Addicted sounds sick and discussing. It could never be me. I couldn’t be addicted to anything, right?
How wrong I was… before two flights from nyc to Helsinki via Reykjavik I decided not to spend any more money on sodas, coffees or energy drinks.Before the first flight I felt exhausted. I thought I’ll be fine after some rest.
I was about 24 hours without caffeine. I became more tired, I couldn’t concentrate, I got horrible headache, I felt cold, I couldn’t stop thinking buying a latte or just mixing some caffeine powder into my water. I realized that I had withdrawal symptoms, I had become addicted.
I used to think that I’m just using some caffeine temporally in States. How much I actually got it in just one day was however a huge shock…
1. In school dining room I drank either sugar free Coke, Dew or Dr Pepper (or mix of these) with every meal. That was 3 meals a day, approx 2 big classes every meal, in total only those make like 90 oz (around 3 litres) soda a day, that makes about 500mg caffeine
2. 1-2 Grande skinny vanilla lattes a day around 100-200mg
3. Energy drinks or caffeine powder + water like 1-2 big classes a day 300-600mg / day
= my total intake in just a day have been 900-1300 mg about everyday. And during the dead week and the finals week it was even more I think. That amount could cause intoxication in a long run. I don’t think it’s very common because like all Finns drink like 4-5 large cups of coffee and get that same amount. It cannot be too healthy though.
After all I’m not too worried because of the situation. it’s annoying to get all the symptoms if I’m without caffeine more than couple hours. I also admit that the amount I get everyday is too much in a long run. Especially because lattes and sodas are super expensive in Finland.
What I’m going to do now? I’m planning to cut my daily intake from 1000 to 600mgs. it will be more safety and cheaper. I’ll try to get used to caffeine tablets instead of various drinks. In us soda is basically free and refills are free. In Finland bottle of soda can cost like $3 and every refill costs as much. Fortunately you can get 100 100mg caffeine tabs with $5. Tabs are less fun but they are fast, cheap, small, sugar free, and they don’t harm your teeth.
I think my great grades and extra hours having fun because of caffeine have been worth it. However I still think it’s not a good idea to put yourself under risk of intoxication all the time. Even though you might become more tolerant you are still playing with a fire.
What’s your relationship to caffeine?
Ps. I wrote this text during the first day in Finland after US. At the moment (3 weeks later) my caffeine intake is around 600-800mgs per day. 🙂 Coke made with Soda Stream and caffeine pills are my caffeine sources nowadays.