Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Semi-scientific Analysis of Caffeine

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. 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.


Foxfier said...

Hehe-- true, though YMMV.

I'm lucky-- I crash at about the time it's time to get ready for bed.

Victor Tabbycat said...

Ah, so that's why Mom drinks more coffee at werk than at home. What bout when you add sugar?

Anonymous said...

Coffee puts the system under the strain of metabolizing a deadly acid-forming drug, depositing its insoluble cellulose, which cements the wall of the liver, causing this vital organ to swell to twice its proper size. In addition, coffee is heavily sprayed. (Ninety-two pesticides are applied to its leaves.) Diuretic properties of caffeine cause potassium and other minerals to be flushed from the body.

Get the real scoop on coffee at
And if you drink decaf you wont want to miss this special FREE report on the Dangers of Decaf available at

ligneus said...

Anon. I thought I was reading a spoof but it seems you're serious.

Anyway, I'm going to give up my after dinner coffee and go back to tea, tea is good for you, right? Isn't it? I'm waiting for 'them' to tell me chocolate is bad for you.
Mostly I ignore all that stuff, as we used to say in UK, tea is a slow poison, if you live long enough it will kill you.