Here on my older days, I have come to realize, that there actually is such a thing as too much coffee. Even good coffee…. Total bummer, I know.
Coffee and other caffeine containing drinks like tea has gotten a comeback, these past few years in the health community, which has gotten me and my peers all jacked up on Bulletproof Coffee and L-theanine containing beverages (tea again).
I love that all this deliciousness has gotten the stamp of approval, due to their high amounts of antioxidants and so forth. However, I still believe that there is an upper limit to the madness, when it comes to strong central nervous system stimulants like caffeine, and it must therefore be controlled and managed somehow.
Ever since I started drinking coffee, I’ve noticed how my level of caffeine consumption almost always has risen incrementally week by week. I started out as a one cup a day guy, but as tolerance goes up, so does consumption, and I soon found myself to be a one pot a day guy.
The problem then is, if you are a type-A personality like me, you add this high caffeine consumption on top of an already busy schedule, that contains regular work, passion projects and tough exercise, and before you know it, you have adrenaline and cortisol (stress hormone) coming out of your ears. And that is not sustainable.
Even before I knew anything about stress hormones and the nervous system, I knew that 5 cups of coffee a day, was not well paired with stress symptoms like sleep problems and a raging heart rate. So I constantly shifted between over consuming and going cold turkey -when it was already too late and I was overly stressed.
I have since thought, that I should find a stable “middle of the road” for my caffeine intake, so I don’t constantly crash and become overstimulated. This is where my 2/2 rule comes in.
The 2/2 rule
Finding a sustainable limit for you caffeine consumption can be a personal thing, and maybe you will find, that my rule is either too high or too low for you, but here is how it works for me.
I limit myself to not drink more than 2 caffeine containing beverages a day – for example green tea. Further more, I also only allow myself to drink 2 cups of coffee a week, since coffee is about two times as strong as tea.
That means, I drink 2 cups of tea a day, 5 days a week.
And that I drink 1 cup of coffee and 1 cup of tea a day, 2 days a week.
Again, 2 cups a day. 2 strong ones a week. The 2/2 rule.
I never drink the strong energy drinks like Redbull, but if you do, you should swap them out with the coffee.
That is all there is to it. Very simple, easy to remember, and I find it to be a sustainable level of caffeine consumption, that I don’t have to back off from all the time.
The biggest benefit of formulating a rule like this, is that you avoid having to make the decision everyday of how much caffeine you can handle. The problem is automated, and you don’t have to waste your decisions on it.
Note, that I do believe in taking caffeine breaks, all together, from time to time, but that would be a blog post for another day.
Last comment: I know that it seems like a terrible small amount of coffee, you will be allowed if you follow this rule, but notice how much more you appreciate it, when you are finally allowed to drink it. You will begin to really look forward to that cup of coffee, that you normally just use as a fix.
I think there are many things in life, we shouldn’t do too often, if we want to enjoy them to the fullest.
Thanks for reading!