Friday, January 15, 2010

Kicking Caffeine

So for the second time in probably two years I'm caffeine free. More accurately, I'm stopped taking any extra caffeine in the form of coffee, soda, or other such stimulating drinks. The last time I did this I think it lasted close to six months. I'm not sure how long this current behavior modification will last but I want to make it a life-long change. I have health issues that could probably use reducing my stimulant intake and my life is not what I would call stress free. It was probably a good idea to permanently eliminate all this extra jitter.

The week before the Christmas break I kept track of my coffee intake and it looked something like:

  • 7 double espressos, my morning pick me up
  • 25 cups of regular "american" coffee (a 5 cup a day habit)
  • 10 Diet Cokes

That totaled about 3050mg of caffeine a week or about 436mg per day. According to some sources you shouldn't have more that 300mg per day. I didn't measure other small amounts of caffeine I may be ingesting in chocolate and other sources. I figured they were noise in terms of the other more concentrated sources. So after Christmas week I went cold turkey. After a week or so of bad headaches, irritability, an just plain feeling lousy, I'm off coffee and other caffeinated drinks. I'm feeling pretty good now and I'm sleeping better. I'm still not sleeping much but what sleep I do get feels more sound and less interrupted.

I'm not sure if this will be a complete and total break with coffee. I mean real coffee. Dark rich creamy espresso. I may still enjoy one after a particularly good meal, but I don't think I'm going to be downing coffee at work to stay alert and active or worse just out of habit. I don't like the feeling of needing to have coffee in the morning just to be able to function. That can not be good. I think that automatic, default, consumption behavior is something I need to weed out of other areas of my life as well. For now I'll start with caffeine.


Blogger Khurt said...

7 double expressos? And I thought I was a coffee junkie!!

To maintain my health, I reduced my caffeine intake to one cup of regular coffee and one caffeinated soft drink per day. The rest of the day I drink decaf coffee or non-caffeine soda (diet caffine free coke).

TO make up for it, I now drink only really good flavourful coffee. I like Ethipian Harrar.

1:33 PM  

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