I have a huge problem with coffee becoming a daily habit and addiction, which I really only use for staying sane and awake. But I don’t think this is the optimal way to approach it.
Coffee and caffeine has it’s wonderful way of waking one up in the morning or boosting productivity, so that a blog post, for example, can be written with less effort .
However, this effect tends to wear off after some time, when you get too far down the addiction-hole, and you are per default drinking 4 cups a day.
Suddenly it becomes a necessity instead of an addition to you energy-level.
Scientifically speaking, this phenomenon can be explained like this:
Caffeine is a molecule that looks a lot like another molecule, that flows freely in your brain – Adenosine. Adenosine is a compound that make you feel tired and sleepy, when it enters and gets recognized by your brain.
But since the 2 molecules looks so much like each other, caffeine can get receipted by your brain’s adenosine receptors, and thereby block for incoming adenosine molecules.
So coffee actually doesn’t make you fresh, it makes you less tired!
After some time has gone by, and you have been sipping coffee all along, your brain has to react to you blocking all the adenosine receptors. So it makes more of them. And now you have to drink a lot more coffee to clog up all the receptors in order to stay awake.
This is the mechanism that is responsible for the overconsumption of coffee, that many people take part in.
This is all pretty easily reversed though. After about 14 days off caffeine, your brain will be reset and back to normal again.
So I recommend taking a brake like this every few months, or however it fits into your schedule. Admitted, it is really hard to kick the addiction, and you will get headaches and be unproductive along the way – so you have to plan for it.
You can start by switching out some of your daily cubs of coffee with tea, gradually tone it down and get ready to go cold turkey.
But after you have been taking your 14 day brake, you should really get smart about, how you go back to the addiction again.
I am in the middle of a coffee-brake right now, and what I plan to do, is to not allow myself more than 3 cups of coffee per week, so that it remains a valuable tool in my toolbox.
I don’t just want to drink coffee to wake up in the morning and stay sane – I want to use it at strategically important points in my life, where I have to perform or frankly stay awake.
This is something you could consider doing yourself, if you also want to keep coffee from being a necessity, but instead give you the extra edge.
Thank you for reading!