Jitter Juice

Mood: Tired, Headache

Currently Reading: Still,  All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (I have been in a reading slump, sorry!)

As I have stated before, I love coffee. The caffeine makes me feel happy and I can get things done 10x faster than before. It’s a scientific fact that coffee stimulates the release of neurotransmitter dopamine. A quote from Psychology Today.com by Gary L. Wenk Ph.D professor of Psychology & Neuroscience (among other things) “This action by coffee has always been an adequate explanation for why caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world.”  Dopamine is the same neurotransmitter that is released when one does drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy. ……. Did they just say there is a similarity between coffee and cocaine?  Yes, that’s crazy! Most of us probably consume at least one cup of coffee daily and without it….. a little cranky are we?

I use coffee to make me feel better when I’m sad, or make me perk up at 5 am when I wake, or as a daily treat that produces what I call instant happiness. My mom and I would wake up and go to Dunkin’ to get our daily fix and it was a morning ritual. It’s hard to take something you’ve been doing for years and try to even cut down slightly. I come from coffee people, my dad always would leave for work in the morning with a big thermos of it. Coffee is a staple for many people, but it can have its own set of consequences. Heartbeat racing, nervousness, stomach irritation all side effects of coffee.


I have a naturally fast heartbeat, I know this because I know the normal range for an adult is (60-100) and I am a health science major, in class we are always taking each others pulse and blood pressure. My pulse is always at least 95-100, if not 100+ and the other students and teachers ask me “Is it always like that?” and I reply, yes. I am a very energetic person I am always doing something and rarely sitting down so I just thought it was the way I was, with my little hummingbird heart. However, recently I was given a heart monitor for 24 hours because my heartbeat was consistently over 100 and I had a few instances where I was short of breath. I’m 23 and I know what those are for and the process for them and how to place them on ones chest, but I never thought I’d have to wear one at this stage in my life. I reluctantly made the appointment and had the monitor placed. The RN placing the electrodes did an EKG to start and asked why I was having one. I told her Its because of fast heartbeat to which she replied, yes right now it’s 101 “If its always like that, its good youre getting this done.” I was a little suprised because like I said, I’m a healthy person who has done ballet for most of my life thus far (I quit about 2 years ago, not proud of it) I’m in shape and I know I should exercise more but didnt think I was that bad off. I recieved my directions and wore this cumbersome little bag around my chest for 24 hours along with the itchy tape she placed over the electrodes.


I slept on my back being careful not to mess with the wires or little monitor. I went to work and explained to my boss that I was going to look like I had a little box on my chest and an electrode peeking out of the top neckline of my shirt until 1pm or so. We joked about drinking coffee and heart palpatations, he told me that he already quit drinking coffee and he has heart problems. To which I replied…… “Give me Coffee or give me death”. The caffenated kind of course, I didnt ask for bitter, hot, bean water to which the caffeine has been chemically removed. I then learned that that sentance made me look like a caffeine addict. I dont drink it for the taste I drink it because the minute that cold, creamy, sometimes grainy with sugar substance hits my lips, I am happy. I feel the difference in mood, even though it takes about 39 minutes for the caffine to be absoarbed into my bloodstream, coffeed drinkers have programmed out brains to know that when we taste it, that happy feeling is coming once the caffeine is absoarbed. Decafenated coffee may be a real thing for me to have to get used to in the very near future, and I’m not thrilled about it! I only drink one cup daily though and I hope my results are normal and I wont have to go to decaf. I also hope that my fast heartbeat is just because of my me-ness and my energetic behavior. However, I will be thinking about how much I actually depend on the stuff both physically and mentally.



Works Cited-

Wenk, G. L. (2011, October 28). Why Does Coffee Make Us Feel So Good? Retrieved January 28, 2018, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-brain-food/201110/why-does-coffee-make-us-feel-so-good

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