Experimenting with Caffiene

As a Brit, Tea has long been a staple in my daily hydration schedule. It has formed part of my daily routine perhaps since I was 7 years old and over time, the addition of coffee has fueled an intake of caffeine to the point where I’m unsure if I’ve become reliant on it.

Never one to drink instant coffee, it wasn’t until the American style coffee chains started rolling out across the UK that I became a coffee drinker. In fact, the first time I ever had a coffee from a takeaway was when visiting Botson in my early teens and buying a Venti Americano for $1 from a Starbucks. Nowadays I love a good “quality” coffee from some of the better independent stores in the country and have also been known to have a weak spot for the blended iced beverages that change names on a weekly basis.

On a daily basis, I wake up to the Nespresso machine, place the pod in the compartment, push down and listen to the dull hum of pressurized water being forced through a small aluminium capsule of ground joy. I know many coffee lovers would have me crucified for enjoying Nespresso but much like how I think Starbucks is the McDonalds of coffee, and therefore even the most pompous of connoisseurs secretly love it, I think it’s alright. Convenient and better than the hassle of grinding at home.

Following the morning coffee ritual it’s into the office, where I would consume between 3-5 cups of tea over an 8 hour period perhaps with a truly vile vending machine coffee. At no point do I need these beverages. They are just nice to have, break up the day a little and warm me up a little bit. I’m not chasing the buzz. I’ve never chased the buzz and I’ve never said “I can’t do anything in the morning until I’ve had my morning coffee”. I don’t actually understand those people.

It is likely I would then drink 1-2 cups of tea in the evening at home. This would be at any time between 5-9pm. Now I know absolutely nothing about this but I’ve decided to do the maths and mess around with my intake to see if I can get on without it. I don’t have a problem with it at all, in fact I quite like tea but I’m interested either way.

Potential benefits:

  • Performance enhancement – When I really need it it could pay dividends (i.e Triathlon/Half Marathon/Race Days)
  • Sleep – All I know is what I’ve heard, I’ve never done the digging but apparently you sleep better.
  • Money – I don’t buy coffee out that often, 33p a day on Nespresso is next to nothing. Tea is a human right. This is probably the one I care about least.
  • Diet Coke – There is no way this stuff is good for me but I love it. Avoiding Caffeine means avoiding Diet Coke.
  • Teeth – Again, don’t care, if they go too gross I’ll just save and get them fixed

Downsides:

  • Headaches and withdrawal – Apparently after 4 days off caffeine or with a significant change to routine you get withdrawal and get antsy and angry. I wouldn’t be surprised if this happens to me.
  • The Social – Tea and Coffee are sociable drinks. Going out and drinking a water with someone is awkward for everyone. I’ve found the same as I’ve dramatically reduced my alcohol intake. People think I’m boring.
  • Warmth and taste – I’m sure this can be addressed with Decaf but as I mentioned before, I like tea and coffee and they are great winter warmers.
  • Something to do – Sometimes when I’m bored I just make a cuppa because it’s nice. Most of the self help people who recommend giving up caffeine tend to be the same people who want you to have nothing nice in your life at all.

 

Plan:

This week I’ve already started and will report back in the next post about how it’s going. I’m going to reduce so that I have no caffeine from mid-day every day for this week and then aim to potentially reduce further after that. Because I like coffee so much and have a nice machine sat upstairs waiting to be used I’m not sure I’ll ever give up the first morning Nespresso but a reduction from my current intake seems like a good idea. I’ll be looking at reducing by at least half in the first week.

 

Current intake (Spread between day):
180mg = Tea x 5
70mg = Nespresso x 1
13mg = In Diet Coke x 1

Total: 263mg

Target intake week 1 (All before noon): 
70mg = Nespresso x 1
36mg = Tea x 1

Total: 106mg

Tim Ford

Tim Ford - Member of Public. Member of Staff. Constantly reviewing passions, somehow still running this website years on.