My drug addiction

OK, before we begin, no one go calling social services to remove my children!

The drug I’m referring to is
caffeine.

To understand this story, you need a little background. I grew up in an English family who drinks tea. I started drinking, sweet, milky tea before I was a teenager. (Today, it’s less milky, no sugar.)  Putting on the kettle, pouring the water, letting it steep…the ritual of making the tea is relaxing to me. It’s not just about drinking the tea.

Almost all of my life, I’ve had one cup first thing in the morning and then perhaps one later in the day. It was never much of an issue.  At university, I used to pull all-nighters like almost everyone else I knew. Then I indulged in Diet Coke for the caffeine hit. At work, I started drinking a little coffee, but nothing crazy.

However, starting my own company about a year and a half ago changed everything. I was busier than I’d ever been before, but thankful for the work and our four young kids. I often found myself working past midnight, sometimes way past midnight. Extra cups of tea and coffee were consumed. I knew it was too much caffeine but at least I was getting everything done.

Then last November everything stopped when I got the flu. I was in bed, sleeping away most of the day. I figured, since I was in bed anyways, I’d cut the coffee and tea right down to my old routine of one cup in the morning. Oh, the pain.

I was unwell for a good two weeks. Severe headaches, generally feeling terrible, and a huge desire for, “just one cup.” It was hard to know where the flu ended and the detox began. But having suffered through a few days, I knew I had to keep going.

Now I drink one cup of tea or coffee in the morning and then pretend I am content with herbal tea and water for the rest of the day. I’d love to indulge again but the pain isn’t worth it. That said, I do allow myself one extra decaf a day (which also has some caffeine) if I’m desperate.

How Much Caffeine
are you consuming?

There is a lot of research about caffeine, some conclude it is actually even good for you – but pretty much everyone agrees that as a stimulant, it should be consumed in moderation. Anything more than one or two cups a day is too much. There is a quick research overview in this Huffington Post article if you are interested.

Find out how much is in that coffee, tea, green tea, pop and even DECAF products you love, reported from the Mayo Clinic.

Coffee, Brewed 95-200 mg
Black Tea 14-70 mg
Green Tea 24-45 mg
DECAF Coffee 2-12 mg

For a full list, check out the Mayo Clinic site.

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