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How to Get Ass Happy and Informed About Things We Drink

Posted Feb 27 2010 8:56pm
You Are What You Drink 
We like to drink. We drink pop, coffee, teas, and fruit juice and lot of other weird and wonderful concoctions. Oh yeah and booze - I'm leaving that one for today. Although I will say - not all booze is bad. In fact it can have tons of health benefits. Everything in small doses - well not everything - but you know what i mean.

Ugh and some people drink diet pop! So where to start. As I've said before I don't think saying no to something all the time, barring a few things (like commercial hot dogs and diet pop) is a great idea. We seem to have a button that goes off in our brains so that when we say, "must not have" we absolutely want to have it.

So I think the best thing to do here is give you the information on drinks and then you can empower yourself to make the decisions that are right for you or ignore it and have 12 coffees a day an enjoy your heart palpitations.

Let's Talk Pop:
Pop seems cool, celebrities look hot and sexy drinking it and it comes in lovely bright coloured bottles that seem to attract us like thirsty magpies. So what's actually in that bottle you like to guzzle down?

  • Most pops have 10-11 teaspoons of sugar - that is well over 100% percent of your sugar needs for the day and a whopping amount of calories.
  • We are not made to drink things that sweet in fact they should trigger our gag reflux the reason you don't instantly barf when you drink pop is because they add the lovely phosphoric acid that allows you to keep the stuff down.
  • When you drink or eat too much sugar your body views it and treats it like an insulin spike this means your liver starts working to get the sugar amount down in your blood so it begins to start storing it as fat to decrease it - hello love handles.....
  • Phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc - some amazing minerals that keep your immunity high and heart and muscles working - this means these minerals attach to the acid and leaves your body as urine leaving you without your much needed nutrients. Caffeine does this too. So if it's a caffeinated pop it's a double nutrient whammy. 
  • when the sugar is finally cleared out of your system you'll feel sluggish, tired and likely hungry.
Splenda, Aspartame and all these lovely additives are a no go. - some are known carcinogens others just haven't had enough use in the market for them to be able to tell us that they're safe or not. Just steer clear of them. Try honey or real sugar if you absolutely need a sweet taste.

Tea: I'm a real fan of tea, i think it's mostly great. Stay away from the boring orange pekoes and go for some of the more adventurous ones. I suggest one caffeinated beverage a day (if any) and it can be a coffee (preferably espresso not drip coffee) or a dark tea.

I'm sure you've seen those Ancient Chinese secrete Diet teas - don't drink them - they should be called gut and ass busters. They make you 'lose weight' by having you shit your pants for hours on end and causing dehydration (water loss). Not good and they taste crap too.

Some healthy teas to try:

The Big One  - Coffee:

With coffee you usually fall into one of two camps - coffee hater ( never drink it), coffee lover - want to drink it in many different forms.

Well here's the thing coffee should be treated like chocolate - drink only the organic good quality kind and small portions are best. Drink coffee like you were born in Italy and you'll be fine.

If you shake like a leaf when you drink it - you probably shouldn't.

Why the fuss about coffee?

I've had clients who drink 11 cups a day. That is an amazing amount of caffeine - like heart attack inducing levels - but it also means you're peeing out a good percentage of your nutrients too - remember a few of them bind to caffeine which means even if you're spending $20 bucks on organic red peppers you're peeing away all the good stuff.

A Bit of Science:
Coffee is really about caffeine and caffeine is part of the acid/purine group of chemical compounds. Sounds yummy huh? Two of the compounds in this group are adenine and guanine, and then are two of the four compounds that make of the four letters of the genetic alphabet contained in DNA. Hmm.... we're still not sure what that means to us but it's chemical makeup is close so something to note.

Why does caffeine make you alert?
the caffeine molecule mimics very closely the chemical structure of adenosine - A sleep inducing compound called a neuromodulator. This means it's a chemical that either increases or decreases the rate at which nerve cells fire.

This could get long and complicated so the short story here is that because caffeine mimics adenosine in the body -  caffeine binds to adenosine receptor sites and thus blocks actual adenosine from binding - preventing the signal for rest to occur. So you're a jumpy happy mess, hyped up on coffee until you have the next one or a chocolate bar or pop.

Caffeine is also used to increase the impact of other drugs - it's a great accelerator so it's often used in medications for just this purpose.

What can happen when you drink it?

  • Well it blocks your rest receptors of your nerves
  • it can cause abnormal heart rhythms
  • In some studies it has shown to be related to 1st trimester miscarriages
  • anxiety and panic attacks
  • increased cholesterol levels
  • bladder irritation
  • sleep disorders
  • it also forms acid in the body
It also prematurely opens the cardiac sphincter - the opening from the stomach going into the intestines which means if you eat a big meal and then finish it with a coffee the caffeine will trigger the cardiac sphincter to open before you are done breaking down your food - thus causing digestion issues and not being able to get what you need from your food.

Well and it is a mood altering central nervous system stimulant - no it's not as powerful as cocaine or heroin but in fact it functions in the same neurochemical channels as these substances.... and it is definitely addictive. 

Amounts of caffeine in drinks: 

Beverage (8-oz or as noted)milligrams
Starbucks Grande Coffee (16 oz)330
Coffee, Drip115-175
Starbucks Grande Latte (16 oz)150
Dunkin' Donuts Coffee (16 oz)143
Coffee, Brewed80-135
McDonald's Coffee (small)100
Coffee, Espresso single shot80
Coffee, Instant65-100
Tea, iced47
Tea, brewed, imported brands (avg.)60
Tea, brewed, U.S. brands (avg.)40
Tea, instant30
Tea, green15-30
Hot cocoa14

The coffee bottom line? 

  • You best choices are organic coffee (because many pesticides are used on coffee plants). And i suggest a espresso coffee. That way you get 80 mg of caffeine much less than a drip coffee from somewhere like Starbucks.  
  • Also timing - if you like your coffee I suggest drinking it before you have your healthy and lovely breakfast - that way it's not going to force your undigested food out of your stomach before it's ready.
  • One a day is best or one three or 4 times a week. 
  • Don't add bullshit fake sweetner to your coffee - add cinnamon - it balances blood sugar, has anti-blood clotting abilities and fights the e-coli bacteria.  Not bad for a simple spice.
Trying to Cut down on Caffeine:
Most coffee substitutes tastes like ass. so bad you really think you'll never live again. So here's a few I can deal with on my No Coffee Days.
  • Teeccino - an herbal coffee replacement with great flavours like Moka that is brewed exactly like coffee ( I use it in my espresso maker) 
  • Rooibos tea - it tastes caffeinated and works plain or with milk 
Oh and water - don't forget about lovely hydrating delicious water.

Rule of thumb - if you drink 1 glass of coffee you'll need to drink 2 cups of water to replenish what it takes out of your system because it is also dehydrating....

Have a Happy Ass Week


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