Thousands of grumpy and groggy parish people rely on caffeine-rich coffee or soda pop to give themselves a leg-up on their day.
But a respected researcher tells the Herald-Guide the grogginess isn’t natural - it's a symptom of caffeine withdrawal.
And if folks simply cut the drug out of their diet, they'll wake up at the top of their game.
They won’t need "the house blend" or a soft drink to help them clear out the cobwebs and feel normal again.
"People wake up, they feel groggy, they gulp coffee or soda pop, and the effect is, 'Oh, wow, this increases alertness, it makes me feel more clear-headed,'" says Roland Griffiths, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore, Maryland.
"What they aren’t recognizing is if they didn't consume caffeine, they’d wake up and be able to concentrate.
"A large part of the ‘boost' they get is nothing more than the suppression of low-grade caffeine withdrawal with symptoms that can range in severity from mild to severe.”
Caffeine withdrawal is characterized by headache, lethargy and irritability, says Griffiths.
“Nausea, vomiting and difficulty concentrating aren't at all uncommon," he warns.
To quit caffeine without going through withdrawals, you can reduce consumption gradually over days or weeks until you've eliminated it from your diet, says Griffiths.
You'll wake up feeling better. You'll also save the $1 to $5 or more a day that you're shelling out for home-brewed java, coffee-shop joe, and all those pricey "big cup" soda pops from fast-food restaurants and convenience stores.
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