Taking a look at his blog, You Are Not So Smart: A Celebration of Self Delusion, there is a lot to get the independent thinking juices flowing. Being that this blog is dedicated to life in Mexico the post titled Coffee caught my eye and at 38 weeks pregnant, coffee is one drug I consume daily. Mexico, according to the National Coffee Association, is one of the world's largest coffee producing countries. This particular post was published two years ago and in it McRaney writes:
"The Misconception: Coffee stimulates you. The Truth: You become addicted to caffeine quickly, and soon you are drinking coffee to cure withdrawal more than for stimulation."
There has been more research published on coffee and the other more than 1,000 ingredients found in the beverage since McRaney summed up the misconception and laid down "the truth".
In 2011, an article on Science Daily.com stated that researchers studying Alzheimer's found " the first evidence that caffeinated coffee offers protection against the memory-robbing disease that is not possible with other caffeine-containing drinks or decaffeinated coffee." Being the granddaughter of an Alzheimer's patient as well as the daughter of a stroke survivor, relating caffeine consumption to protecting the brain is something for me to get excited about. However, caffeine is addictive but I wonder am I really "drinking coffee to cure withdrawal more than for stimulation"? I am also drinking it because it can (maybe) possibly be good for me.
Just this month the Chicago Tribune published the article "What is it about coffee? Research showing benefits for everything from liver disease to Alzheimer's?" where a list of research related information goes into how consuming coffee is not just addictive but has many health benefits. Some specialists, however, warn against the consumption of coffee pregnant women and children, one such being Tasmanian defence nutritionist, Chris Forbes-Ewan, but praises the benefits for certain humans, like Olympic athletes.
As I type this post, I have just finished my one cup of Mexican grown coffee I bought at a local coffee shop. I have not stopped my consumption of coffee during any of my pregnancies and perhaps I am just like McRaney says, not as smart as I think I am, but I do know that contradicting research comes out almost daily. Coffee is addictive and as it turns out, drinking it daily can also be very good for me, which is also an important part of "the truth". So, for now, I will stick to my one cup a day and continue to use coffee not only as a stimulant but as preventative medicine. Maybe some scientist will publish research that shows that coffee makes you smarter...then I really will be as smart as I think I am!