I’ve talked many times about caffeine and how it affects my mind. I said it best when I wrote about it here:
Why should you avoid caffeine? I don’t necessarily think you should. Caffeine affects ME negatively, but that doesn’t mean that it will affect you the same way. The most important thing during this whole journey is learning how to listen to your body.
That’s why when I saw the title for this episode of the Sci Show, I thought I was going to get mad at them. So many people (like me) have such a negative reaction to caffeine withdrawal that they become a little didactic and demand that NO ONE should be consuming the stuff. Instead, it was a wonderfully scientific treatment of the subject.
What did I learn? Well, caffeine is NOT an addictive substance. Unlike heroin, it doesn’t CHANGE your brain chemistry permanently. Additionally, it’s nearly impossible to overdose on the stuff. I’ve used the word addiction for caffeine many times and I’m cringing now for using that word so lightly.
In my defense, the way caffeine affects me is so powerful that I feel as if I have no control with it. One cup of coffee a day will escalate to two and suddenly I find myself drinking several cups a day and having trouble getting to sleep at night. Even now, I am struggling to keep my consumption at one cup of coffee a day. Going off it completely doesn’t solve the problem, either. THEN, I can smell coffee or even a Coke Zero from a mile away. The temptation to start again is constant.
To compound the problem, caffeine is EXCELLENT for staving away my monthly migraines. Now that I’m gluten-free, my migraines have trickled down to one or two a month and they are so minor that a cup of coffee or two coupled with two naproxen sodium is enough to tame them.
So, is caffeine bad for me? Yeah, kinda… Is caffeine good for me? Yeah, kinda… Like any drug, it has its uses and can be abused. I am riding that thin line every day, trying to keep within my limits.
If you’d like some pointers on how to get OFF caffeine, I have some here: