Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Taming the Caffeine Beast (Day 1)

So I've decided - for about the 20th time in my life - to get my caffeine consumption a bit more under control. Though this is possibly the first time I've ever decided to do so without maintaining the lofty (and never-reached) goal of cutting it out completely. 

The motivation behind this is pretty simple: I've been getting awful caffeine headaches of late. Yes, I've had my share of caffeine headaches in the past, but these past few weeks they've been wicked - and sometimes all I need is a glass of Snapple (we're talking a measly 20-25 mg of caffeine) to calm them down. 

So why cut back instead of just drinking the Snapple? Well, it's frustrating to be drinking caffeine and then, a few hours later, need to drink more even if I'm not in the mood for it or it's too late in the day or there are no caffeinated beverages conveniently located. 

Basically, I'm aiming to make myself less caffeine-dependent without totally cutting my ties. I do, after all, love my Starbucks :). 

Right now, an average day looks like this: 

-2 cans of Mt. Dew (55 mg each) + a 16 oz. bottle of Snapple (42 mg) = 152 mg 
-a medium caramel Frappucino (75 mg) + 1 can of Mt. Dew (55 mg) + a glass of Snapple (20 mg) = 170 mg 
  or, occassionally 
-a medium iced caramel machiatto (150 mg) + 1 can of Mt. Dew (55 mg) = 205 mg 

So b/t 150 and 200. Fair enough, and equivalent to about 2 cups of regular coffee. But if I'm not in the mood for another Mt. Dew (which has happened a lot lately, actually) or we're out of Snapple or I forget how long ago I drank something caffeinated . . . whoa, holy heck, the caffeine headache rolls in and knocks me on my butt. 

After doing a bit of reading today, it seems the best strategy is to cut back by 25% for a week, then 25% more of the original amount for the next week, etc., until you've reached your goal. Since I like my pop and love my Starbucks, I'm only looking to get myself to, say 50-75 mg a day - about one caffeinated beverage. Hopefully I'll be there by Thanksgiving. 

My first step? Keeping myself at 150 mg for the next week. Which means, sadly, no caramel machiattos. But that's okay b/c after years of not getting frappucinos, I've been on a frap kick for a while now anyway. Wish me luck! 

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