Tuesday, May 08, 2012

ADDICTED TO: Coffee or Caffeine?

Around two weeks ago, I almost went cold turkey on my daily dose of 2 cups of fully caffeinated(?) coffee no thanks to my sudden fear of having more cellulite than I think I can handle. Besides, I've already hit and crossed over the BIG 3-0, and although people whom I've just met mostly ask if I'm still studying (instead of where I'm working), it's still best to be on the safe side. I also figured I'd give giving up coffee a try because I had done something similar for almost three weeks back in 2009. This time, it lasted for merely a few days before everything went down the drain. Everything except for the coffee, that is.

After the unfortunate incident with my car last week, my coffee intake increased up to about 3 cups per day. I don't know why - maybe some subconscious part in me thinks that the extra coffee will make me feel better/healthier/more energised or something to that effect. Besides, without a car, I've also had to give going to the gym a miss (I'm not a fan of running in my neighbourhood - I've actually seen elderly neighbours take their daily morning walks with a good sturdy stick to ward off would be muggers,thieves and murderers) To be honest, I wasn't feeling all too good (mentally) after the accident although I don't think anyone I've interacted with actually noticed.

Earlier today, my sister put up a status update regarding her caffeine deficiency (she's been slightly more successful than me, I think, hence the deficiency) and as I sipped my coffee while reading her status update, it suddenly hit me: Are we actually addicted to the caffeine in the coffee or are we addicted to the coffee itself?

I'm beginning to think my addiction is towards coffee itself rather than the need for caffeine. See, I come from a family that used to have tea at least once almost every single day. In fact, right up till the end of 2010, I used to have some plain tea every morning for breakfast/brunch. I also used to sporadically take green tea whenever I bothered to remember that it has some benefits, but have stopped that as well for at least a year. Tea is now an almost endangered culture in my life and it's absence doesn't seem to have had much effect on my sanity. I actually dislike drinking Coke and Pepsi (although I do take them sometimes when I get my meals from McDonalds if I forget to change my order to something else being the dreamer that I am), but have never even considered getting addicted to either. I love chocolates but can go for weeks without craving them. I don't take energy drinks like Red Bull. But take away my coffee, and I feel like the day isn't complete.

So, to check out how far my theory can be used, I'm planning to go decaf while maintaining the rest of my lifestyle, although I will have to wait a bit before I can actually do it. Meanwhile, what do the rest of you think? Is it the need for caffeine, or the love for coffee itself?

26 comments:

  1. It is prob the love of coffee itself, as your body wants it, your mind wants it, so you want it. Either way you can only break it if you decide to, but one or two cups a day isn't so bad.

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    1. I guess a cup or two a day isn't too bad, but when I find myself 'needing' a cuppa when the time comes, I get worried that I'm relying too much on it.

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  2. I drink coffee constantly all day almost every day and then one day I'll just drink tea all day instead and I don't miss the coffee at all.

    I went to India and discovered coffee doesn't really exist so just did without for several weeks until I found a half decent cup in Goa - but then it was back on cold turkey for the rest of my trip.

    So...personally speaking...I think we're just hooked on the idea of coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant but I don't think it's addictive.

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    1. Well, I suppose that could be it... hooked on the idea of coffee. That's comforting.

      But no coffee in India? I never knew.

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  3. I think it might be different ones for different people. Some are addicted to the caffeine, some the coffee. If it's the coffee then chances are it's just being stuck in a routine, and switching to decaff should help. Good luck going cold turkey though, it's the only real way to quit something.

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    1. Thanks for the good luck wishes. I'm gonna take the decaf route though, just to see how that goes.

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  4. I've been asking myself the same question lately. I've actually decided to give decaf a try myself because I have to wean myself off caffeine. I like tea too, but for every cup of tea I may have, I'll have two cups of coffee. I don't really drink Coke or carbonated drinks, unless I'm at a wedding ;)

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    1. Glad to know I'm not alone. I haven't been to any weddings for quite awhile that I can't really remember what drinks are served - but I think it's mostly orange juice or some sort of sweetened and iced drink.

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  5. I have the opposite problem. I hate the taste of coffee and tea and I don't like colas or energy drinks. but part of my migraine treatment plan requires caffeine (it's a vasoconstrictor) so I've resorted to using No-Doze instead

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    1. Yes, I do know a few people who actually hate coffee (but they do take tea, though) However, I'm very surprised that caffeine is used in migraine treatment. I've been told that coffee (cheese and chocolate too) actually makes it worse.

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  6. I've never been a fan of coffee so I can't really relate but I understand addiction. I can't go without one choc a day.

    As for your addiction, I somewhat agree that it's not the caffeine but the coffee instead. I can never appreciate the taste but I suppose some can :)

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    1. Oh, I love chocolates too, but seem to be able to live without them for prolonged periods.

      As for coffee, I noticed that there are two main groups - big fans and the haters. I rarely meet someone who's 'just okay' with coffee.

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  7. I can't live without my coffee. I'd be a total grouch if I missed my morning coffee and the few millions that I need through the day ... LOL!

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    1. Ha ha... I can just imagine. I just turn really quiet when I haven't had my coffee, though.

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  8. I recently went through a car thing too ..funny the coincidence... but Black COFFEE in a 300ml mug with 1/2 tesp sugar <3 3-5 times ..though not a very healthy thing to follow :) is like my chill pill can't survive a day without it..and it did help in my off n on migraine episodes too :)

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    1. Oh, a coincidence indeed! Haven't had black coffee in ages. Now that you've reminded me....

      Thanks for dropping by.

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  9. everyone in my family is destined to have either have coffee or tea everyday but i was different for some weird reason. i grew up drinking water. i just never liked cafe or tea or milo. i only gave milo some chance when i got bronchitis when i turned 30. but now i hardly drink that too. i do drink iced lemon tea when i'm out and sometimes hot green tea. but thats it.
    caffeine makes me palpitate and sweat like crazy and i get a headache too :(

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    1. Well, water is the best without any question, so you should be happy.

      I totally get the part about the palpitations, though... I get very energetic after a cuppa that sometimes I feel like doing cartwheels!
      PS: I can't do cartwheels, btw.

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  10. Sorry to hear about the accident. I was offline so I will have to go back in time and read that post. I can't imagine not having a car. Mine's always breaking down but to me public transport is worse than a warm beer in the shower (that's right, boys). And what do you mean big 3-0? You mean small 3-0.... My Angie loves coffee so much she's bought herself some fancy coffee machine and ten thousand different kinds of coffee which, much to her annoyance, taste exactly the same to me. That's bad, isn't it? ;)

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    1. If they all taste the same to you, I take it that you're not into coffee as much as Angie is?

      As for public transport, it's a bit of a hopeless situation over here as well, so I totally get it (plus the fact that I can remember the taste of warm beer, though not in a shower ;)

      P.S: The missing blue face is probably caused by some modified settings. I'll try to modify it again (hopefully without killing my blog)

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  11. P.S. How come I don't see my little blue face?

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  12. Wait... how is coffee/caffeine related to cellulite?

    I switched to half-caf a few weeks ago - haven't noticed any change. One cup - figure there's no harm in that.

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    1. Apparently caffeine falls under the category "food to avoid" when it comes to cellulite. Funnily, applying topical creams with caffeine in them reduces the appearance of cellulite, albeit temporarily.
      Source: Most of the websites I read regarding cellulite

      I suppose not noticing any change is pretty positive. Looking forward to less caffeine filled days.

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  13. I just love the smell of coffee.

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