I used to drink no coffee. For many years I even avoided caffeinated tea. I had to keep an eye on my caffeine intake because if I overdid it, I got all jittery and stressed out, and it affected my sleep patterns.
Then, back when I was training for triathlon for our Fittest by Fifty Challenge (Sam and I turned 50 in 2014), I read somewhere (I don’t know where), that caffeine was a good little kickstart for race day. I tried it before one of my events that summer and I guess I determined that it helped.
Still and all, I only drank coffee for events, and I only had four events that summer. So that’s not a whole lot of coffee in the scheme of things.
I’m thinking about coffee today because of that study that just came out about how “Science” has shown that even people who drank up to 25 (!!) cups of coffee a day “were no more likely to experience stiffening of the arteries than someone drinking less than a cup a day.”
Another reason I’m thinking about it is that my coffee use has taken on much larger proportions than it had five years ago, slowly becoming a daily habit, complete with headaches if I don’t have at least one cup in the morning. After the triathlon stint, I started to use coffee a little bit on long solo road trips. Not a lot, but a cup here and there so I wouldn’t get tired.
Again, long road trips were few and far between, so it hadn’t yet become a daily habit. Then came a few far away trips where I needed coffee in the mornings to help me adjust to the time change. By then, I was starting to enjoy coffee and seek out good coffee. I think that once we start going out of our way for good coffee, we’re kind of hooked.
Towards the end of last summer I was drinking coffee most days but didn’t really notice that I was until one day, on a weekend, I started to get a headache sometime Saturday afternoon. After some time it dawned on me that I hadn’t had a coffee yet. Uh oh.
I’m not a big fan of dependency. When I realized that I was experiencing physical withdrawal, I decided that I would quit coffee again. That was on the Sunday.
Monday I went to work. We had just moved into a newly renovated space and my office now had a really nice kitchen. Literally on the day I was going to quit, I walked into the kitchen where my colleague proudly pointed out that he had purchased a really good espresso machine for our new kitchen. That means really good coffee. How could I say no.
I start every work day with an Americano with soy milk. And I really enjoy it. So when Christmas rolled around I decided it was time to treat myself to my very own machine. And now I have a soy latte most mornings at home before work, plus my at-work Americano.
And when I was in Rwanda the past couple of weeks I had a morning breakfast routine of coffee first, then a strong tea after that. I sometimes even drank coffee in the middle of the afternoon because otherwise I wouldn’t have made it. And now I’m nine time zones away from Kigali, in Vancouver at the Canadian Philosophical Association conference, and I wouldn’t be making it with my morning Americano.
But I’m nowhere near 25 cups a day.
Do you “use” caffeine?