Over a period of 20 years I used to drink around 10 cups of black coffee a day (Norwegians love black coffee). I usually drank 3-4 cups black coffee before having any breakfast.. truth be told.. black coffee was my breakfast. Normally I didn’t eat anything before lunchtime. During the last year’ish I’ve had a trasition from black coffee to tea, and I’ve started eating breakfast every day as well (but that’s another habit-post).
First off I slowed down… drinking only 3 cups a day: One @ 6am, one @ 9am & one @ 12. Next step was to cut the noon cup… and during the last 6 months I’ve only had one cup @ 0530 (and that’s an espresso).
Instead I drink tea… around 6 cups a day. 3 cups of green tea & 3 cups of different types (Earl Gray, yellow lipton, etc..).. Drinking tea is of course another habit I’ll return to.
I’v never felt more awake in my adult life 🙂
This fact is probably due to other new habits as well (physical & mental exercise.. among them)
From Dr. Travis Bradberry great article – Caffeine: The Silent Killer of Emotional Intelligence:
- Coffee (much like sugar) actually improves cognitive task performance (memory, attention span, etc.) in the short-term
- performance increases due to caffeine intake are the result of caffeine drinkers experiencing a short-term reversal of caffeine withdrawal..
- In essence, coming off caffeine reduces your cognitive performance and has a negative impact on your mood. The only way to get back to normal is to drink caffeine, and when you do drink it, you feel like it’s taking you to new heights. In reality, the caffeine is just taking your performance back to normal for a short period.
- Drinking caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the source of the “fight or flight” response, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response.
- Caffeine has a six-hour half-life, which means it takes a full twenty-four hours to work its way out of your system. Have a cup of joe at eight a.m., and you’ll still have 25% of the caffeine in your body at eight p.m. Anything you drink after noon will still be at 50% strength at bedtime. Any caffeine in your bloodstream—with the negative effects increasing with the dose—makes it harder to fall asleep.
- When you do finally fall asleep, the worst is yet to come. Caffeine disrupts the quality of your sleep by reducing rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the deep sleep when your body recuperates and processes emotions. When caffeine disrupts your sleep, you wake up the next day with an emotional handicap.