Monday, July 14, 2008

Caffeine, a Reintroduction

I've given in. I'm not sure how long it will last and I'm already getting some headaches but...I've taken up caffeine again. It's just sort of neccesary. I'm not sure how I've lasted 4 years without it! 4 years! That sounds ridiculous. On the night Kirk and I met the topic of caffeine came up somehow.

"I just stopped drinking caffeine"
"me too!"
"O yeah? Well maybe we could get some decaf together sometime".

Actually I made that last part up, but it was probably something like that. We did spend a lot of time talking over coffee in those days. Both of us have taken it up again in the last few months. This is due in part to this coffee shop and Rachel's amazing espresso drinks. (try the cuban, you'll never go back) And also in part to our lives getting busier and requiring a little help.

Does anybody have any energy tricks that don't involve caffeine? Mental energy is what I need the most. Is there some secret I don't know? Don't tell me it has to do with waking up early and running. Ok fine, if it does, tell me. But don't expect me to be excited about it. :)

Secrets? Do tell...


Nelson Prater said...

Hello, friend. I wake up early (3 a.m.) and go for a 6-mile run at 4:15, after I've had a big ol' cup of Starbucks Yukon Blend (caffeinated) and an energy bar.

But, I crash on the couch if I get comfortable at about 7:30 p.m. and am in bed by 8:45. And, my short-term memory is kapoot.

I can't wait for the fall time change so it's dark out again when I go to bed. =)

I think the secret for you (and me) for more energy might be at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep.

Nelson Prater said...

Hey, and I saw a really great quote from Frederick Buechner regarding our vocations, what we end up doing for a living -- "The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet."

From "Wishful Thinking."

That was a wow for me -- I'm struggling with that right now.

Linds said...

I have two things I can think of...

1-Going to bed well befor midnight. Your best and most restful sleep is before 12. We started this out of necessity with a newborn but continue it (most of the time anyways-although some times we feel old :).

2- Cut down or eliminate sugar. I know it stinks but it makes a HUGE difference. I went off of it completely for 2 weeks and was amazed at how much energy and mental clarity I had. I still have sugar every once and a while but try to do natural sweeteners (honey, maple syrup etc.) instead of refined sugars.


Nelson Prater said...

You're right, Linds. Getting off sugar is a huge energy booster.

Alli Rogers said...

that really interferes with my baking..... ;)

But you're probably right. I also get pretty bad heartburn and I've noticed a connection with sugar (isn't my body supposed to work seamlessly in my 20's? Mine didn't get that memo...)

Nelson Prater said...

I made my peanut butter cookies with Splenda for our trip to the beach. Everyone said they tasted the same, only they weren't addictive -- they stopped at 1 or 2 instead of eating a plateful.

1 cup Splenda
1 teaspoon baking soda (stir together)
1 egg
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1 capful vanilla

There's your dough. Bon apetit!

gogonutz said...

Since coffee is the best nightcap for me, I think caffeine wouldn't really be considered an energy trick for me.

The getting up early and running (or any other form of exercise) truly works, and though I do enjoy running, I don't really enjoy the waking up early part.

In the morning a shower's still the best way to wake up, and I find that yogurt drinks (yes even the ones low on/without sugar) are a good source of energy for me. Besides it tastes great.

Nelson Prater said...

You're right about running. Truly, the hardest part about an early morning run is getting out of bed. The second hardest part is going out the door and taking that first step. After that, you're good to go.

Wade said...

I would say 1) enjoy caffine and don't feel bad about it. Caffine is one of those subtances that is just there. Good or bad. 2) Diet Mt. Dew is delicious and has caffine and no sugar. 3) Running is one way to get fit, but there are others. The key is to build your cardio fitness. Hard to believe working out will make you less tired, but it works. Running is good because you get a great workout fast and can do it anywhere without fancy equipment. Just shoes.

Alli Rogers said...

A recap of your suggestions:

-Go to bed before 12
-wake up early (7-8 hrs. later..)
-take a shower
-eat some yogurt
-go running (or other exercise)
-don't be afraid of caffeine if it helps

this is what I'm hearing, and none of these things on their own scare me! I enjoy all of them. Being clean, excercising, sleeping, I even like being up early (it's the word waking that throws me off) and I do enjoy running as well, once I'm out the door, AND I just discovered the art of homemade yogurt. I suppose it's all of those things together that seem unatainable. But hey, if Nelson can wake up at 3 am every day to run, surely I can pull of 7 am. right? Oh, I'm tired already. And since none of you strive to avoid caffeine, I feel less guilty about my relapse.

Nelson Prater said...

I'd take a shower after I run, though. =)

Chip Gorman said...

I'm well out of my 20s (46) and started taking a multivitamin after the recent reports of it being a good idea. I think that it helps me to concentrate more. It's not that the first day I felt better, but over time it seemed like I was able to focus better on my work. I've gone in and out of the habit (currently out) and I seem to get more done when I'm on than off. I do run, I drink caffeine but it does not keep me awake much, and I'm definitely not low sugar.

calaismarie said...

its still caffein, but al have you tried yerba mattè? they have it at PB if you get the hankering to try. kinda tastes like green tea. i cant explain why its different - look on wikipedia or something...i think i like the supposed health benefeits as well as the tradition its steeped in.

calaismarie said...

my spelling is impeccable...