Caffeine May Be More Evil Than You Think!

Discussion in 'Caffeine' started by NotSoAlpha, Dec 6, 2014.

  1. NotSoAlpha

    NotSoAlpha Member

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    Ray Peat is glorious and all but the one thing that I disagree with him on, is his promotion of caffeine.

    I have read Stephen Cherniske's "Caffeine Blues". It goes into great detail about how bad caffeine is. It's full of science.

    Now, Ray Peat is all about reducing stress - yet he recommends a substance that raises stress hormones. He says mixing it with sugar will stop this but this hasn't been my experience and it doesn't make sense to take a stress-inducing substance then take another substance to reduce the stress caused by the stress-inducer. Could he simply be trying to justify his coffee addiction?

    Effects of caffeine include: Reduced problem solving ability, more easily enraged, higher base anxiety levels, reduced blood flow to the brain, chemical dependence, broken sleep cycle and inability to enter the deepest phase of sleep, increased toxic load on the liver, digestive problems, ...the list goes on.

    This is all from Caffeine Blues and it's all backed up by science. I have experienced some of these effects directly so I know it's at least partially true.

    What's your guys take on caffeine?
     
  2. Such_Saturation

    Such_Saturation Member

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    I am fairly sure the reduced blood flow to the brain is as opposed to a nitric oxide-mediated vasodilation. This is in the studies I've seen.
     
  3. Raypmom

    Raypmom Member

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    Coffee works for me, without it is when I feel off. Maybe that's a good thing, maybe it's not. Dunno, but I love my coffee. Asside from adding sugar do you have your coffee with a meal ?
    have you read this article, some good info on things you can do to help with the caffeine intolerence

    http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2014/0 ... tolerance/

    "Your goal is to avoid the stress alarm from inadequacy of support. The first basic rule is to have coffee with a meal. This delays entry of the caffeine into the bloodstream providing a time-release type effect. A meal is comprised of a protein from an animal and carbohydrate from a plant. Usually animal proteins also contain dietary fat, preferably saturated fat."

    "be aware that the hotter the coffee is the more stimulating it tends to be. If you’re susceptible to low blood sugar from drinking hot coffee, follow the aforementioned rules in conjunction with drinking cooler coffee".

    "Going the extra mile is sometimes necessary for those that are really susceptible to over stimulation from coffee. One such step is adding a little coffee to milk/sugar instead of adding milk/sugar to coffee. As you improve, you will be able to handle more coffee and progressively be less dependent upon support — you will be able to press harder on the metabolic gas pedal. Another option is sipping a little coffee with support throughout the day so you get a little stimulation without it being excessive".
     
  4. OP
    NotSoAlpha

    NotSoAlpha Member

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    Lets look at that statement from another angle: "Cocaine works for me, without it is when I feel off".

    Addictive drugs tend to have this effect.

    You are right though - my issues with caffeine are probably due to the fact I'm under-fed. I am interested to see how my caffeine tolerance improves once I get my food intake up to the optimum level.

    Now, Such_Saturation - I didn't really understand what you said, too technical. Are you saying the reduced blood flow to the brain isn't a bad thing?

    Regardless of the benefits, surely chemical dependency on a drug is not a good thing, right?
     
  5. Raypmom

    Raypmom Member

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    Haha, maybe I'm an addict then. In the past I use to do coffee the wrong way black, no sugar and on an empty stomach. It made me shaky, nervous stressed. So I stopped drinking it. Once I started taking a Peat approach to coffee, it helped me a lot with diegestion, sleep and thinking. I found this iteressting :

    "the line between nutrients and biological modifiers often depends on the situation. Vitamins D and A clearly have hormone-like properties, and vitamin E’s effects, and those of many terpenoids and steroids and bioflavonoids found in foods, include hormone-like actions as well as antioxidant and pro-oxidant functions. The concept of “adaptogen” can include things that act like both drugs and nutrients"

    "The bad effects ascribed to coffee usually involve administering large doses in a short period of time. While caffeine is commonly said to raise blood pressure, this effect is slight, and may not occur during the normal use of coffee. Experimenters typically ignore essential factors. Drinking plain water can cause an extreme rise in blood pressure, especially in old people, and eating a meal (containing carbohydrate) lowers blood pressure. The increased metabolic rate caffeine produces increases the cellular consumption of glucose, so experiments that study the effects of coffee taken on an empty stomach are measuring the effects of increased temperature and metabolic rate, combined with increased adrenaline (resulting from the decrease of glucose), and so confuse the issue of caffeine’s intrinsic effects".

    This article is one of the reasons I started drinking coffee again, I guess if it's not working for you then switch things up a bit or maybe do a cup of milk, sugar and small amount of coffee. You can always increase, unless you tried this already? Play around a bit, but in small amounts. http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/caffeine.shtml
     
  6. haidut

    haidut Member

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    Too many things to lists here to dispute your statement, so I'll do some brief points. Overall, I think you are being misled by a book and author who may not have read the studies he is citing.
    I somewhat agree with your statements that there are studies showing caffeine raises stress hormones but I think you are missing the context of how these studies were done and WHY it raises stress hormones. Pretty much all the studies in which caffeine raise stress hormones used doses in excess of 400mg and were often given with water or other non-caloric drink to properly "isolate" the effects of caffeine for the study. Sometimes the doses go as high as 10mg/kg for human in a single sitting, which is huge and can even bring about seizures in some people. A dose of 400mg+ caffeine raises basal metabolic rate by about 20% for 2h-4h. This increase in metabolism has to be supported by "fuel" and that fuel has to come from somewhere. If you are not ingesting food or don't have enough glycogen then the only other way to get the fuel is by catabolism through cortisol and adrenalin.
    If you search through the forum for my posts and others' you will find out that caffeine works very much like thyroid hormone. In fact, I just posted a study today showing caffeine reduces TSH just like supplemental thyroid does. Actually, taking thyroid hormone without adequate nutritional "support" will also raise stress hormones and often much more than caffeine. Does that make thyroid hormone a stress substance? Well, I guess it depends on how you look at it. Anything that raises metabolism CAN be a stress substance if the body does not have the proper energy stores to respond to the increased energy expenditure. Try running on an empty stomach or doing weights and you will see that the effects will be very much like caffeine - increased stress hormones and catabolism.
    Long story short - caffeine is actually one of the most amazing substances in existence IMO. Like anything else that increases metabolism it has to be handled with care and ensure proper nutritional support. Btw, there is a study I posted that showed caffeine administration increased MAXIMUM lifespan in an animal model by 50%!!! Try finding another such substance anywhere.
    I am not trying to discount what you found and read. I am just saying that if you read the actual studies referenced in the book you read you will see that there is a reason for the stress response and that anything can cause stress response if handled inappropriately.
    Furthermore, just as a quick test go to PubMed and do a quick search for this string "caffeine[title]". You will get thousands of results. Pick 10 random studies from the results and look at their conclusions. They are overwhelmingly positive and span topics as diverse as anti-cancer, anti-aging, anti-infectious, anti-diabetic, anti-neurodegenerative, etc. I don't know of any other substance with the exception of aspirin that has been studies so much for so many different conditions.
    Finally, your point about liver toxicity is truly wrong. Caffeine is one of the best substances for getting rid of liver problems. Again, I have posted studies on this too but consider this from personal experience. Before I stated supplementing with caffeine my liver enzymes APT, AST, and ALT were in the upper 80% or normal, and after just 2 weeks on 400mg caffeine twice daily they dropped into the bottom 10%! I know it is the caffeine that did this since I was not taking anything else and was specifically trying to get liver enzymes lowered. Do you know or have you heard of any other drug or supplement that can do this in such a short time period? There is one actually and it is vitamin K2 (MK-4). A dose of 15mg daily for 2 weeks will achieve just about the same. Amino acids like taurine and glycine will get similar but far less pronounced results for liver health and over longer time periods (2-3 months of supplementation at high doses like 5g+ of taurine/glycine a day).
    Anyways, I am just sharing both theoretical and experimental (personal) knowledge of caffeine. To me this substance is a true drug delivered by nature and it is simply beyond me how pharma industry has managed to let it go unregulated for so long.
    Just my 2c:):
     
  7. Raypmom

    Raypmom Member

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    As for the book ray says :idea: :) :

    "Medical editors like to publish articles that reinforce important prejudices, even if, scientifically, they are trash. The momentum of a bad idea can probably be measured by the tons of glossy paper that have gone into its development. Just for the sake of the environment, it would be nice if editors would try to think in terms of evidence and biological mechanisms, rather than stereotypes".
     
  8. burtlancast

    burtlancast Member

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    :lol:

    Same old, same old Ray.

    Where did this quote come from ? I didn't see it in his books.
     
  9. lindsay

    lindsay Member

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    I personally would never choose to read a book telling me coffee was bad because I love my coffee too much to care if it's bad or not. And I trust Ray Peat above any quack who tries to write a book with an approach that is biased against coffee. You can write anything and find scientists who will back you up because there is plenty of bad science out there - like the ones who say serotonin is a happy chemical.

    Anyhow, I love coffee. I drink it primarily in the morning and only to craving. I usually don't crave it often, except in winter. My husband, on the other hand, cannot tolerate coffee. It makes him jittery and nauseous. So he doesn't drink it. It's very individual. I feel no reaction from coffee - only that it slightly helps me with energy levels and bowel movements (I drink strong espresso strength coffee for the magnesium). I can't however, drink it later in the afternoon, even if I have it with plenty of milk and sugar.

    But, I'm afraid your Caffeine Blues book is useless here - we all love our coffee. If you came back with another few books with different researchers from different places in the world, I might listen more. But people have been drinking coffee for thousands of years. Just look at some of the B vitamins in coffee and you realize it's an important brain substance.
     
  10. pboy

    pboy Member

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    its pretty highly cleansing to every area of body as far as I can tell, I used to consume a ton of caffeine, as I raised metabolism and overall health I don't need it anymore, but it doesn't mean I still wouldn't benefit. Coffee has a lot of vitamins and minerals. If anything the problem is more the tannins and burnt sugars and stuff, that's what causes stomach wrenching if it isn't eaten with other food to to buffer it, not the caffeine itself. Caffeine is actually a relaxing alkaloid. I dunno man, youre coming with the typical religious bubble boy celibacy mindset, know what im saying? No idea of the complexity of life and how near nothing is perfect but many can bring long term benefit. Its like the dude drinking coffee gets more done over time, and the stress from not having all your ***t in order in life is probably much worse than heart rate raising a little from caffeine yet you can stay on top of your business and have more motivation. The fact it stimulates GI motion alone is a huge benefit, and telling of its overall properties in terms of life over the longer term (***t doesn't get backed up as easily in your life, literally and metaphorically). However you can do whatever you want, and be a nice little submissive cog in a wheel if you choose, and follow dudes who write books like that. Its not much different than sugar is bad...know what im saying, like that religious ***t where anything that makes you feel good, happy, or empowered is somehow 'evil' (note the exact word you used) and you should feel guilty! Instead eat tasteless imbalaced bland garbage and listen to us, suffer, and pay us!
     
  11. Peatri Dish

    Peatri Dish Member

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    Someone on this forum pointed out that one's response to caffeine is a good indicator of their hormone status. I find that to be true for me. If I drink coffee when my glcogen stores are low it makes me a crazy, shaky, angry maniac. This society is encouraged to undereat and eat degraded food and so I hear a lot of people saying they can't tolerate coffe. I think it is because they are unwell and/or they don't consider their blood sugar when they consume it.
     
  12. Raypmom

    Raypmom Member

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    Very last paragraph, just before refrences in this article http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/caffeine.shtml
     
  13. aguilaroja

    aguilaroja Member

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    Stephen Cherniske's book on caffeine was published in 1998. Studies cited in that book are 16 years old or more. Mr. Cherniske, according to the web and youtube, is part of Univera Corporate, advocating for exercise workouts and various nutrient formulas. I glanced at his caffeine book years ago, and otherwise have little direct knowledge of his recent work.

    My experience is that caffeine effects are generally restorative, after many years pre-Peat avoiding caffeine. Dr. Peat has mentioned that "coffee is much more than caffeine".

    viewtopic.php?f=68&t=1035&start=135#p55233

    There may be downsides to caffeine, and a case to be made. Certainly, coffee use out of context, coffee with chemicals, and coffee brewed with tainted water, are problematic. As we would wish for those who differ with us, the aim is to be selective for citations in pursuit of best understanding, more than supporting proprietary interests or previous views .
    --
    http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/caffeine.shtml

    "Possibly more important than coffee’s ability to protect the health is the way it does it. The studies that have tried to gather evidence to show that coffee is harmful, and found the opposite, have provided insight into several diseases. For example, coffee’s effects on serotonin are very similar to carbon dioxide’s, and the thyroid hormone’s. Noticing that coffee drinking is associated with a low incidence of Parkinson’s disease could focus attention on the ways that thyroid and carbon dioxide and serotonin, estrogen, mast cells, histamine and blood clotting interact to produce nerve cell death."
     
  14. jyb

    jyb Member

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    If you experience higher anxiety on coffee then indeed you should not drink it. If you have enough nutrients, you may instead feel relaxed and take a nap. Maybe the author follows a conventional diet and doesn't eat much?
     
  15. tara

    tara Member

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    I have only just started drinking a little coffee in the last couple of years - with all the references i'd heard to coffee as an addictive drug, I figured there wasn't much point in aquiring a taste for it.

    I now think it is likely that Peat is right, and that there is lots of evidence for coffee having beneficial effects. However, it still seems risky for me personally. I currently assume this is for the reasons others have stated above - that it boosts metabolism and that I still don't have adequate glycogen storage capacity and maybe other nutrients to support too much of it. Since it seems to make me sleep longer and deeper, I suspect this is why it leaves me more prone to waking up with problems already underway.

    I also wonder whether for those of us who don't produce optimal amonts of T4 and T3, the increased rate of conversion of T4 to T3 stimulated by coffee could also lead to a subsequent slump in both, as the body uses them both up faster than they bcan be produced? I haven't read anyhthing that says this diectly, but it seems logical that it could happen from the other things I've read from Peat. If anyone has opinions or relevant quotes on this I'd be interested.

    Personally, I'm currently drinking decaf, which probably still has a little caffeine in it, and try to spread it out through the day. I hope eventually I will be able to handle full caffeine coffee too.
     
  16. Spokey

    Spokey Member

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    I purchased that book about five years ago, initially concerned about my prodigious coffee habit. Later I came to believe much of what Cherniske wrote was challenged by better evidence elsewhere, and that which isn't is heavily dependent on context.

    Perhaps the strongest thing I can say in support of the work is that maybe caffeine allergy is a thing. If you have some weird sensitivity to caffeine I'd say don't consume it, but then I'd say the same thing about anything you had a weird sensitivity to.
     
  17. Spokey

    Spokey Member

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  18. Kenobi

    Kenobi Member

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    I used to feel great from caffeine but over time I developed some sort of allergy to it. When I consume caffeine, my ears plug (particularly if I haven't taken it perviously), I feel tired, weak, and moody. This is absolutely with enough nutrition. When I was younger, it would make me feel energetic, happy, etc.

    Now I use tianeptine in a manner that's similar to caffeine. Unlike caffeine, it never causes hypoglycemia for me. It has no side effects for me even at doses some people would consider outrageous. I go by what feels right to me, the dosage used in Europe is not a magic number. On the other hand, caffeine's negative effects are well-known. So am I at a loss? I don't think so. My opinion is that caffeine is half-good half-bad because it can increase stress, rather than "protective" like progesterone or tianeptine.
     
  19. BingDing

    BingDing Member

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    The guy is no Ray Peat, that's for sure.

    Coffee was pretty much the norm in my family, I started it when I was 16 or so and never stopped. But I would joke that coffee is just a vehicle for half and half, that's what I really wanted. And always with sugar. Since Peating I make it stronger and use about a cup of milk and a little half and half, never get jitters or any real reaction, or withdrawal if I don't use it.
     
  20. Ella

    Ella Member

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    Hey Haidut,

    Well said and thanks for putting the benefits of coffee into context. pboy, I too am recovering from that typical religious bubble girl celibacy mindset. Like sugar, I have avoided coffee for most of my life. It was the only substance that got me through university exams though, but boy did I suffer in the days following. Hung over and wrecked. Everytime I touched coffee I would become hyperactive and then slump. As a teenager, I stayed away from sugar because I was off the planet with it. It was like taking speed (not that I ever did drugs) My friends thought I was on drugs because I was such high energy compared to them. I was infatigible. it was only sugar, so I stayed away from it. I thought I was sensitive to coffee and that it was clearly bad for me. Now, thanks to Peat, I drink my coffee medicinally, yes to help with low thyroid, low energy, better stamina etc, etc. I am eating way more sugar, fruits and calories and coffee does not effect me. I don't abuse it, I add coffee to the milk and never black and only with foods high in tryptophan. Still getting use to drinking sweet coffee and still trying to optimise with blood sugars. I too am just blown away with the research. Without coffee I was heading for an early grave, with coffee I can begin to see a future. Yes, drinking coffee against a background of mineral, vitamin and nutrient deficiencies will fuel stress. Adrenals & liver need to be replete. Glycine I think has been a big contributor for me being able to tolerate coffee. Coffee is detoxified by phase 1 liver enzymes and those individuals that have efficient phase 1 enzymes and sluggish phase 2 liver enzymes will suffer due to increasing backlog of phase 1 metabolites not being quickly removed by phase 2 enzymes. Glycine is an important part of phase 2 detoxification. Sugar also is important for glucoronidation. I remember Peat mentioning this but I am not clear how this works. Does anyone have any insight how sugar (glucose +fructose) is a superior substrate than only glucose in this pathway? I look forward to the day when sugar receives the same attention as coffee rather than being continously berated and vilified.
     
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