This week I wanted to talk about coffee. One of the big things I have done this year is stop drinking caffeine completely. Occasionally I will still drink decaf coffee, but no caffeine. By the way, I hate decaf coffee. I think it tastes gross and it is not real coffee. This was a huge change for me and my reasons for changing are pretty interesting. I wanted to make this video, because this is something I wish someone had told me when I was younger. I actually wish they taught you about caffeine in business school. But they don’t, so we are going to talk about it here on Wolves and Finance. WATCH NOW
I did not always used to drink coffee. I only used to drink it occasionally. I only started drinking it regularly about eight years ago. And this was around the same time I stopped drinking alcohol. I stopped drinking alcohol completely. I have made a whole other video on the problems with drinking alcohol, which you can look for on my channel. So I stopped drinking alcohol, and I started drinking coffee. And I would drink two cups of coffee a day, almost every day, for eight years.
I drink lattes. That is two shots of espresso in the morning and two shots of espresso in the afternoon. That gave me a nice buzz of caffeine all day long. I really like coffee. I had my own espresso machine. And I could make you the best tasting cup of coffee you have ever had.
I never even thought there would be any problems with this. In business, everyone drinks coffee. You go into the office and you have a cup of coffee. Four shots of espresso a day is well within medical guidelines for how much caffeine is okay to drink. I never thought anything of it, until more recently.
Recently I have been noticing some health problems. I started getting twitchy. Specifically, my hands were shaking and I could not hold them still. It was not bad, but it was enough to be noticeable. So I started trying some different things. On a complete whim, I decided to try cutting out caffeine completely, and instantly my problems went away. I really think this was just my body telling me that I have not been able to sleep well for eight years. My body just needed some rest.
This really surprised me. I never thought there were any downsides to caffeine at all. So I started doing some research, and reading about caffeine. It turns out that one of the side effects of caffeine is hand tremors. This scared me to death. I am not a doctor. I know that everyone’s body reacts to things differently. But I have experienced such a dramatic health change, that I am never drinking caffeine again.
I still cannot believe that no one told me about this. Starbucks should really put a warning on their cups. “May cause tremors.”
Caffeine is something I call a mood enhancing drug. And there are a lot of things that people use regularly that fall into this category. This includes alcohol, smoking, and now people are using pot. People also use junk food and sugar to feel better. These are all things you can take to enhance your mood. If you use them responsibly, they are not going to kill you. But they are not things you should be using every day. If you are using them every day, just consider that it might cause you a problem down the road. They should really be more of a once per quarter kind of thing. You can do it on New Years, your birthday, and special occasions. But if you do something like this daily, it will effect your body.
For me, what was worse than the health problems, is that caffeine triggers some very bad behavior. People who are drinking caffeine all day long every day are usually in one of these situations:
- You love your job and want to increase your performance
- You are insecure and want to increase your performance
- You hate your job and need energy to get through the day
- You are dealing with personal issues outside of work and need help to focus
- You are not getting enough sleep, and need to stay awake
If you look at these situations, caffeine is not helpful in any of these situations. In fact, it is just covering up your issues, when you probably would be happier and healthier if you just dealt with the actual problem. In my situation, I fell into the first category, where I love what I do. I love going into work, and caffeine just gave me more energy and I felt like I was getting more done. What is happening is the caffeine is triggering a work-a-holic mentality. You feel good and accomplished because you think you are getting stuff done, when in fact you would be more effective if you are calm, cool, and collected.
Let me give you an example to show the difference. Your energy levels go up and down throughout the day. When you get home from work, you might be tired, but you still have a lot you want to get done in your day. You have a choice. You can drink some caffeine and power through your day, or you can take a 20 minute nap before you go out for the evening. The second alternative works with your body’s energy level as it ebbs and flows throughout the day. You design your life around these periods of alertness and rest. You want to find these strategies to work with your body, rather than force yourself to go, go, go all day long.
I also think this is also part of growing older. You realize that you are going to have to give some things up, in order to gain a better quality of life as you get older. Quality of life is really what you want. You want to get the most out of life as possible. You might decide to start eating healthier so that you can live longer and avoid health issues. If you are drinking alcohol and caffeine all the time, that might enhance your mood in the short term, but it is going to make you worse off in the long term.
Now in case you are worried about me, and you think I might just replace caffeine with another bad habit, I can assure you that I have already thought about this. I am trying to replace coffee with exercise. So if I feel like I need a cup of coffee to start my morning, I just do pushups instead. Because if I get addicted to exercise, what could possibly go wrong with that?
I hope you found this helpful. This has been a major change in my life that has been so positive. I just think it is crazy how many people consume so much caffeine without thinking about it. I used to do it to. I wanted to just give you another approach to think about.
Leave a comment down below letting me know what you think!
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Neither Zach De Gregorio or Wolves and Finance shall be liable for any damages related to information in this video. It is recommended you contact a CPA in your area for business advice.