Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Prolem with Caffeine

I love caffeine.  It’s one of my happy things.  But I’ve toned down my consumption of it drastically.  I stopped drinking soda altogether near the end of last year.  I’ve had diet coke twice since then as a intentional cheat/reward.  I map out my intake through the day.  I am a cube rat analyst so I know at roghly 9:10 I’ll have my first cup.  Around 11:00 I’ll have my second.  Later in the day I’ll have some tea.  Decaffeinated if I can find it.  After dinner I’ll have a latte as a pseudo desert and that will be it.  Three cups.  I stick to this number because I’ve read that is the safe amount.  Of course science, as it should, constantly updates, negates or changes the findings.   I’ll go on the current data and just hope for the best.  Caffeine is from what I’ve read, and I figure I ingest it so I might as well be aware of it’s affects, is a pretty awesome wonder drug.  It’s side effects are minimal (if you don’t go taking copious amounts) and it’s beneficial effects are rather surprising.

Cracked, shockingly well researched for a comedy site, did an article about it you can read here:

But caffeine has a few pitfalls.  Like the fact that it might be synthetic depending on what your drinking.  Which isn’t terrible except for the fact that it kinda is.  The synthetic version still jumpstarts our brains and bodies  into overdrive.  But because it isn’t paired down by the namby-pamby herbal bullshit it jump kicks your teeth into your throat and puts you into hyper drive even faster than it’s boring all natural tree hugging caffeine you find in things like guarana.  You get the high faster and you crash sooner.  It’s the street version of caffeine some guy in a trench coat offers in a hushed voice.

But let’s say you don’t give a shit about chemicals because dammit you’re an American and American’s don’t read warning labels because fuck that.  Well, that’s pretty stupid.  I have two reason why.  One is a personal experience and one I read on the internet.  I drove from Savannah Georgia to Avon Connecticut in a day, with an extended pit stop in Brooklyn,  so I could have a full day to recover before going back to work.  During this twenty two hours I guzzed untold amounts of coffee and soda.  To make sure I didn’t dehydrate I had water as well.  Every two to four hours I’d pull over and move around.  At the beginning I swapped off with my wife so we had two/four hours spurts each.  At the end when we were entering Maryland it was basically the Ben show and I cranked the radio up put on raunchy comedy from Pandora streaming that would keep me awake and drove until the middle of night.  To put in perspective we left around 8 in the morning and arrived at our house around 4 the next morning.  I was slightly out of it.  The last five hours I was practically trembling from the caffeine in my system I felt sick and twitchy.  I awoke in the middle of the night, after collapsing on the bed and passing out, and had little to no memory of it.  Adi explained this behavior to me and I could just touch the memories through the fogginess of partial sleep.  The next day I felt rather awful and did next to nothing.  I’m sure the fast food at the rest stops did little to help but I blame caffeine for my somnambulism.

Then there is the story of the twenty eight year old moto cross start whose heart stopped due to drinking eight red bulls.  Not a good decision.  The red bulls not the hear stopping, I don’t think that part was a conscious decision.

Caffeine addiction though seemingly laughable is very real and rather frightening.  I had to totally quite caffeine for a week and the intense headaches were less than spectacular.  Honestly the phrase ‘less than spectacular’ can go stuff itself as it is such a light description in its vagueness, only giving a semblance of sarcasm and no real depth of measure.  The headaches were the midway point between migraines and normal headaches.

But the insidious thing about caffeine is that it is a drug and it isn’t treated as such.  Our children are ingesting it, in copious amounts and no one seems to care.  While caffeine is a super-drug for adults it might not be the best thing for the still developing neural pathways of our future generation.  But why do we view it with such blaze acceptance?  Yeah, on the danger scale it ranks way down there with don’t eat right before you swim but it’s an item that is so pervasive and so widely used you might think some education might be wanted.  But I guess if we treated caffeine as drug we might end up vilifying it and the food and beverage companies wouldn’t appreciate that too much.  Or worse we’d, shudder, tax coffee.  Fuck that, ignore what I was saying.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for posting. You are awesome!