Caffeine-free, and never better.
I have been a non-coffee drinker for most of my life. But three years ago, my partner bought me a bean-to-cup coffee machine. I asked for it, I fancied myself as a buzz-busy professional and a cup of coffee in the hand says just that.
I also adore the smell of coffee and the taste isn't bad.
One coffee in the morning insidiously escalated to 4, and before I knew it I began experiencing a whole range of unpleasant symptoms such as vision problems, after-lunch tiredness, restless nights, stomach acidity, hair loss, dry skin, and worst of all: morning brain-fog and headaches.
I have never, ever, suffered from headaches. Ever. That’s until caffeine made its way into my system.
On fact was evident, coffee did not help my productivity, it hindered it.
The headaches made me give up coffee for good in Spring 2018. (Fun fact: I was halfway through my Hawaiian map then, and Hawaii is well known for commercially growing the prized Kona coffee).
Within two weeks of quitting, all my symptoms had cleared. I was working faster, with better focus and in greater comfort.
Too often we forget that caffeine is a stimulant and addictive drug. Caffeine directly alters your brain's chemistry by blocking your adenosine receptors and has profound effects on most major neurotransmitters in your brain.
Still fancy skipping to Starbuck's?
This weekend, I bought a book in my local bookshop on a whim: "Why we sleep", by Matthew Walker. I was a couple of chapters into the book when my eyes landed on this graphic. It cracked me up (and still does) because it says it all.
Spiders were administered various drugs and their web building capacities were subsequently observed. (The poor caffeinated arachnid won't be eating anytime soon.)
The research was made by the NASA: "Using spider-web patterns to determine toxicity." by R.Noever, J.Cronise, and R.A. Relwani. (Princeton University Press, 1982).
So next time you think of having a coffee to boost your productivity and enhance the quality of your work, well... Have a herbal tea.