I drink a lot of coffee. It comes with the territory of being an early riser I suppose. I think even if I didn't have to wake up early every day I'd probably still be an above average coffee consumer. Why? Because I like the way coffee makes me feel. That's why you drink it too. Coffee loves to tap dance on the pleasure centers of our brain and we like it when that dance begins.

Coffee stimulates neurotransmitters in our brain that produce dopamine. Dopamine is that chemical that makes us feel euphoric and giddy. Coffee creates a similar reaction in our brains that many street drugs create. By comparison, those reactions are small compared to the kick you'd experience from cocaine or a similar substance. We also don't go to jail for coffee so there's that aspect too.

The problem with that good feeling we experience from coffee is that it doesn't last and we eventually build up a "tolerance" for the caffeine. In other words, when we first started drinking coffee a little went a long way, now it might take two or three cups or in my case pots to get the desired pleasant feeling.

Like any drug, yes coffee and caffeine have to be considered as such, proper use and moderation are the keys to continued health and happiness.  I admire people that can limit their coffee intake. I can't. I also get really bad headaches when I don't have a cup of coffee to start the day.

So, as we celebrate National Coffee Day let us rejoice in what's great about our morning cup of Joe. Let us also remember that despite its innocent appeal it is actually a drug that affects our nervous system.

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