7 Reasons to Cut Back on Coffee

Written by Randy Fritz, co-creator with Diana Herrington at Real Food for Life

Coffee is for Bugs not Your Body!

Caffeine is a natural insecticide that plants have been using to protect themselves from insects for thousands of years!

That caffeine in your steaming cup of coffee has been put to much better use in driving away or killing insects in your backyard, rather than getting you going in the morning.

7 Reasons to Cut Down on Your Coffee or Caffeine Consumption

1. Caffeine was developed as a poison.

Over millions of years, plants have developed various powerful compounds to stop insects from stripping away every bit of greenery from the planet. Many plants are obviously poisonous or extremely inedible to protect themselves. Other examples of slightly toxic substances include oxalic acid in leafy greens and capsaicin in chili peppers. When you consider the fact that we consume 12,000 tons of caffeine a year, the amounts in these other foods are miniscule in comparison. A good rule of thumb for health is to avoid or reduce poisons.

2. Caffeine exhausts the adrenals.

Whereas a dose of caffeine in a small insect may stun or even kill it, in humans it just gives us a little “buzz.” This stimulation is what many people depend on to get themselves going with their morning coffee, but it is short lived.

Since it really is just stimulation, an excitement of the nervous and glandular system, it’s not producing any long term energy; and as soon as that little high wears off, you are reaching for another shot.† Do this enough times and your nervous and glandular system, particularly the adrenal gland, is exhausted.† You have to keep increasing the “dose” to have energy and eventually nothing works and you crash.

3.† Caffeine is addictive.

The fact that you can get caffeine withdrawal symptoms if you stop is an obvious symptom of addiction. Most people donít want to be addicted to anything!

You probably think you donít drink enough to be addicted, but research shows you probably already are. Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine showed that low to moderate caffeine intake (as little as one small cup of coffee per day) can quickly produce withdrawal symptoms.

4.† Caffeine often comes with sugar and other health hazards.

Raw coffee beans by themselves donít taste good, so sweeteners are usually added. This is usually white sugar or some artificial chemical that tastes sweet.

Some people consider white sugar to also be a chemical poison. To read all about the dangers of sugar and to how to stop your sugar craving, see: 7 Tips to Stop Sugar Cravings

At the very least, sugar is definitely a dumb carb and not a smart carb. Other than the simple sugars, it has no micronutrients like vitamins or minerals to help your body. Also it has a high glycemic index so it goes quickly into the system, creating insulin spikes and insulin resistance, which eventually leads to weight gain.

5.† Caffeine toxicity has been linked to, well, almost everything.

The above four points are pretty well known. Caffeine toxicity, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be as commonly discussed. If you do a medical search for “caffeine toxicity” on Google Scholar, you get 44,000 entries.

Caffeine has been associated with studies in a lot of conditions including:

  • irregular heartbeat
  • insomnia
  • psychosis
  • anorexia
  • sleeplessness
  • headaches
  • nervousness
  • irritability
  • depression
  • bedwetting
  • birth defects in rodents

6.† Caffeine is used as an insecticide.

Back to my original point. Over 20 years ago James Nathanson, assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, reported in Science magazine of this important function of caffeine. The study determined that caffeine combined with other insecticides increases their killing power. In one test, a small dose of caffeine increased known pesticides potency by 10 times. Caffeine appears to produce the destructive effect by suppressing certain enzymes in the insects’ nervous systems. In man, caffeine is now classified by many scientists as a neurotoxin. That means it is definitely not “good” for your nerves.

Do you think that maybe you have other pesticides in your system that caffeine could react with?

7.† Coffee cups destroy the environment.

The world drinks 400 billion coffees a year. We toss away 100 million cups a year which, if we are careful with our trash, ends up in landfills.

The paper in landfills, like all organic matter, decomposes without oxygen, and thus produces methane which has 23 times the heat trapping power of CO2.

The plastic coating of the paper and the polystyrene coffee cup lid, after its minutes-long use, will continue to exist for hundreds of years. Plastic coffee cup lids contain the toxic substances styrene and benzene, which have been documented as suspected carcinogens and neurotoxins. Thatís also bad!

Next page: 5 Easy Alternatives to Caffeine

You Could Choose Worse!

If you are going to choose a drug, caffeine is certainly better than alcohol, nicotine, cocaine or narcotics.† Narcotics used to be readily available in the drugstore but new understanding has caused their restriction, so most people have moved into caffeine and alcohol. (Read: 4 Dangerous Drugs Doctors Gave Your Grandparents)

Coffee does some have specific uses: They would tend to be medicinal. Caffeine, for example, is added to many cold and pain medications to increase their speed and potency.† This decreases overall medicine use.

Coffee also has some great social benefits. The coffee shops around the world seem to fulfill a universal urge to come together to talk and eat and drink. In the crazy world we live in, coffee shops are often a tiny oasis of comfort and calm. That being said, perhaps we could be drinking alternate beverages with less caffeine.

You Could Choose Better: 5 Caffeine Alternatives

1. Green Tea

Green tea has one-half to one-sixth the caffeine of regular brewed coffee. It has about half the caffeine as a Coke or Pepsi. Some specialty green teas have even less caffeine than this.

What green tea has more of is all kinds of health benefits, including prevention in cancer and† heart disease. Maybe this is why green tea is the second most popular beverage in the world (after water) and the most popular health beverage. Green tea is considered a critical element in the development of the British middle class, womenís liberation, girl guides, charity organizations, and the American Revolution. Read more at Green Tea: The Powerfood That Rules the World

2. Herbal Beverages

Other than in bars, it is now socially acceptable to drink herbal drinks in public!† They are often called “herbal teas” although technically they are not.

3.† Ice Cold Orange Juice or Lemon Water

Both will give you smart carbs with natural energy and will also reduce your risk of heart disease. Most other fruit juices have additional health benefits. Lemon water is also highly alkalizing. It will take a bit more time or energy to have fresh juice but you wonít be spending time making coffee.

4.† Dandelion Coffee

The nice thing about this is that it can be absolutely free. Dandelion root has a host of health benefits.† Read how to make it at Dandelion Root Coffee

5.† Power Foods:† Pick One, Any One

There are whole foods that will give you the energy and clarity that you are trying to get with coffee. They are probably in your kitchen right now. Below is a list of great choices for breakfast or a snack. Take your pick from the list and enjoy the energy and health benefits!

  • Apples: One of these per day will keep the doctor away!
  • Bananas
  • Raspberries Contains the anti-carcinogenic substance, ellagic acid.
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts: The crinkly powerfood with the highest antioxidant activity of any nut.
  • Pumpkin Seeds: The alkalizing seed.
  • Quinoa: This nutty-flavored powerfood is pronounced keenĖwa.
  • Oatmeal Much more health benefits than just fiber.


Leanne B.
Leanne B5 years ago

Good info. thanks.

Jan G.
Jan G5 years ago

Generally sound advice and warnings, but perhaps a bit over the top. Caffeine used in moderation can have benefits for some and is not as deadly as these comments suggest. Google caffeine wiki for what may be regarded as a more balanced overview.

Azle B.
Azle B5 years ago

In health(college course) I learned that caffeine destroys the dendrites and makes us nervous by removeing the mylenin (fatty coating) from the nerves. It shows as an addictive drug when you have to consume more of the caffeinge to get the same "buzz". Then there is the difficulty to stop consumeing the drug that shows in physical symptoms like headaches and nervous hypretension.

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson6 years ago

I love coffee but quit cold turkey during pregnancy. (I had been consuming 12 cups a day!) after my son was born i started up again but never got to more than one or two cups in. now i drink 3 or 4 cups a week (only on cold mornings at work). I am no longer addicted.. the 9 months off remedied that. But I genuinely love the taste of coffee. however, I use coffee cups that have lids.. reusable. so at least i dont add to the worlds litter

Tammy D.
Tammy D6 years ago

not the best formed argument.

why focus on coffee? at least it is natural, as opposed to cola drinks and 'energy' drinks that are chock full of caffeine, sugar carbonation *and* come in unfriendly packaging. take out cups are evil, but that is not a reason to stop drinking coffee, it's a reason to stop using take away cups.
I'm not going to argue that caffeine is good for the body, but this is a seemingly slap-dash argument against it.

Sheri P.
Sheri P6 years ago

dandelion root coffee? never heard of it!

Dianne Lynn Elko
Past Member 6 years ago


Ammy G.
Ammy G6 years ago

And on this same page, there is a link to another article titled "Want to live longer? Drink coffee"... so, what to believe?

Howard C.
.6 years ago

I have never drunk coffee, simply can't stand the taste; but I do sometimes drink cola drinks which have caffeine in them.

Howard C.
.6 years ago

I have never drunk coffee, simply can't stand the taste; but I do sometimes drink cola drinks which have caffeine in them.