Seaworld's killer whale “Shamu,” swims around in a seven-million gallon tank. But every day, Americans drink enough coffee to fill his tank more than three times.
We live in a coffee nation. And I have to admit, even as I write this article, I’m drinking a hot cup of Starbucks dark roast.
- Coffee is definitely more than just a drink. It’s a dynasty—it’s regal—it’s “cool”—and it’s everywhere.
- Coffee is a multibillion-dollar industry.
- Coffee’s combination of the caffeine, scent, and taste universally draws people together.
- Coffee shops line the main streets of America, Europe and the rest of the world.
But something about coffee that doesn’t get as all the hype is that the drink can be addicting. Experts have warned us for decades of coffee’s “dangers.”
But let’s be real: How addicting or dangerous is coffee? Really.
Sit down. Grab some Joe. Let’s talk.
Coffee has a long history. Dating back into 1000 AD, Arabian nomads would hand pick the beans, and roast grounds over their fires. By the 13th century, Muslims were drinking coffee religiously. They would drink the dark stuff during the day so they could worship late into the night.
Eventually, coffee spilled into secular and everyday life when North African Muslims introduced it to Europe in the 1600s.
America didn’t really catch on enmasse until the 1970s, when Howard Schultz introduced us to Starbucks. And now, almost 50 years later—we’re hooked. But are we addicted?
Coffee Addiction Breakdown
Addictions come in many forms: drugs, tanning, alcohol, exercise and even food. But coffee? Can something so accepted by nearly all walks of life be addicting or dangerous? Like nearly any substance or enjoyable activity, the answer to this question is yes.
But there are a few things that set coffee apart from the rest.
First of all (and I already showed you this) coffee is incredibly popular. In America alone, more than 24,000 coffee shops spot our streets. And the industry rakes in over $18 billion in sales annually.
Secondly, and this is probably something you already know: coffee has high caffeine content. And caffeine is a drug. This is usually where addiction works its way into the conversation.
How do I know if I’m addicted to Coffee?
Here’s a good, and basic diagnosis: when you stop drinking coffee, do you get pounding headaches, or intense cravings for more? Do you need more and more coffee to get the same effect it used to give you? Do you schedule your day around coffee?
If any of the above is true, you may have joined the coffee addict community without even knowing it. Should you be nervous? Well, yes and no.
Any time you’re dependent or addicted to something, there will be consequences. Here are a few:
- Your Finances: Coffee isn’t cheap. I’ve seen, and bought, fancy coffee drinks that push into the $5 or $6 range.
- Your Example: When your kids see you drink coffee, they want to try it.
- Your Body: It’s never healthy to be addicted to something.
But what about the abundance of antioxidants in coffee? My simple response to this is: What plant doesn’t have antioxidants?!
What do you think?
I want to close this article, and our “Unusual Addictions” series with the question: “What do you think?”
What’s your take on all this? Can someone really be addicted to Facebook, Video Games or Coffee? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.