Day 14: Caffeine-withdrawal-induced lethargy

Today’s inane image of the day:

I also feel like free advertising for Starbucks… maybe I should talk to them about a contract or something.

Sadly, I have a confession to make: this weekend has been a complete wash. Yesterday, I was hopeful that I would get a whole pile of session objectives [a description of what those are will have to come in a later entry] filled out, some preparation for the week done and some packing for my upcoming trip. Unfortunately, all I’ve completed thus far: washed some lettuce, written a couple of blog entries, and filled out a single set of session objectives. Oh, and I slept a hefty number of hours, too.

I’m going to blame my caffeine addiction for this complete lack of progress.

Years ago, I told myself that I would limit myself to single shots of espresso anytime I got a latte and that I would never get more than two shots in a day. I followed this rule through high school [isn’t it sad that I began drinking coffee in high school?! I probably stunted my growth or something by starting so early] and most of college. But by the end of college, I wanted to be able to do more. Last year, I wanted to not only be an effective leader in my organization, do well in all of my courses, rock all of my medical school interviews, but also be in shape. I noticed that if I had just a small dose of caffeine before heading to the gym, I always left feeling accomplished.

And so, I started drinking two shots of espresso each day.

From there, I decided that lattes just weren’t a cost-efficient beverage to consume — why, my iced tall nonfat latte at Starbucks was $2.60, while a small coffee is under $2. In a quest to save a couple of dollars a week, I decided to switch to brewed coffee. And for those of you who do not know the amount of caffeine in a shot of espresso versus a tall brewed coffee… the cup brewed coffee has more. People get so confused by the whole “espresso packs a punch of caffeine” thing because if you actually consumed 8 ounces of espresso, then yes, it would be significantly more caffeine than brewed coffee… but no one does that.

So anyway, yesterday, I decided to scale back a bit on the caffeine consumption — although there have been no definitive studies on whether or not caffeine is all that harmful in the long run, I do know that it raises my blood pressure and I feel different. These two facts scare me enough [since I am already a pretty high strung person that loves salty snacks, I don’t need any more elevation in my blood pressure!] to want to watch my caffeine intake. Instead of a latte or a cup of coffee, I decided on iced tea, which has significantly less caffeine.

And what was the result?

Oh, about two hours of productivity, and then a lethargic slump. The rest of the evening was filled with Project Runway [why did I decide to get addicted to this show now?!] and various snacks [I guess a light salad for dinner wasn’t enough for my body]. Oh, and so much sleep.

When I woke up this morning, I decided to just give in — it’s Sunday, I have a backpack and car full of words that I need to ingrain into my brain [maybe I should’ve been a poet!], so I got an iced coffee.

And now I feel the wonder drug coursing through my vessels. And I am determined to be productive.

Finally, I stumbled upon this quote this morning and fell in love [proof of my cheesiness!]: “Time isn’t always on your side, love now, love often; don’t let love pass you by.”

4 thoughts on “Day 14: Caffeine-withdrawal-induced lethargy

  • August 28, 2011 at 4:59 pm
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    i had the same experience when i quit after finding out i was pregnant! but for me, the lethargy went away after 2-3 days and now i do miss my morning buzz but definitely have no true ‘withdrawal’. hope it fades quickly for you, too!

  • August 29, 2011 at 6:38 pm
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    @Sarah: If only I could just cease drinking coffee! I’m terrified of losing a moment of time… maybe over winter break I’ll try again to scale back on the caffeine.

  • August 30, 2011 at 10:51 pm
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    You must try to find some proper English tea, steeped in a pot and taken hot. It beats coffee and you can drink cup after cup without worrying about its drug content. It’s good for your teeth too, if you have it without sugar.

  • August 31, 2011 at 10:29 am
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    @DrAT: I find that the caffeinated feeling I get from tea is much more mild than what I get from coffee — making coffee a great morning jolt and tea a good way to get through the afternoon. Good suggestion though — I might try to transition back to tea…

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