Controlled by Caffeine

Well, this week I’m going to be perfectly honest with you; I’m absolutely unmotivated and uninspired! I’m so sleep deprived that I’m literally like a walking zombie. My mind is so out of sorts that I’ve actually put the milk away in the pantry cabinet. How sad is that?

So, in light of the situation I’ve made a new best friend. . . . Caffeine. It’s sad, but true. And I’m not going to take the blame for it. Instead, I’m going to point the finger at my loving husband. It’s really his fault in the first place for introducing me to caffeine. I can’t tell you a time when I was ever so addicted to caffeine that I felt I had to have it to survive my day. But today I’m telling you just that.

It all started in the hospital after my C-section. My husband would come in each morning to see me with a Starbucks frappuccino (the ones you can buy bottled in the store). It was so tempting, but I was trying to breastfeed, so I refused it even though I desperately wanted a pick-me-up. Well, sadly enough breastfeeding didn’t work for me and I eventually gave into the “java juice.” I only started having one of the frappuccinos in the mornings just to rev my engine. But then before I knew it, I was having a frappuccino; and in addition to that, I was drinking two diet cherry Cokes throughout the day.

It’s only been about two weeks since I became friends with caffeine, and already I’ve recognized that caffeine isn’t such a good friend after all. The promise of a pick-me-up really means I’ll put you back down. And when I tried to get rid of the caffeine my body rebelled and I started having horrible headaches. They were so bad that I was taking Ibuprofen to help relieve the pain. So, I did what anyone else would do and jumped back on the caffeine bandwagon.

Did you know that caffeine is a legalized drug? I know it sounds harsh considering that according to Wikipedia 90% of adults in North America consume caffeine daily. Wow, that’s a large percentage. Wikipedia also states that, “In humans, caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, having the effect of temporarily warding off drowsiness and restoring alertness. Beverages containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea, soft drinks and energy drinks enjoy great popularity; caffeine is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive substance, but unlike most other psychoactive substances, it is legal and unregulated in nearly all jurisdictions.”

Also, according to HowStuffWorks.com “More than half of all American adults consume more than 300 milligrams (mg) of caffeine every day, making it America’s most popular drug by far.” The website also states that, “Caffeine is an addictive drug. Among its many actions, it operates using the same mechanisms that amphetamines, cocaine, and heroin use to stimulate the brain. On a spectrum, caffeine’s effects are more mild than amphetamines, cocaine and heroin, but it is manipulating the same channels, and that is one of the things that gives caffeine its addictive qualities. If you feel like you cannot function without it and must consume it every day, then you are addicted to caffeine.” See, I told you caffeine is a drug!

So, how much caffeine do you think you consume a day? It’s hard to know. Food and drink labels don’t disclose the value of caffeine in the product. Usually they just list that caffeine is an ingredient. But, you really want to know just how much caffeine you are ingesting a day, right? I know I do. Here’s a little list from HowStuffWorks.com that can give you an estimate as to how much caffeine you are consuming a day.

•Typical drip-brewed coffee contains 100 milligrams (mg.) per 6-ounce cup. If you are buying your coffee at Starbucks or a convenience store or drinking it at home or the office out of a mug or a commuter’s cup, you are consuming it in 12-, 14- or 20-ounce containers. You can calculate the number of milligrams based on your normal serving size.
•Typical brewed tea contains 70 mg. per 6-ounce cup.
•Typical colas (Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, etc.) contain 50 mg. per 12-ounce can. Things like Jolt contain 70 mg. per 12-ounce can.
•Typical milk chocolate contains 6 mg. per ounce.
•Anacin contains 32 mg. per tablet. No-doz contains 100 mg. per tablet. Vivarin and Dexatrim contain 200 mg. per tablet.

Wow, I’ve been consuming a least 300 mg. of caffeine a day according to the above information. That makes caffeine my new drug of choice!

Okay, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be addicted to any kind of a drug, so it’s time for a change. And although my addiction to caffeine has only been a short two weeks, the side effects of trying to stop consuming it are definitely real. So, how about you? If you are one of the 90% of Americans like me who needs a daily fix of caffeine, are you willing to give that up? Why not try? I know I am.