives.
- “Caffeine – Alcohol And Drug Foundation”. 2019. adf.org.au. Accessed January 2 2020.
- “Coffee Facts“. Howstuffworks. Accessed January 2 2020.
- “Giving Up Caffeine? Here’s What To Expect”. Hansen, Fawne. 2017. Adrenal Fatigue Solution. Accessed January 2 2020.
- “The Economic Impact Of The Coffee Industry “. ncausa.org. Accessed January 2 2020.
- “Documented Deaths By Caffeine”. 2020. caffeineinformer.com. Accessed January 2 2020.
- “Scientists keep finding new ways energy drinks are terrible for you“. Sara Chodosh, 2020. popsci.com. Accessed January 2 2020.
- “Top Coffee Producing Countries”. Worldatlas. Accessed January 2 2020.