As most of you know, at least those who haven't been bored to tears and driven away from this blog, I've been slowly working my way off of caffeine. In the process, I've done some qualitative analysis of the effects of caffeine on my body.
The first thing you need to realize is that caffeinated drinks like coffee bring no energy into the body at all. All they do is force you to expend the energy you have on hand faster as seen in the graph below.
You get up in the morning and after some time to fully wake up, you reach your energy level for the day, here shown in blue. Some of us drink one or more cups of coffee and sit down to blog. The energy level for this is shown in pink. In short order, we're blogging up a storm. Whoohoo! The keys are tapping fast and furious! I'm a regular Hemingway!
Some time goes by and you burn through all of your energy. It's all gone and the euphoria fades. Things...slow...down...and...you...get...the...blues. The solution? More coffee, of course! This leads to a brief spike and perhaps your energy level briefly goes above your average energy level for the day, but the second crash is worse than the first because there's even less energy left after this one.
It's a vicious cycle. However, I'm not suggesting that caffeine has no place in our lives. There are times when you've got to get something done that is boring beyond the comprehension of mere mortals. You've got a deadline to finish it and it's about as interesting as watching paint dry. What do you do?
Drink coffee, of course!
In this case, you're knowingly accepting the punishment that will come in the future in exchange for the near term reward of getting your work done. The coffee does it's job, you get that dreadful report done and you can lean back, secure in the knowledge that you work for an organization whose stultifying tediousness forces you into the arms of damaging drugs.
Err, or something like that.
Well, there you have it. What caffeine does to you. Now go get 'em, tiger! And make sure to stop at Starbucks on your way in to work.