The smell, the taste, the steamy warm feeling you get when you hold the mug during cold winter mornings…
Coffee is without a doubt one of the cornerstones of our lives, fueling our days (and nights) with “wake up juice” that keeps us productive even in the harshest non-sleep conditions. We consume 3.1 cups of coffee per day and coffee sales are increasing at a rate of 20% per year in the US alone…That’s a lot of coffee! But do we really need so much coffee to get things done?
It began during my childhood
I remember when I was a kid I hated the taste of coffee because it was not sweet; I actually thought it was disgusting since it didn’t taste like chocolate.
As I grew up, my sense of taste changed. I wanted to be more like my parents and sipped the brown elixir of grownups every opportunity I had. By the time I reached college, coffee was a good indicator for “my productivity” and my social life…
- I met friends in coffee shops and drank espresso and it felt great.
- When I hit the books, coffee kept me up and running during the late nights and the harsh mornings that followed, “Can’t focus? Pour yourself some coffee” – there are no “I was too tired” excuses during college!
By the time I got out of college, I was drinking about 4-5 mugs on average per day, with a steady increase of one mug per year.
After a few years of having a cool, trendy, yet well hidden mini-addiction, my lingo changed from “I want another” to “I need one more”. I felt like I always needed a cup to go with my brain activity…I realized that pretty soon I’ll have a problem that will probably cost me my health and my sanity.
“When you’re body tells you it’s time to go to sleep, he’s not saying – drink more coffee!”
Usually when you don’t know anything about detox, you go cold turkey. I emptied the kitchen of caffeine (probably somewhere between $50 – $100 worth of products that contained caffeine), told Sergio – my favorite barista goodbye (not without tears) and hit the brick wall of fatigue the very next day!
After regrouping, I realized that I’m fighting against a symptom of the underlying real problem.
Drinking coffee became such a need for me because I wanted to keep working and feel productive. Keeping yourself at top performance and actually being productive is a function of your organization, methods, and giving your body enough sleep. Since I did not focus on organization in my earlier years (who does?), my method was a simple 3 step process:
- Drink a lot of coffee.
- Cram everything the night before.
After uncovering the root cause of my coffee addition, I focused on getting organized and coming to the “revelation” that when you’re body tells you that he’s tired, he’s not saying – drink more coffee!
I started planning my days to get everything done and get a good night sleep…
Planning the day or week ahead helped me not only to sleep better; it also improved my productivity, ability to concentrate, and helped me reach my goals.
I am happy to announce that I’ve reduce my caffeine consumption to 1-2 cups a day. I decided not to detox completely since there are some health benefits to drinking coffee sanely :)