Caffeine, nicotine and processed sugar – What do they all have in common?
I drink a lot of coffee and have for many years. I think that over 40 years of working the night shift had a hand it that, but the habit continues and I do love my coffee. Don't say I have to switch to decaf. That's like kissing your sister; it don't seem right past the smooch and there isn't any 'zing'. As for the energy drinks, well they're just modern forms of soda drinks to me; same amounts of sugar and caffeine.

Interesting article here (along with a hint of vegetarian bias):

Article Wrote:Link to Original Article

Friday, 28 June 2019
Caffeine, nicotine and processed sugar – What do they all have in common?

Feeling lethargic or depressed? Feeling anxious or stressed? Maybe you’re stuck in a rut without your favorite fix. Maybe you’re “crashing” from a “high” and the vicious cycle is inflicting the long-term effect on you. What can you do when you build up a tolerance to your crutch, go with harder drags off a stronger cigarette, or shots of espresso, or maybe some jacked up energy drink that could give you a myocardial infarction?

Will you go binge on some cupcakes, cookies, donuts, brownies, or just straight GMO chocolate candy to get out of your dopamine slump? That’s what it is, you know, it’s your body’s lack of dopamine due to a long-term overload of caffeine, nicotine, or processed sugar (or maybe 2 or all 3). Let’s take an inside look at what’s happening to you now.

Just like diabetics who eat too much sugar and meat [?!], consumers who overindulge in foods, beverages, and “smokes” that unnaturally provide a dopamine boost regularly will suffer long-term depression from a lack of dopamine AND serotonin production.

Plus, many of the energy drinks on the shelves today in America contain artificial caffeine that comes from cow urine (urea). This type of caffeine is even more dangerous as it can cross the blood brain barrier. No medical doctor in America will tell you this if you go for that depression visit. Beware.

Dopamine fuels your “fight or flight” hormones, and without those functioning properly, people become distraught

Is your sex life in the gutter? Your libido needs natural dopamine production. Does every minor problem seem major to you lately? That’s dopamine deficiency talking to you. Can you not get excited for events or even workout without a cigarette, energy drink, or sugar-loaded meal?

When smokers try to quit cigarettes, they battle brutally for about 2 weeks in the nicotine/dopamine war. If anything stressful happens at all, they MUST have a cigarette to raise their dopamine levels to where they can just “deal” with reality. That one cigarette is enough to drag them right back to smoking a pack a day within a month.

Caffeine and sugar addictions can be just as burdensome on the central nervous system while depleting energy instead of “providing” it. If you drink caffeine throughout the day every day, and you try to quit “cold turkey,” you will most likely experience headaches for a few days. That’s also dopamine deficiency.

Sugar crashes are the same. Just like in the amazing documentary from years ago called “SuperSize Me.” The narrator ate McDonald’s food for every meal every day for 3 weeks. After two weeks, he got a horrible migraine headache two hours after every meal during the sugar crash. The only solution, he said, was to eat more McDonald’s, which simply fed the nefarious cycle.

So what’s your crutch –Starbucks, stogies or energy drinks?

Some people get excited just getting up in the morning and doing “life.” Some people are rich and can do whatever they want all day. Lucky them. Millions of consumers, though, eat and drink and are prescribed drugs that literally destroy happiness, energy, nerves and focus. Are you about to order an extra-large Frap with caramel and whipped topping? Are you still on your first pack of cigs today, or into the second? Maybe you already wasted $10 on some 5-Hour Energy (that’s just vitamin B12, by the way) or on a couple energy “monsters” that will send you over an energy cliff when that sugar and caffeine wear off.

What else can you consume for energy, besides products that cause long-term depression and anxiety? How can you boost your dopamine levels naturally?

The brain has nearly 90 billion neurons that communicate with each other using brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Of those, dopamine has been thoroughly researched and plays a vital role in pleasure, mood, movement, attention and learning. Without proper, natural dopamine production, humans suffer from lack of motivation, other addictions, and sometimes very dangerous “pleasure seeking” risks.

There are plenty of foods that boost dopamine production, many of which contain l-tyrosine, an amino acid found in protein-rich foods. Eat plenty of avocados, bananas, raw organic nuts, organic green leafy vegetables, turmeric, and organic soy products. Also, many beans contain l-dopa, a precursor to dopamine production that’s been used successfully to treat Parkinson’s disease (caused by nerve disorders). Look into fava beans and also mucuna pruriens (superfood grown in tropical climates). You can also supplement with curcumin, l-theanine, and phosphatidylserine (gatekeeper that regulates nutrients in the brain)
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I've recently started taking my coffee with heavy cream. It's delicious. I have two cups and I'm done. 

If I want something more later on I go for herbal tea.
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I stay away from all caffeine now. Ever since I used to binge on energy drinks in college, I've had moderate to severe heart palpitations whenever I consume caffeine. This has further agitated my anxiety disorder and lead to panic attacks. Now I cannot even have a morning cup of coffee. It sucks but it's better than needlessly suffering.

Stay far, far away from energy drinks.
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I usually have two coffees a day. Typically espresso, sometimes regular drip coffee. Espresso without sugar, regular coffee usually needs either some milk or a spoon/packet of sugar. What's nice about coffee is that I can drink it without adding tons of calories and it suppresses appetite.

Sweets? I admit I do have a bit of sweet tooth. Sometimes I can avoid it, other times I have a much harder time with it. The biggest issue with sugar is that it's so worthless. Sure, it tastes great and it's nice to have an occasional treat, but man, you eat it and it does absolutely nothing to fill you up and gives you no nutrition at all. You just keep wanting more and more. Best thing to do with sweets is take a small piece, put it on a plate and put the rest away. Eat a small amount and make sure you don't go back. Leaving it in view is a trap. Any prepackaged sweets just look at the serving size and weigh it out. At least you know how many calories are on those. 170 calories for a serving of ice cream? If you're fine with that amount of calories, then make sure you weigh that out, don't just go and throw 5 scoops in a bowl and think that's a serving. It's all about being smart with sweets. Sweets will destroy you when you eat them without any kind of boundaries.
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I stay away from processed sugars, and in fact I do for carbohydrates in general.Never have nor will touch nicotine, and I made an effort not the have a lot of caffeine (I like tea, and coffee a little, but I often use decaf and never have more than one serving a day). I can tell you from firsthand experience it makes a difference in motivation. There's a real science behind it too: numerous studies have found dopamine underlies the human intrinsic motivation system. There's something else, inflicting most people that does the same thing, albeit much more severe and harmfully, than sugars: Masturbation and pornography. These things, as is not well-known enough, flood the brain with dopamine - unnaturally. The result of use is unnaturally lustful ideas and thoughts, and desires, resulting from an abnormally wired brain and a strikingly low amount of motivation. Dopamine is key, it is critical, and addiction and indulgence to any number of things will upset the system. This is stuff more people need to know.
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Zedta, thank you!  Pilgrim was hitting caffeine and sugar really hard for a while.  I encouraged him to cut down (not totally eliminate - that seems impossible).  The result: he's been super edgy and struggling to focus.  You've given me a piece of the puzzle and something I can try to help him out!!!
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