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A science-based reason to avoid caffeine habituation


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I personally gave up caffeine more than 10 years ago after praying about it.  For the first time in years my kidney functions were in the normal range.

However, I have always felt that advice wasn't for everyone, just me since I was the one asking.

Personally I hope caffeine is never officially part of the Word of Wisdom.  It is an application of a principle.  I don't like being as rule bound as we are.  I hope it gets better.  I much prefer to listen for the doctrines and principles and live according to those and not rely on everyone else's rules and applications. 

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6 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:
1 hour ago, Stargazer said:

I think that it is very wise to say that "hot drinks" refers to coffee and tea, and leave off getting technical about it.

Well if that's the position we're going to stick with it can't really be about health.  There's no nutritional or medical reason to ban those two substances and not other with similar content.

So that's fine with me, but it's not a health issue if those are the only two banned.

I think the main issue is whatever is habit forming:
"the leaders of the Church have advised, and do now specifically advise, against the use of any drink containing harmful habit-forming drugs under circumstances that would result in the acquiring of the habit."  (1971 letter from Elder Joseph Anderson Secretary to the First Presidency)

Like I said before to avoid becoming physically dependent on something where if you did not have it would result in unhealthy withdrawal symptoms. Keeping control of our bodies. Besides specifically hot black tea and hot coffee being proscribed, there is this added "advise" that we should also heed.

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11 minutes ago, JAHS said:

I think the main issue is whatever is habit forming:
"the leaders of the Church have advised, and do now specifically advise, against the use of any drink containing harmful habit-forming drugs under circumstances that would result in the acquiring of the habit."  (1971 letter from Elder Joseph Anderson Secretary to the First Presidency)

Like I said before to avoid becoming physically dependent on something where if you did not have it would result in unhealthy withdrawal symptoms. Keeping control of our bodies. Besides specifically hot black tea and hot coffee being proscribed, there is this added "advise" that we should also heed.

There goes sugar from our diet.  That’s probably a good thing though.

Edited by pogi
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30 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Well if that's the position we're going to stick with it can't really be about health.  There's no nutritional or medical reason to ban those two substances and not other with similar content.

So that's fine with me, but it's not a health issue if those are the only two banned.

I take it as a word of wisdom. Wisdom does not mean cutting out everything that could possibly be unhealthful. Because everything can be unhealthful. Even too much water can kill you. Wisdom means to be wise. Not fanatic. Personally, I think it's wise to not drink alcoholic beverages, coffee, tea, and avoid smoking and chewing tobacco. I've benefitted greatly from following that word of wisdom. I'm happy with it. But I don't want to multiply rules. Again, looking beyond the mark is a bad idea.

 

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24 minutes ago, JAHS said:

I think the main issue is whatever is habit forming:
"the leaders of the Church have advised, and do now specifically advise, against the use of any drink containing harmful habit-forming drugs under circumstances that would result in the acquiring of the habit."  (1971 letter from Elder Joseph Anderson Secretary to the First Presidency)

Like I said before to avoid becoming physically dependent on something where if you did not have it would result in unhealthy withdrawal symptoms. Keeping control of our bodies. Besides specifically hot black tea and hot coffee being proscribed, there is this added "advise" that we should also heed.

It's actually not difficult to avoid habitual use of processed sugar, coffee, tea, or even alcohol. You simply eat and drink in moderation. Drink alcohol rarely or sparingly. Don't drink coffee/tea every day. Don't indulge in processed sugar everyday. Simple!

 

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11 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

It's actually not difficult to avoid habitual use of processed sugar, coffee, tea, or even alcohol. You simply eat and drink in moderation. Drink alcohol rarely or sparingly. Don't drink coffee/tea every day. Don't indulge in processed sugar everyday. Simple!

 

I know too many people who thought they were drinking in moderation and became alcoholics. Best to stay away from it altogether. But you are right about moderation in all things.

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20 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

It's actually not difficult to avoid habitual use of processed sugar, coffee, tea, or even alcohol. You simply eat and drink in moderation. Drink alcohol rarely or sparingly. Don't drink coffee/tea every day. Don't indulge in processed sugar everyday. Simple!

 

Sugar will depend on where you live.  Too many people don't have much access to foods that are not convenience foods.  In the suburbs it is not that big of a deal, but here in the states it can be.  

And so many foods that don't need to be sweetened are. 

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Quote

George Q. Cannon in 1868 stated:

We are told, and very plainly too, that hot drinks–tea, coffee, chocolate, cocoa and all drinks of this kind are not good for man…we must feed our children properly… We must not permit them to drink liquor or hot drinks, or hot soups or to use tobacco or other articles that are injurious.131

From an excellent write up by Brother Ash:

https://www.fairlatterdaysaints.org/conference/august-2000/up-in-smoke-a-response-to-the-tanners-criticism-of-the-word-of-wisdom

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Here's what I know:

  • I've made a covenant with God, twice*, that I will keep the Word of Wisdom.
  • When I keep my covenants, I know I am blessed.
  • Sometimes, we tend to get so caught up in trying to ferret out the "Do's and Don'ts" of the Word of Wisdom that we forget the most important part of it: See Doctrine and Covenants 89:18-21.

I realize that won't make me very much fun at parties, even the ones where substances prohibited by the Word of Wisdom are not served where I could argue with my fellow Latter-day Saints about the Word of Wisdom. ;)

Sorry.  :unknw:

* Once when I was baptized and once when I received my endowment

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1 hour ago, Rain said:

Sugar will depend on where you live.  Too many people don't have much access to foods that are not convenience foods.  In the suburbs it is not that big of a deal, but here in the states it can be.  

And so many foods that don't need to be sweetened are. 

This is true. There is so much sugar in American foods. We noticed it a few years back when we came to visit. There were some things we just couldn't eat, they were too sweet.

My parents avoid processed sugar completely. And added salt, mostly. But they don't live in a food desert like some people do.

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1 hour ago, JAHS said:

I know too many people who thought they were drinking in moderation and became alcoholics. Best to stay away from it altogether. But you are right about moderation in all things.

Sure, people decieve themselves. And some people struggle with addiction. And--addiction aside--there are still health and safety risks with alcohol.

I recommend never drinking to black-out drunkenness, not drinking on consecutive days, and following a maximum of 2 days a week, and frequently having weeks without any drinking is also good.

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2 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

It's actually not difficult to avoid habitual use of processed sugar, coffee, tea, or even alcohol. You simply eat and drink in moderation. Drink alcohol rarely or sparingly. Don't drink coffee/tea every day. Don't indulge in processed sugar everyday. Simple!

 

Tell that too an addict.  Addiction is so much more than someone not having self discipline.

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32 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Here's what I know:

  • I've made a covenant with God, twice*, that I will keep the Word of Wisdom.
  • When I keep my covenants, I know I am blessed.

We've all made that covenant.  The issue is what is the Word of Wisdom.  For some it's whatever the current rulebook of the month is.  For others it's what's actually in the scripture. 

And for others it's a pick and choose buffet of parts of one and parts of the other and can change frequently.

Edited by JLHPROF
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45 minutes ago, pogi said:

Tell that too an addict.  Addiction is so much more than someone not having self discipline.

I don't disagree with you. But I do disagree with any assertions that addiction is inevitable with the consumption of strong/hot drinks.

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44 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

We've all made that covenant.  The issue is what is the Word of Wisdom.  For some it's whatever the current rulebook of the month is.  For others it's what's actually in the scripture. 

And for others it's a pick and choose buffet of parts of one and parts of the other and can change frequently.

I cannot (at least I should not) impose my interpretation on someone else.  What if I'm lactose or gluten intolerant?  Does that put at least one additional thing in my personal Word of Wisdom that isn't in someone else's?  Quite possibly.  I don't think, necessarily, that there is a one-size-fits-all interpretation that is applicable equally to everyone.  All one can do is seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit and follow it.

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2 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

For some it's whatever the current rulebook of the month is.  For others it's what's actually in the scripture. 

Wonder which one you favour as appropriate….:P

Do you avoid all hot drinks?  Serous question, I can’t remember if you have clarified how you interpret it or feel is appropriate to do and not do.  

———-

I can’t think of any hot drink I would have trouble giving up, can’t even eat chocolate so cocoa is out. Hot milk and nutmeg is a rare treat. There is an apple cider mix that Iam fond of and can’t drink too much of as just empty calories, so I tend not to drink that except for comfort. I will have to see how long I can manage not to crave it this time around. 
 

Would be disappointed if I had to give up hot water as it feels good in the stomach and little does these days. What qualifies as hot…there is no risk of me burning myself for example, not steaming or anything…it is warmer than room temp though.  Soup would generally be warmer.  If temperature was the issue with the WoW, seems like more direction than just “hot” should have been given. Is it hot if I don’t have to slip it and can drink it like I could a room temp water?

 “Hot” is so subjective. 
 

So if someone who is used to drinking coffee or tea calls my water or milk warm, it would be okay to drink, right?  Or just because I think of it as “hot” because I never had drunk much close to scalding liquid, but like food and drinks more lukewarm, does that eliminate my version of hot drinks not tea or coffee?

And if a particular temperature is set, then is one degree less okay?  What if you guess it is less because you don’t have a thermometer, but it isn’t…are you breaking the Word of Wisdom?

I wonder if early Saints were letting their tea and coffee cool a bit before drinking and that is why Hyrum/Joseph had to clarify. That seems more likely to me even than claiming hot drinks meant hot chocolate or something beside coffee and tea, though maybe they were using “drink” as a term for alcohol in their justifications and claiming it meant no hot toddies or possets.

The clarification was definitely written as not just ignoring the instruction, but rationalizing exceptions to it based on some interpretation of “hot drinks”.  Focusing on temperature would be a very easy rationalization (I have heard it being used to justify eating coffee flavored ice cream).  It may even be correct, but if correct than why wasn’t it “hot coffee” or “hot tea”?  And why wasn’t instruction such as ‘you can drink it at room temperature or body temp’ given for clarification?

Thus it makes much more sense to me that the WoW was talking about specific ingredients—coffee and tea—using a collective term that led to confusion rather than was about something in the preparation of the ingredient.  I think that is consistent with the rest of the WoW which talks about specific types of food rather than how they were prepared to be consumed. 

Edited by Calm
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3 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

This is true. There is so much sugar in American foods. We noticed it a few years back when we came to visit. There were some things we just couldn't eat, they were too sweet.

My parents avoid processed sugar completely. And added salt, mostly. But they don't live in a food desert like some people do.

I've lived in North America and in Europe. Sugar is flipping everywhere. Foods used to be less sugary in Europe, but American habits have migrated. Tesco and Coop in the UK have extensive selections of salty snacks like crisps/chips that remind me of the supermarkets in the US. Same for sugar-enriched foods, although it does seem that the selection of fresh fruits and veg in Tesco rival most US supermarkets, but not by much. 

It's a disease. Sugar is everywhere. 

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54 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

I've lived in North America and in Europe. Sugar is flipping everywhere. Foods used to be less sugary in Europe, but American habits have migrated. Tesco and Coop in the UK have extensive selections of salty snacks like crisps/chips that remind me of the supermarkets in the US. Same for sugar-enriched foods, although it does seem that the selection of fresh fruits and veg in Tesco rival most US supermarkets, but not by much. 

It's a disease. Sugar is everywhere. 

Over-consumption of sugar is widespread, sure, but it is almost 25% higher in the US than the next leading country, by average. 

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8 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

This is true. There is so much sugar in American foods. We noticed it a few years back when we came to visit. There were some things we just couldn't eat, they were too sweet.

My parents avoid processed sugar completely. And added salt, mostly. But they don't live in a food desert like some people do.

I do too as much as possible and live in the US. But it wasn’t easy to say the least and I don’t live in a food desert. It entails looking at every label on earth, learning the names of all sugar additives, relearning how to cook desserts, retraining your body to recognize reduced forms of sweetness, a willingness/time to cook basically every meal, etc. And when I purposely reduced sugar, I was already a healthy eater, I don’t have a strong sweet tooth, and I already cooked a lot. This is a massive change for a lot of people and I understand when people struggle to do so. 

 

with luv, 

BD 

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30 minutes ago, BlueDreams said:

I do too as much as possible and live in the US. But it wasn’t easy to say the least and I don’t live in a food desert. It entails looking at every label on earth, learning the names of all sugar additives, relearning how to cook desserts, retraining your body to recognize reduced forms of sweetness, a willingness/time to cook basically every meal, etc. And when I purposely reduced sugar, I was already a healthy eater, I don’t have a strong sweet tooth, and I already cooked a lot. This is a massive change for a lot of people and I understand when people struggle to do so. 

 

with luv, 

BD 

Yup. Especially when one cannot cook everything from scratch. It takes time and skill to do so. As the only parent in a household of 8 most of the time, since my husband works abroad, and with me working and going to school, I can't do what my parents do. They're retired, and although it isn't a big deal for them to spend 10 minutes preparing for breakfast, twenty for lunch, or an hour for dinner, not everyone has that time. 

 

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11 hours ago, Rain said:

 

I personally gave up caffeine more than 10 years ago after praying about it.  For the first time in years my kidney functions were in the normal range

 

I think it commendable that you gave up caffeine, and I’m glad you attained health benefits thereby. 
 

That said, I wonder why you felt the need to pray about it beforehand. What are the upsides, if any, to caffeine consumption (or that of any habit-forming stimulant) that would make you ambivalent about the decision to the point of needing to seek divine approval? 
 

 

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7 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Over-consumption of sugar is widespread, sure, but it is almost 25% higher in the US than the next leading country, by average. 

Can't argue with that. But that 25% isn't particularly distinguished, by which I mean the difference isn't large. Individuals can still make informed decisions, though, and avoid overconsumption of the stuff. Education is key to that, but I am afraid that most folks don't pay enough attention. 

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On 7/16/2021 at 11:57 AM, Scott Lloyd said:

I ran across this article about the effects of caffeine on the human body.  It gives good, science-based rationale for my hearty support of the prohibition in the Word of Wisdom against coffee and tea consumption (including green tea). 
 

Furthermore, it gives rationale for my continued abstinence from colas and other caffeine-laden beverages, notwithstanding they seem to have found unprecedented acceptance among our people and present-day Church leaders no longer discourage their use. 
 

https://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2015/05/the_proper_way_to_drink_caffeine.html

It is interesting to me that you jump on any evidential item that confirms your belief yet you ignore so much that destroys it.  Amazing.

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On 7/16/2021 at 12:36 PM, Tacenda said:

I wish I didn't have a dependence for caffeine, lucky you Scott!

Caffeine is a blessing. Don't think one item that Scott posted to confirm his bias is the end all.

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8 minutes ago, Teancum said:

It is interesting to me that you jump on any evidential item that confirms your belief yet you ignore so much that destroys it.  Amazing.

Cognitive bias comes for us all. We should all try and increase our skepticism of things we see that confirm our beliefs. That’s hard though. And antithetical to maintaining faith (doubt your doubts and all that). 

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