Caffeine Woes

Cup of tea with milk

To satisfy my daily appetite, I’ve been bringing my own food with me to work. Usually, I’d bring a sandwich, some juice, and maybe a bar of chocolate for snacks. If I happen to forget, my only options would be to either try to negotiate with coworkers to order in fast-food, or simply call the work kitchen and ask for a hot cup of milk tea with some biscuits.

I’ve been doing this for many months, but for the past couple of weeks, I haven’t been able to prepare my food because of personal commitments and time restraints, so as a result, I’ve been drinking milk tea almost on a daily basis. I didn’t realize it at first, but that was when the effects of caffeine had started to kick in and made my sleeping and awakening habits extremely difficult.

Not Feeling Sleepy

Consumption of caffeine does not eliminate the need for sleep; it only temporarily reduces the sensation of being tired. —

Complete tolerance to the sleep disruption effects of caffeine develops after consuming 400 mg of caffeine 3 times a day for 7 days. —

I’m not a coffee person. In fact, I’m not a caffeine-of-any-kind person, because I avoid energy drinks too. Even for the occasional tea indulgence, I limit my dose to one small estikana, or perhaps add some milk to dilute the tea. I suppose it’s obvious to you by now; I don’t have much tolerance for caffeine nor do I have the will to properly develop one!

Headaches and Nausea

Caffeine withdrawal cause the blood vessels of the head to dilate, leading to an excess of blood in the head and causing a headache and nausea. —

I’ve heard many people swear by how much caffeine helps them concentrate and get things done better and faster, but is it really worth it? I mean, once you’re out, these effects start to take their toll on you until you get another dose.

No Motivation for Up to Five Days

A reduction inserotonin levels when caffeine use is stopped can cause anxiety, irritability, inability to concentrate, and diminished motivation to initiate or to complete daily tasks; in extreme cases it may cause mild depression. —

Withdrawal symptoms may appear within 12 to 24 hours after discontinuation of caffeine intake, peak at roughly 48 hours, and usually last from one to five days. —

The Alternative? Drink Cocoa!

From now on, I’m going to keep some cocoa power with me at my office for those emergency moments when I’ve forgotten to bring my food or remain unsatisfied. Chocolate definitely beats tea in my books.

A study conducted by Cornell University has shown that hot chocolate contains more antioxidants than tea, therefore reducing the risk of heart disease. —

Cocoa possesses a significant antioxidant action, protecting against LDL oxidation, perhaps more than other polyphenol antioxidant-rich foods and beverages. Chocolate phenols have been shown to protect the arteries from plaque formation and to prevent LDL oxidation for two hours after consumption. —

Now that I’m thinking about it, I can’t help but realize how funny it is that Sun Microsystems develops software called Java, while Apple chose to name one of its programming frameworks, “Cocoa“.

Have you had caffeine problems? What did you do about them? Do you have better food options at work? Let me know. My head still hurts.

Update: Joy of Tech drew a comic about coffee at work!


7 thoughts on “Caffeine Woes

  1. make your own sandwich a day ahead if you need too!

    :( I just bought another espresso machine! and ordered beans from Seattle Q_Q now you made me kinda regret it.

    I usually drink coffee twice (After Breakfast & Lunch).

    try drinking it after eating a meal not on an empty stomach!

  2. Drinking Caffeine on empty stomach is NOT good O_o’

    1st thing in the morning I drink green tea ;p I go on & off on coffee.

    I love the coco thing ;p I’ll give it ago. I think Cadbury & Galaxy drinking powders don’t fall under that category, do they? ;p

    • The purest cocoa is Cadbury’s (the orange container), but it’s harder to dissolve and mix into milk. I haven’t tried Galaxy’s before, but try to avoid sugary/sweet powders for best results.

  3. You and I are on the exact same page when it comes to coffee and energy drinks. Hot cholocate, green and camomile tea are the only hot drinks I’m interested in. I’ve probably tried all the hot chocs on the shelf and found the best to be Cadbury. You don’t need milk with it cause it already tastes nice and milky. Comes in sachets too.

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