Thoughts on caffeine

I have been a coffee drinker for a very long time. I actually remember my very first sip of coffee at the ripe old age of 5. My dad, a big coffee drinker, let me have a sip before I went to my afternoon kindergarten class. I remember thinking the smell was wonderful, but the taste lingered in my mouth all day and I was not a fan.

Into my teen years, Starbucks began to have a small role in my life. I lived in a tiny town, so we didn’t have a store nearby, but I remember very early on getting into lattes with friends.

My freshman year of college, I began working at a coffee shop. I’ve worked in several since then, but it wasn’t until my junior year of college with 8 am classes with Dr. Vincent on Literary Criticism (difficult to sit through at any time of day) that I began drinking coffee in earnest.

Since then, I’ve had a least one (very large) mug of coffee a day, usually being sipped on the drive to work. It has been a part of my morning ritual that I love.

But recently, I had a virus that put me in bed for about 6 days. Since I was home and taking plenty of naps, I didn’t drink coffee for 3 of those days. Essentially I compounded my sicky headache with my caffeine withdraw headache, and managed to go more days in a row without coffee than I have probably since college.

The first day back to work, I drank my normal amount of coffee, and was jittery and amped all day long, something coffee hasn’t done for me in a long time.  After drinking it at 6:30 in the morning, I still couldn’t fall asleep at 10 pm!

So the following day, I decided to cut back a bit. Then I ran out of coffee at home. A turning point had come without me realizing it. So this week, I’ve gone a few days without coffee completely, which was a lot rougher than I anticipated. I’ve recently bought more coffee, but this time, it’s a half-caf blend. So far so good today!

It’s crazy how much caffeine can have a hold on me, dictating completely how my day goes, if I get a headache, if I have extra energy to accomplish things. Without it, my brain felt fuzzy– trying to get things done at work felt like swimming through mud.

So going with less caffeine seems to be the better option for me, to get more control over what seems like a harmless addiction. I did recently read a blog about matcha— that may be my option as I go forward (Why didn’t matcha cross my mind before?! That stuff is great!).

Anyways, coffee and caffeine have been on my thoughts quite often this week, obviously, so I thought I’d share where I’m at- an accidental cleanse!

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