When people talk about being an addict the first thing I usually think of is alcoholism or drugs or cigarettes, you know, the serious stuff. But caffeine can also be an addictive substance–it is classified as a stimulant drug. I never really gave much thought to how much caffeine (Read: coffee) I consumed in a day until I read the daily prompt from a few days ago: What is the one word or phrase that immediately cheers you up when you hear it? My first thought was, Starbucks. Not only is that marketing at its finest, but I then thought about how many cups I drink on average in a week. [Side note: I usually make coffee with my french press, I don’t only get coffee from Starbucks].
One in the morning, one with lunch, and one in the afternoon. Three. And that’s not including if I take an extra shot of espresso with my coffee.
So how much caffeine is that? According to google there are 95mg of caffeine in one cup f coffee and 64mg of caffeine in one shot of espresso. On average I take one cup of coffee with a shot of espresso a day, that’s seven shots of espresso a week, plus the other three cups of coffee. So to break it down in totals: Per Day=349mg, Per Week=2,443mg (2.4 grams). That is a lot of caffeine.
Now, I’m not going to quit caffeine cold turkey forever because that’s just silly. Caffeine helps relieve headaches, boosts energy (for the short-term), increases metabolism, improves cognition and researchers at John Hopkins have found that it helps improve long-term memory. However, too much caffeine is not good for the long-term as the withdrawal symptoms are brutal. I learned this first hand from the pounding migraines, lethargy and overall grumpiness. It can also induce tremors, especially if you drink it on an empty stomach as well as possibly increasing your risk of stroke, but the jury seems to still be out on that one.
I don’t want to need caffeine to function as a human being–to me that is one of the definitions of addiction. I should be able to function throughout the day without it. Plus, one of my favorite mottos is everything in moderation. I don’t think 2,443mg of caffeine counts as moderation.
In light of this, and wanting to be an overall healthier person, I’ve decided to limit myself to one cup of coffee a day, sans espresso. Instead of coffee in the morning, I’m going to eat breakfast. What a strange idea. Hopefully the withdrawal blues won’t hit too hard, but since I’m not going cold turkey I don’t expect them to.
So here’s to a summer of fruit smoothies and roasted brussel sprouts, a decrease in coffee and an increase in self-discipline.
If you have any suggestions or anecdotes to share, please leave them in the comments and any and all encouragement is greatly appreciated! Have a great week, bloggers!