Posts Tagged ‘Caffeine Addiction’

Coffee, the modern world and me

July 24, 2021

The following is from an article called “The plants that change our consciousness” by Sophia McBain in the New Statesman.

It is no coincidence that caffeine and the minute-hand on clocks arrived at around the same historical moment, the acclaimed food and nature writer Michael Pollan argues in his latest book, This is Your Mind on Plants

Both spread across Europe as laborers began leaving the fields, where work is organised around the sun, for the factories, where shift-workers could no longer adhere to their natural patterns of sleep and wakefulness.

Would capitalism even have been possible without caffeine?  The introduction of caffeine to Europe in the early 17th century coincided with the waning of the mystical medieval mindset and the rise of the cool-headed rationalism of the Enlightenment.

Before the arrival of tea and coffee, alcohol was the safest thing to drink – or at least, safer than most water – so perhaps it is little wonder that the permanently sozzled intellectuals of the Middle Ages were prone to magical thinking.  In contrast, caffeine can intensify “spotlight consciousness,” which illuminates a single point of attention, enhancing our reasoning skills.

Voltaire had such faith in coffee’s power to sharpen his mind that he is said to have drunk up to 72 cups a day.  Balzac sometimes dispensed with drinking coffee altogether and instead ate the grounds for a more powerful hit.

(more…)

I would like to believe coffee is good for me

March 4, 2015

health-benefits-of-coffeeSource: Sky Dancing

As an addicted coffee drinker, I am pleased to think that coffee in the amounts I drink is good for me.  Of course addiction is bad even if the addictive substance is harmless.  If I were the survivor of a wilderness airplane crash, I probably would be unable to function because I need a certain amount of caffeine each day to be able to function.

(more…)

Could my coffee addiction be good for me?

October 18, 2014
caffeinechart

Double click to enlarge.

I started drinking coffee as a college student and, ever since then, I have been heavily addicted to caffeine.

I would stay up late at night studying and working on the college newspaper, but, being young and foolish, I took pride in being caffeinated and being able to go without sleep.

During my 40 years working on newspapers, I drank coffee throughout the day to stay alert.   After a couple of hours at my desk, I began to get sleepy and sluggish if I couldn’t get a cup of coffee out of the vending machine.  Having drunk all that coffee, I didn’t feel sleepy in the morning, and often stayed up until nearly midnight or beyond midnight.  And then, of course, I needed more coffee in the morning to become fully alert.

My nightmare of being shipwrecked or surviving an airplane crash in wilderness is that I would not be able to function without a cup of coffee.

When I retired, one of my goals was to kick the caffeine habit.  I cut back to one cup of coffee a day, but, without that one cup, I couldn’t function in the morning.  Now I drink two or three cups a day.

The other day I read an article about a study by a team at the Harvard School of Public Health that concluded that coffee is good for you, and that habitual coffee drinkers are a little bit more mentally alert than they would be otherwise.  Furthermore there are genetic differences among people in their need and tolerance for coffee, and most people drink the amount of coffee that is good for them.

Can this be right?  Can something to which you are addicted be good for you?

LINK

 Drinking Coffee, For Your Health by Andrew Gambone for The Atlantic.

I depend on an addictive drug

September 24, 2012

Since my late teenage years, I’ve been addicted to a drug.  I had to take it several times a day during my working years in order to function normally, and even in retirement, I need to take it at least once a day.  I see that a blogger named Jennifer Abel has the same dependency.

I’m trying to kick a drug addiction.  The monkey on my back has sunk its sharp claws deep into me in a strangled mixed metaphor no self-respecting English-major professional like me would commit to print, were her judgment not clouded by the aforementioned addiction.  Really strong, choice Colombian product — it’s become a crutch rather than a pick-me-up but I’m determined to break that crutch and my dependence on caffeine and walk on my own two legs again, by Zod. I’m feeling okay.  Yeah, I think I can do this OH MY GOD THE HALLUCINATIONS ARE STARTING THERE’S BUGS CRAWLING EVERYWHERE … no, wait, that’s not a hallucination.  That’s just me living in The South nowadays.  Damned bugs.  Screw this; I’m making some coffee.

So here I am, hooked on a strong Columbian intoxicant and suffering actual medical withdrawal symptoms when I try not-using it.  Doesn’t matter how many hours of quality sleep I get of a night; I still won’t feel well-rested until I drink that first cup of coffee.  So much for use in moderation.  The government ought to ban this poison.  You know what would really help me improve my life via ending my coffee dependence?  An armed SWAT team working in conjunction with the DEA, breaking into my house, demolishing everything within it and hauling me off to spend several years in prison. … …

It’s a good thing I picked the right thing to be addicted to.   If I were addicted to something less socially acceptable, I might have done serious prison time in my life, especially if I had not been born white and middle-class.

Click on Save Me, Uncle Sam! I’ve Lost Control for Jennifer Abel’s post on her Ravings of a Feral Genius web log.