Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Addiction to coffee; embrace it or avoid it?

  1. Apr 27, 2005 #1
    Hola muchachos,

    I'm not addicted to coffee yet, but man, I sure do like the taste. I don't drink it regularly, but mainly because on weekdays I rarely have enough time in the morning to make coffee for myself. Once I get into College, I can see myself easily becoming addicted to coffee because my sleeping habbits are very bad, and I'll likely need lots of stimulation to stay awake all the time I'll need to.

    So my question for you coffee addicts is: Is addiction to coffee anything that I should be wary about, or is it a harmless enough drug that addiction really won't be that detrimental to me?

    Thanks,
    Jacob
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 27, 2005 #2

    loseyourname

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    It's not the most detrimental thing in the world. It does have adverse health effects, but probably nothing worse than the erratic sleeping habits themselves (don't take my word for it, though - I'm obviously not a physician). Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of addiction, to anything. My sleep habits aren't traditional - I'll usually sleep about five hours at night, then another two or three in the afternoon - but I've never needed any aid to wake up. I'll often workout in the morning and that helps, but that's it.
     
  4. Apr 27, 2005 #3

    Danger

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    It's easy to break the habit if you decide to, so don't worry about getting seriously hooked. There can be bad aspects to it, such as jitters and inability to sleep properly if you drink a lot of it. If you put sugar in it, that doesn't help any. Back when I drank 4 or 5 pots a day working in the restaurant/bar business, I got hypersensitive to it. If I drank a quarter-cup of the stuff, my heartbeat shot up to about 160 and stayed there for 20 minutes. Had to quit injesting caffeine in any form. After a few months it went back to normal. I do about 8-10 cups of instant a day now, with no serious problems. I can't sleep much, but it's for other reasons.
     
  5. Apr 27, 2005 #4
    I have been drinking it for about 17 years, im not addicted to it.
     
  6. Apr 27, 2005 #5

    hypnagogue

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I love caffeine, but I don't know if I've ever been addicted. Actually, a few months ago I went on a big guarana kick with the best soft drink ever invented, Bawls. I would down them indescriminately at all times of the day, and when the supply ran out, I did notice a bit of a downer effect because I couldn't get my fix. But it didn't last very long.

    In general, I think you can be a big coffee consumer and not get addicted. As long as you don't drink more than a couple of cups every morning and keep other kinds of reasonable constraints, you should be fine (he said, hand-wavingly). In my own experience at least, I can go on caffeine binges when I want to or need to, and generally be fine without it on other days. Sometimes (especially when I'm already sleep deprived) I get in an almost manic state with enough caffeine, where the world seems vibrant and just right and everything flows through so smoothly. And it's legal and doesn't give you hangovers or vomitous impulses. All hail caffeine!

    So yeah, go for it, I say, as long as you can trust yourself to not go too overboard. It shouldn't be hard unless you're the kind of person who likes to form rigid routines. And even a cup or two every morning shouldn't be too bad, as long as you keep your intake reasonable throughout the day.
     
  7. Apr 27, 2005 #6

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    If you can avoid it, don't get yourself hooked on it. The worst part of being addicted to coffee is when you wind up visiting someone who only has decaf (especially when they don't warn you it's only decaf when you pour yourself a big cup in the morning to get going)...the headache from the caffeine deprivation is terrible. If you're relying on caffeine to keep you alert to study in college, it won't help much. It'll keep you awake, but it'll only be a physical jitteriness, not a mental alertness. Enjoy your occassional cup of coffee, but don't purposely make yourself addicted to it.
     
  8. Apr 27, 2005 #7
    I wouldn't purposely get addicted to it, it just made sense that if I ended up drinking like 6 cups a day to just keep myself from falling asleep at random hours, that I'd eventually develop an addiction to it...
     
  9. Apr 27, 2005 #8

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Not so much hangovers, but too much coffee will do a number on your stomach. I ran into trouble when we had a lot of coffee drinkers in the lab, so had a constant supply of coffee brewing during the day. When there's noone else around to drink coffee, or they only drink it in the mornings, it's not worth making a whole pot later in the day, so I don't really drink it if it's not around, but when there's a lot of folks around who will drink it, you just put a new pot on when the last one is empty. Anyway, I would lose track of how much coffee I was drinking...if it got cold, I just refilled the cup...had to stop drinking it for a while because it was making my stomach sick.
     
  10. Apr 27, 2005 #9

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Yeah, that much will get you addicted to it. Don't do that to yourself. I'd even try to avoid that one cup in the morning if you can. I'm one of those people who just can't start the day without a cup of coffee, and it's not something I'd recommend getting used to doing.

    Go for power naps instead! That's the best thing about college life; if you have a break between classes, you can go back to the dorm and take a nap if you're tired. There's no need to fight to stay awake. And then if you are refreshed from a nice nap, it's easier to stay focused on what you need to study later.
     
  11. Apr 27, 2005 #10

    hypnagogue

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    That's the thing, it's not the sort of drug that really latches its claws into you. You have to drink a pretty good amount, steadily, to be in real danger of addiction, and even then the addiction isn't that terrible to kick. It's certainly not like cigarettes or sleeping pills or that sort of thing, where it's easy to get addicted and really difficult to stop, and the health effects are really dangerous.

    By the way, guarana (found in the aforementioned Bawls) is a much cleaner and smoother kind of caffeine that gives you the added benefits of mental alertness, ability to stay up, etc., without as much of the bad side-effects of coffee or soda caffeine, like jitteryness. Then again, in my experience it was also more habit forming and more difficult to stop once started, so I wouldn't recommend you go crazy with it. But it is a nice alternative if you need to be at your best, e.g. staying up to write a paper or study.
     
  12. Apr 27, 2005 #11

    hypnagogue

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Yeah, that's true. It can feel as if your stomach has been thoroughly scoured. A trip to the restroom usually makes things better for me though.
     
  13. Apr 27, 2005 #12

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Ah, yes, that reminds me of another coffee warning...it's NOT the best choice if you need to stay awake through long lectures! Nothing worse than needing to pee really badly only 20 min into an 80 min lecture because you just downed a large cup of coffee on the way to class.
     
  14. Apr 27, 2005 #13

    BobG

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I've been drinking coffee ever since I was about 17 or 18 and I've never been addicted not even to Columbian roast brewed just a little on the strong the side there's just not any smell that can compare to fresh Columbian grounds and the smell of the coffee brewing in the morning is just to die for who needs an alarm clock when the brewer kicks up automatically in the morning and how could anyone possibly stay in bed with that rich aroma wafting down the hallway but I'm not addicted because my cup's been empty now for almost five or six minutes and I still haven't gotten up the energy to walk down to the coffee maker but that's because its the office coffee maker and they just don't make coffee the way i makeathomeohmygodineedmygoddammedcoffeeNOW!

    I'm not sure you can be physically addicted, though. Although, when I've taken physicals first thing in the morning and they've instructed you not to eat or drink anything for 12 hours prior to the physical, I've noticed my blood pressure is so low and my pulse so slow that the technician's have had to double check to make sure I'm alive.
     
  15. Apr 27, 2005 #14

    loseyourname

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    Why not just fall asleep at random hours? I nap all the time and it doesn't hurt nearly as much as coffee. That stomach thing is really the reason I don't drink any. My digestive system is very sensitive to many different things, including highly acidic drinks, all of which I do my best to avoid.
     
  16. Apr 27, 2005 #15
    Apart from needing 1 cup to get me started and 4 or 5 shots more of it a day I'm not addicted. I also get extremely cranky if I don't get my morning coffee fast after waking up. Hmm.. this is starting to sound like my (luckily late) smoking habit.

    lose: I can't sleep during days. I'm sure many others can't either. It's just unnatural. Kind of like skiing. If we were meant to slide on snow we'd have planks of wood in place of those feet that are so handy for walking and running.
     
  17. Apr 27, 2005 #16

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm one of those people that aren't affected by caffeine, at least not in the amounts I can ingest from coffee.

    I love coffee and it relaxes me. I can drink a couple of cups and fall asleep. For years I would always have a cup at bedtime.

    For me it's the taste and feeling of comfort that coffee gives me that makes me drink it all of the time.
     
  18. Apr 27, 2005 #17

    loseyourname

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    If it's so unnatural, why do most animals take naps during the day? Why do Spain, Italy, and Mexico have official nap-times in the middle of the day? I say it's natural to sleep any time you're tired. Using a stimulant to keep yourself awake is what's unnatural.
     
  19. Apr 27, 2005 #18
    Falling asleep at random hours for me would mean sleeping for hours at a time. I could easily wake up for classes from 10-1, then fall asleep at 1:30 and not wake up until 7 or so, totally missing something very important.

    I dunno, I could try the nap thing, but they haven't worked for me in the past that well. Generally I'll not sleep well one night, take a nap that afternoon, then not get to sleep until even later that night, then take a bigger nap into the afternoon etc. etc. etc.
     
  20. Apr 27, 2005 #19

    Chi Meson

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Coffee is the first thing every day for me. As far as it goes, I'd say I'm curently "addicted," but it's not that bad of an addiction. THe first day without coffee I get that headache, but nothing that about 8 advil can't contain (throughout the day) and then, oh boy, you get a nice sleep that night. Then, after "kicking it" for a day or two, your next cup of coffe is a true eye-opener, just like that first one was. So go ahead, get addicted, then quit, then go back on the stuff. It's fun.
     
  21. Apr 27, 2005 #20

    The only conclusion I can reach from this is that animals, spaniards, italians and mexicans are unnatural too.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Addiction to coffee; embrace it or avoid it?
  1. Addictions (Replies: 29)

  2. Addicted to PF (Replies: 12)

  3. Addicting Games (Replies: 18)

  4. MMO addiction. (Replies: 37)

  5. No coffee? (Replies: 40)

Loading...