Pharyngula

I am an addict

I gave up on caffeine this past summer—I actually cut it off cold turkey for a good long while. I’m backsliding a bit now, though, just because my early morning teaching schedule has me feeling mostly exhausted all the time (I hope I adjust soon).

This new blog, Smelling the Coffee, is not helping. Even the title is driving me nuts. I’ll probably pop in to the coffee shop in town this afternoon, but I’ll settle for mere decaf.

Comments

  1. #1 cm
    January 30, 2006

    Why’d you give up caffeine?

  2. #2 Dave Munger
    January 30, 2006

    I “gave up” coffee last summer, too, but now I’m back drinking 2 to 3 cups (half decaf) a day. The first few days of coffee after a long layoff are the BEST!

  3. #3 PZ Myers
    January 30, 2006

    I was just overdoing it. Coffee in the morning, coke in the afternoon and evening…it wasn’t having any horrible effects on me now, but I just decided that anything taken to that much excess wasn’t going to be good for me in the long run.

    I can at least say now that my consumption is moderate.

  4. #4 Bayesian Bouffant, FCD
    January 30, 2006

    No, not decaf! Decaf is a ‘gateway drug’ that leads to harder substances…

  5. #5 Heliologue
    January 30, 2006

    My doctors (urologist, cardiologist, and GP) keep telling me to watch my caffeine intake, but coffee is my weakness. It’s not even that I care so much about the caffeine, but I’m a sucker for the gourmet coffees: the taste is exquisite. With the exception of coffee, though, I don’t really imbibe much in the way of caffeine: I don’t drink colas and I gave up candy.

    I read recently that coffee constitutes the average American’s highest dose of antioxidants. I don’t know if that’s good for coffee or bad for Americans (actually, I do: it’s the latter).

  6. #6 Dr. Free-Ride
    January 30, 2006

    The first few days of coffee after a long layoff are the BEST!

    Yes! The first few doses of coffee after kicking are bliss! After that, it becomes maintainence. (Not that keeping away the withdrawal symptoms isn’t important.)

    No, I’m not a good influence where coffee is concerned …

  7. #7 Mike Nilsen
    January 30, 2006

    Decaf. Blech. Might as well drink water.

  8. #8 jbark
    January 30, 2006

    I’m so jealous of people who get a nice ‘buzz’ from coffee.

    I like to drink the stuff, but the only effects it appears to have on me are either nothing (1-2 cups) or nervous jitters (3+).

    I don’t seem to have a warm, fuzzy, middle ground 🙁

  9. #9 The Disgruntled Chemist
    January 30, 2006

    Don’t run from your addiction, PZ! Coffee is good for you. Or bad for you. It depends on the keywords of your PubMed search, I think.

  10. #10 Steve Sutton
    January 30, 2006

    I prefer iced tea to coffee. Drinking it all day, every day seems to satisfy my need for caffeine. It does make falling asleep at night rather difficult, though.

  11. #11 David Lewin
    January 30, 2006

    I highly recommend the book The Devil’s Cup, in which the author retraces coffee from its discovery in Ethiopia through its invasion of the Arabian Peninsula, India, Europe, and ultimately the U.S. (as in good diner coffee, not Starbucks).

  12. #12 Kagehi
    January 30, 2006

    The irony PZ is that some studies indicate that rather than the long term consequence of caffeine being negative, it may help stave off alhiemers, among other effects. Now, if you where doing something truely nuts, like the moron that drank nothing but carrot juice at the rate or a gallon a day or something… For that matter, while the sugar we add is bad, there is also evidence that chocolate itself, if drank at a rate of 4-5 cups a day actually helps prevent heart disease. They are fairly sure this is true, because individual from tribes that move into cities, and whose only major dietary change is only drinking 4-5 a week instead, show a noticable increase in cadiovascular disease (though of course other factors likely contribute):

    http://www.livescience.com/humanbiology/060119_chocolate.html

    Yeah, caffeine has other issues and you can over do *anything*, even stuff that is good for you. Personally.. I usually drink about 1-2 cokes a day, usually the Zero version, so no sugar, and maybe 1-2 classes of iced tea (I think that’s a caffeine free version we use actually). There are few if any forms of coffee that I can stand the taste of. Maybe if they still used the original strain of the plant that David Lewin’s suggested book The Devil’s Cup is probably refering to (cloned from a single plant), instead of the bitter inferior Asian crap 99% of coffee makers started to use years ago, then have slowely been adding bits of the original back in to counter the sudden hatred it inspired, I might change my mind. Then again… I might just despise the original pure strain too. lol

  13. #13 Kagehi
    January 30, 2006

    Oh.. And here is some strange stuff I ran across trying to find the article:

    http://livescience.com/humanbiology/060130_deja_vu.html

    Imagine not being able to do *anything*, without your brain telling you it already happened… Creepy!

  14. #14 Ronald Brak
    January 30, 2006

    I’ve never been interested in taking restricted substances because the caffeine in one can of coke or pepsi is enough to get me high. The drawback is that if I have one can in the morning I’ll have trouble sleeping that night. I steer clear of coffee. That stuff would probably kill me.

  15. #15 outeast
    January 31, 2006

    Coffee in the morning, coke in the afternoon and evening

    Crikey PZ, even I know not to mix yer caffeine and yer nose candy…

  16. #16 Mike Fox
    January 31, 2006

    Having had to give up caffine for medical reasons, I have to say it was easier for me to switch from coffee to black tea to grean tea to either a red tea or herbal tea (or both). Of course, this is a gradual way to cut back, not cold turkey.

    I’m told that coffee has many bad things in it, but this is heresay.

    Good luck.

  17. #17 The Wege
    January 31, 2006

    I switched to green tea last week and after less than a week I was so mellow I was afraid I was going to fall asleep and not get up again.

    An 80-20 blend of Columbian and Brazilian french roast saved me, and if you would just let some french roast into your life, it could save you as well, PZ.

    I’m dropping some tracts into the mail for you with the pertinent data highlighted. And, if I can find some more droppings from the wild lemurs living next to the railroad switching yard next door, I’ll enclose some Malaysian coffee. (If you’re nice, I’ll rinse it off first.)

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