Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I like coffee coffee-coffee-coffee down in my belly


This article over at NPR discusses the caffeine content of different coffees and beverages. The point is that 3 shots of espresso is about equal to a 12 oz cup of coffee (that’s about 4.5 oz of espresso). Most people expect that their espresso will give them a super jolt of caffeine, when it is not really that full of juice by comparison.
Do you use caffeine? When and where do you get your fix?
I’ve heard people refer to caffeine as the acceptable drug. It’s legal and has no real stigmas in culture. Do you think it’s bad to be dependant on caffeine? I know I will get a headache if I don’t have my coffee for a day. I know I’m addicted. Should I care? Is it wrong to be addicted to caffeine? Does that fall under the biblical issue of not being a drunkard?
What’s the point of getting an extra shot of decaf espresso? That’s paying $0.55 for more coffee flavor. I don’t understand it.

20 comments:

KMiV said...

Good point James, I never understood why people wanted espresso. First, it is strong and nasty, second, it doesn't give you that much caffeine. Nothing better than a couple cups of coffee in the morning visiting with your spouse.

I hope there is a Starbucks near the school when I am out there next week. Look forward to seeing you and Andrea.

James Wood said...

Not to worry - I work at a Starbucks that is about 2 miles away from the school. We can get you taken care of.

Bobby Garner said...

This was the article that I was referring to last week. I was undercaffeinated at the time, so I'm not sure I was explaining it well. Glad you found it.

rebecca marie said...

i've tossed this one around myself. i am definately addicted to caffiene. i guess i justify it because i don't jeopardize anyone else by my addiction. no one is second hand jolting, i don't drive dangerously, you know, all of that type of thing. i'm really not sure about it.

also, i'm sorry that you work for starbucks. i hate starbucks coffee.

spcpeters said...

Gateway Starbucks man you are the king of being a pigeon for the man... Haha on that note I think that caffeine is bad I wonder why people don't think there is side effects. Like bad sleeping habits and indigestion and "heart disease." Follow me on this one from my little understanding there has been very little to no real research on caffeine intake because there is very few people in our culture who have no coffee and no way to take out all the other variables. But think about it why does nicotine have an ill effect on our heart. From my understanding part of the problem is as a stimulant it pushes our heart for no reason. This in the long run can have a serious effect. But caffeine has the same effect. Now maybe I'm missing some main components to the smoking problem like tar and lung issues but I think it is an issue, that we don't like to think about because we are maybe only a step better than those addicted to nicotine and we don't want to admit it to ourselves.

Meagan said...

I've recently had to give up caffeine, and it has been so incredibly hard. Granted, my blood pressure has gone down quite a bit, but I definitely jones for a caffeine fix. Doesn't help that I'm not a big coffee drinker, a can of Coke in the morning was my coffee. (I hold you & Eric responsible for that.) The kids even call Coke, "Mom's coffee."

When I do drink coffee it's usually a cappucino or latte. I am a coffee snob, and Brian mocks me thoroughly for it.

RoniZee said...

James! You are such a Starbucks worker...pondering coffee all day. I used to do the same. Do you also ponder the weird, ritualistic things people do in coffee shops? Have you noticed that the less someone knows about espresso, the more they act like they know it all, and then make fools of themselves? I loved those people. But then again, I worked at Starbucks in Oklahoma, so that pretty much describes every single customer. I once had a lady order (in a very snobby voice) a Grande Ground Coffee White Chocolate. I just looked at her and said, "That doesn't exist." She stormed out, all mad. Oh man, that was a great day.

James Wood said...

Wow, thanks for all the comments.

Rebecca: I'm sorry that you're sorry that I work for Starbucks. It seems to me that the same logic (it doesn't hurt anyone else) has been used to justify all sorts of things. I'm not sure that I feel comfortable using for myself.

Ryan: Goodp point--army boy. Caffeine is an odd duck as far as stimulants go. It does produce a physisiological dependance. Is it wrong to be dependant on a substance? What about diabetics who need insulin? Are they bad or wrong? Does it change your opinion of me if you know that coffee is a "medicine" that I use to help me control my migraine headaches?

Meagan: blame us all you want (we probably deserve it). It's crazy to me that a can of soda only has about 55mg of caffeine while a cup of coffee has in the neighborhood of 200-700mg.

Roni: Starbucks in the South is so weird. People will order a "Grand Late" and I've heard about 1300 different pronunciations of Machiato. The best non-existent drink I've had thus far is an iced cappuccino. Not as good as yours, but I'm still working on it.

Ryan said...

Umm no i don't think bad about people at least unless they use God against people then i want to stab their eyes with spoons. Oh and Caffeine is a very good prescription for headaches I.E. Exedrin packs a caffeine punch because of it's effect. But because its effective doesn't mean its healthy. I think it's easier to come up with reasons to support what you want than to think of ideas to encourage you to do what you find hard to do, I.E. xompare your addiction to caffeine with a diabetics dependence on nicotine, might as well talk down on my depence on worship or run-on sentances, or or or

JD said...

Marvin Phillips calls coffee "Chrisian Liquor". LOL

I'm 2 cups in the morning, and a latte in the afternoon on a good day.

everyday.wonder said...

LOVE C O F F E E . . .

I really don't drink all that much, but I drink it often.

Uh oh, I think that means I'm addicted. But at least I'm past the denial stage...

Rizzle said...

Yeah, I don't understand how anyone can drink espresso shots. THey'r terrible. In Europe it's different though. I'm serious, the espresso over there is superior by far. I don't know why, but it is.
James: comparing your need for caffeine to a diabetics need for insulin is almost as evilly (is that a word) ridiculous as comparing your need for caffeine to a cancer victims need for chemo.
It's funny how there are certain socially ok forms of addiction. Food, sex, caffeine, and such. In reality the dangers of food and sexual addictions can be far more destructive than marijuana, popping pills, or whatever.

James Wood said...

Woah! Maybe I won't die if I don't have caffeine, but I have had prescription medication to help me deal with migraine headaches and coffee/caffeine works as well or better than most of the drugs that I was taking (and it tastes better too). Am I evil for using natural medicine? That's pretty freaking harsh.

So what is addiction? Is it just physical dependance on a substance? Is it a psychological dependance? Is it a condition in which you attempt to escape from reality through a substance or action?

There's a lot of ways to define addiction, but in general we always place a negative connotation on the word and the condition. Why? What is ethically, morally, and/or biblically wrong with addiction? Or do we just assume that it's wrong because that's what our culture tells us to think?

spcpeters said...

whoa you are evil? whoa....I'm Joey from Blossom Whoa I'm Joey from friends whoa why do joey's say whoa....

I wouldn't call caffeine a natural thing it's not more natural than crack so I'm not sure thats a good argument... I realised I needed some caffeine at the end of my last post because it made no sense.

Oh but First God Bless your Head and its hurtyness. Do i think Caffeine is good to take for headaches yes.... But it can also make it worse in the long run, it is a good temporary relief, like sleep-aids. What I was trying to say is that most headaches Migraines included have some cause that is very very very hard to pinpoint but if found can be prevented mostly. Sometimes it's allergies sometimes it's stress, sometimes its a lack of working out, etc.etc.

I recommend webmd's site on migraines if you haven't looked at it yet it's great... I didn't mean to say your head condition was not serious they are very serious.

Addiction is one of those things thats tough for someone to gage. I gamble on-line alot. It's entertaining and fun.. It's also something people get addicted too. So is Playstation, they all can very damaging. I guess the real issue is how much is too much? Does it effect your daily life. I know addicts who consider their addiction their life...

My whole thing about caffeine is that it causes more problems than people acknowledge... plus there has been no long term definative studies on what health issues it can bring up... Similar to how people thought cigarettes were okay to smoke 50 years ago. Not that they are the same but no one knows for sure...

rebecca marie said...

interesting... when i read your comment " It seems to me that the same logic (it doesn't hurt anyone else) has been used to justify all sorts of things. I'm not sure that I feel comfortable using for myself." i was thinking "no way, i did not say that..."

but then i re-read my comment and realized that i totally did say that. and i'm fascinated, because i hate that logic.

i guess the way i justify/differentiate my addiction to caffiene vs. a more taboo addiction is by it's overall effect as well as it's general acceptance of being "bad" or not.

i'll use marijuana as a quick example of my logic. i've never used it. ever. neither has the mister. would i try it if it were legal? i have no idea if i would or not, it's not even an issue, as it is not legal. it is also generally considered to be "bad."

i use caffiene. it is legal, it is generally considered acceptable, it is an extemely inexpensive "drug" that cures my headaches, it is not medically known to be harmful to me in the quantaties that i consume, it is enough of a stimulant to raise my level of alertness without altering my overall behaviour or appearance.

so it's not as simple as "it's okay cause it doesn't hurt anyone else," and i hate that it sounds like that is what i'm saying. cause like i said, that logic sucks.

rebecca marie said...

also, my two cents on comparing in general.

of course an addiction to caffiene is different from a dependance on insulin. in the same way that calling alcholism a disease is different than calling cancer a disease.

calling alcholism a disease implies that a cancer patient can just "stop having cancer," the same way that an alcholic can stop drinking.

different type of "disease," the same way an addiction to caffiene is different than a dependence on insulin.

but the comparasin is a good one, it does make sense. any pysiological addicion/dependance has reprocussions when withdrawal happens. some good, some bad.

you quit caffiene, your blood pressure might go down but your headaches may resume. you quit insulin, you may die.

people have died of heart attacks while detoxing from cocaine. i still think they should try to quit.

withdrawal is withdrawal. it's never easy on the body, no matter the hoped end result.

arwen? said...

sometimes, after we pull the 6.3 shots at the end of the night to clean the machine, I let it sit for about 1/2 hour and then dare someone to drink it.
No one has. dunno why....
But about the caffine... I'm not addicted, but I sure do wish I were. I find that it is a glorious performance enhancer... and I don't mean szechually... I think better and move better and ... I just do better with a little caffine in me.

Meagan said...

Some things I've learned in quitting caffeine...

It was harder for me to give up caffeine than it was to give up cigarettes. I had figured it would have been the other way around, but quitting caffeine has been by far my hardest vice to give up.

When one gives up caffeine in any of it's various forms, it needs to be replaced with W.A.T.E.R. I noticed that if I didn't guzzle water all day long, THAT was when I had the withdrawal-migraines. And it makes sense. When we give up the delivery system we don't replace it with anything else, and our bodies become incredibly dehydrated. Caffeine is already a diuretic, so our bodies are already well on the way to being dehydrated. Granted, withdrawal and dehydration are far from being the only causes of migraines, but controlling dehydration at least certainly helped curb the intensity and endurance of the migraines.


And now it's 8 AM and I'm waiting for the girls to go to school, and I'm seriously jonesing for some of that good-ol'-wakeup drug. :(

Big Mike Lewis said...

I've heard an apple is better for a wake up fix...

Jess said...

Going on what Mike said, I have also heard that a bottle/glass of water will wake you up. Most of the time when we need a wake up, we are just dehydrated. Was that even worth typing?