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why I don’t drink coffee

Posted Aug 08 2010 7:44am

My mommy has left me all alone in Austin :( She says I’m ready to be on my own and I know she’s anxious to get home to see her husband… BUT I don’t want her to leave me!!! I dropped her off at the crack of dawn this morning at the airport, sobbed the whole way back to my apartment, and then pulled it together to get back on track with my half marathon training — I found an incredible hike/bike trail all around Lady Bird Lake here in Austin. It wasn’t my prettiest run, as I broke into random sobs and sweated in the 83* heat (at 7am?!). But, I did it!

But, let’s get back to that whole “crack of dawn” thing. I know a lot of people would have fumbled with the coffee maker or dragged themselves to the nearest Starbucks, but I’m just not a coffee person!

There was a time at the end of high school and the beginning of college where I drank coffee because it was trendy. Cafés and coffee shops were popular and my friends and I would go to study and drink coffee. I even had dates at coffee shops! But these days, I rarely get a coffee-based drink. I stick to tea and the occasional soy latte. But why don’t I normally drink coffee or espresso?

1. The taste. I think it tastes awful. And if millions of people find it necessary to add mass amounts of artery clogging cream and processed, crappy sugar to it to make it taste good, it probably isn’t worth my time. I love the smell, hate the taste.

2. Caffeine! I know, I know: DECAF. But if the purpose of coffee is to drink that nasty tasting drink to wake you up, what is the point of decaf? Plus, caffeine really affects me. I get serious jitters and will stay up for hours after a cup of coffee or a latte! The occasionally diet soda or cup of caffeinated tea affects me, but not nearly as much as a cup of coffee.

3. Politics. Let’s be honest, a lot of coffee is not fairly traded and it isn’t fair to the farmers and field workers who work so hard and still live in poverty. If I limit my coffee intake, I am limiting my participation in that industry.

4. Coffee is a natural laxative! Coffee affects the magnesium in your body which helps to absorb important nutrients from your food. So if you have a big cup of coffee with that healthy, balanced breakfast, you’re doing yourself a disservice! Coffee rushes food out of your digestive tract too quickly and the nutrients aren’t totally absorbed.

5. Pesticides are gross. Icky, icky pesticides! I know they exist in other produce and organic is expensive, so if I can limit my intake of pesticides in one area, coffee is an easy way to do it. I’ve heard that coffee tends to have a larger concentration of pesticides than a lot of other foods!

6. Addictions aren’t healthy! With the exception of maybe chocolate and freshly baked bread, you shouldn’t ever be addicted to a food! Coffee is like a drug and people become dependent on it. For instance, I know a lot of people who say they physically cannot wake up without coffee and crave it all the time. Maybe you should get more sleep and ween yourself off the java? If you’re dependent on a food/beverage like that, you have a problem.

So what do I drink? I tend to not like hot drinks at all, but I do like a good cup of tea. I try to find natural, herbal, decaf tea. Yes, I do sometimes drink caffeinated tea (like the pitcher of iced tea in my fridge) but it doesn’t affect me the same way as coffee and, from what I’ve heard and my own intuition, tea seems a lot more benign than coffee. I’ve yet to actually need tea and I certainly don’t depend on it to wake me up.

A cup of green tea & a yogurt bowl (Greek yogurt, a peach, naturally sweetened granola)

So where do you stand? Coffee addict? Occasional latte (like me!)? Or do you avoid it all together? Why? Athletes: does coffee affect performance?


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