e mërkurë, 20 qershor 2007

The Dark Side of Caffeine

My first experience with Caffeine is one where it would not have happened if it was not my local Tim Horton’s. Back then I was a notorious high schooler, skipping classes just because I felt tired and eyelid heavy from my late nights. Entering my last year, I knew skipping classes just because I wanted some shut eye would not cut it. So the Coffee begins.

I was absolutely amazed at the alerted state I found myself in. Able to concentrate my mind even though I was tired, able to keep on writing even though my body knew there was about half of me still awake. The focus grew so sharp, I felt like it was spear piercing through all my work. But of course, the rush didn’t last the whole session of homework, it didn’t last a whole day of school, where lectures seemed to be more designed for lullabies. So what was my answer?

Simple, drink more. Drink more coffee in the morning, more coffee at lunch, more coffee while doing homework, more, more, more. I found myself drinking Coffee about 3-4 times a day. Morning..nescafe, lunch…café down the street, afterschool….Tim Horton’s, getting home….nescafe.

It was safe to say I was a Caffeine addict. Even I despised the bitter taste as a kid, caffeine gave me such mental alertness I was willing to sacrifice the taste. I inevitably started to notice a lot of changes. Even though I was mentally alert, I knew I was tired, at moments I would experience such drowsiness, but the caffeine would not let me sleep.

I felt my hands shaking….but only to find when I looked down they weren’t. It shrunk my bladder to literally a peanut. I had to go at least every half an hour. No matter what I drank it would go right through me in literally half and hour. Large drinks at the movies was a horror for me.

Perhaps the most dangerous effect that made me change my consumption is that it blurs your sense of reality. In terms of your body rest, caffeine gives you the feeling you’re awake and alert when really you need to be in bed and close your eyes. It kind of numbs your need for rest while it’s in effect and as a result you could make dangerous misjudgments in your own limits. I have several experiences where I had felt strong and alert only to find that when I actually took part in the activity I almost collapsed feeling weak and cold sweat. One time I did and fainted on the ground for a few minutes.

Too much Caffeine masked your ability to judge your real alertness. I’m not saying ban caffeine from your cabinets and coffee tables, in fact I’m drinking caffeine right now, only its tea with sunflower extract. In my next post I will review the positives of Caffeine and Caffeine consumption.