Wednesday, January 08, 2014

On Caffeine And Drynuary

Drynuary refers to a personal decision to avoid drinking alcohol for the entire month of January. I'm a little late to the game, but I really want to try that for the rest of the month.

Starting tomorrow.

Caffeine is great. It lifts you up, gets you going, makes you more productive ... until you crash. Then it's not so good. Personally, my crashes are emotional things - I get grumpy and anxious*. I'm like the monkeys in the commercial below. It's all good until it isn't and then it's very bad indeed.

Tonight I had an epiphany about why I like the suds when I come home. I usually have some coffee or a Diet Coke around 3 at work. That's perfect timing for the caffeine crash to hit at 5:30 or so. The stress leads to an alcohol craving which leads to a Newcastle which leads to a Firestone Union Jack or a Harp or something like that. After the whole symphony of ups and downs is over, I feel regret, but was never sure why until now.

Tomorrow, no coffee after 9 AM.

* - This is adrenal gland exhaustion. Caffeine squeezes your adrenal gland until it's empty. Your body needs small amounts of adrenaline to operate properly and caffeine will cause you to drain it dry.


tim eisele said...

Yes, this is one of the reasons that I decided to stay off the caffeine treadmill (that, and the fact that as far as I'm concerned, everything that contains caffeine tastes nastily bitter because of it). I'd rather train myself to go to bed on schedule and wake up at a particular time, than to depend on a drug to do it for me, and then have to deal with the consequences when the drug wears off.

Especially if, as in your case, the way to deal with the caffeine wearing off is to drink a beer or two (which also tastes very unpleasantly bitter to me, along with the annoying chemical-solvent taste from the alcohol). That would be really depressing - "I drank this foul-tasting concoction all day to stay awake, and now I'm drinking another equally foul thing to settle down in the evening so I can sleep. When will I get to drink something I actually *like*?".

K T Cat said...

Yeah, I've thought of that, too. When I was younger, I learned to drink coffee and beer because that was what "adults" did.

Peer pressure and the desire to conform to social norms? Nope, it has no effect on me. I'm independent!


Rose said...

But! But... but... Coffee!!

K T Cat said...

Rose, I would bet that after one cup, almost all of the benefits of coffee have been achieved. After that, you're just beating your body with a stick.

tim eisele said...

So, how'd it go? Were you able to skip the afternoon caffeine and the evening beer without missing it too much?

K T Cat said...

Thanks for asking!

Yeah, it worked really well. The caffeine in the afternoon was as much a talisman as it was a real drug. Not surprising as the morning coffee probably pushes the adrenal gland pretty close to exhaustion.

I also grabbed a case of V8 Fusion at Costco so I can have the sensation of opening a liquid treat at the end of the day.