Caffeine Makes Me Bleed by Susan Lynn is a layperson's experience of the caffeine habit gone horribly wrong. Like myself, Susan was hustling different jobs in the early 80's when the economy was in a roller coaster ride. When she started working for a construction company, she was going non-stop with work, education and family. As many of us recall those days, the coffee (and cigarette) culture was also going full blown. I liked the first person observation that Susan gives of the long hours, the high stress and the tragic accidents of the construction industry. While there were many factors for the stress and the accidents, running on adrenalin-boosting caffeine was one of them. Susan's health ever deteriorated to the point where internal bleeding hospitalized her.
Fortunately, she traced some of her health problems to her caffeine encephalopathy and was able to regain her health by cutting out drinking coffee.
The coffee debate has been going on for decades. Even Bob Hoffman's book, How to be Strong, Healthy and Happy makes mention of problems with the coffee habit. And his book was published in 1930. Here we are 80 years later where coffee is not just a treat, but a staple. Even most panhandlers will opt for a coffee before they buy food.
Now, what I have found interesting is how university professors and text book writers will dismiss the benefits of ergonomic aids, including herbal supplements and then go through great lengths to promote the use of coffee. Can you say science for sale? While the people with practical experience, like sport coaches recognize coffee as a "heart whip" with no real nutritional value.
In all fairness though, some endurance athletes, like runners, can benefit from coffee. That is, if they are not regular coffee drinkers. The caffeine will cause the fatty acids to suddenly dump into the runner's blood stream just prior to a race. This worked well for marathoner, Bill Rogers, who would only drink a cup of coffee before a marathon. Yet, the same effect does not hold true for regular coffee drinkers.
While I like the smell and taste of coffee, I am against its heavy use. I know at least one friend who 10 cups of fresh ground coffee a day has overtaken his health. Now, in his fifties, he struggles with sleep problems and high blood pressure.
Susan Lynn's book is a good wake up call to how the caffeine habit hurts people in the long run. Even if you are not a heavy coffee drinker, it is an eye-opening read.