The Popular Podcast #147: Caffeine Slavery

Being addicted to caffeine can be like being enslaved by a demented master, but is it preventing a lot of us from turning to worse alternatives? Habitual caffeine intake does have its benefits, but Kelly feels that a simple life it may not promote. Jessica quite likes it.



Does Caffeine Hinder Simple Living?

tweet by @crystalhunter

When I habitually smoked cigarettes, I never felt like I was a slave to nicotine. I never felt like if I didn’t have a cigarette that my mood or body would be affected. I smoked because I liked it. And it made me look cool.

The same is true for other social drugs such as alcohol. Even though I used to drink every day, I don’t remember feeling that if I didn’t drink that I would be physically or emotionally affected. Maybe just bored.

Enter caffeine.

My initial interest in decreasing caffeine intake stemmed from a desire to save money. I quit Red Bull, because it is just too expensive. What I didn’t realize, though, was that switching to espresso in the afternoon was more than tripling my consumption.

We use a 3-cup Bialetti Moka, so every espresso is a triple. I don’t think this is the best practice, but I don’t know a good way to counteract it without creating a lot of waste. Espresso is not something you can really save for later.

tweet by @dashdrum

That’s when the headaches started. I asked myself: does this substance have control over me? I don’t like the idea of being at the whim of the substance. I don’t want to become so dependent on the drug that I cannot function normally without it. This never happened with nicotine or alcohol.

I think the caffeine addiction has far more effect on me than booze or cigs ever did.

As I typed the above, I distinctly remember being an undergrad and purposely avoiding caffeine for fear of addiction. A curious explanation coming from someone who smoked cigarettes.

It is not necessarily the health effects of habitual caffeine consumption that I am worried about. Some studies have actually found positive health influences such as preventing cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

Ultimately, I am more concerned about its impact on the Simple Life I am currently pursuing.

I like caffeine in moderation, but at what point does drinking espresso go from a simple pleasure to a nuisance? That line is quite thin and shakily drawn, which leads me to believe my life would be much simpler if I didn’t have to monitor, or even think about, caffeine intake ever again.


Stories of addiction from our pasts

Jessica has an affinity for neuro-enhancers, while Kelly aversion. Hear the reasons behind both below. Yes, we do discuss illegal activities.

See what we would be doing without caffeine. | 00:02:55

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5 thoughts on “The Popular Podcast #147: Caffeine Slavery

  1. Hmmm…I guess, I don’t really drink caffeine for its effects. I don’t wake up in the morning and think I really need a cup of coffee. Actually, I just realized I haven’t had any coffee today. Maybe it’s because I don’t drink very much coffee (only 2 small lattes/day). I drink coffee b/c it tastes good. When we go on vacation, I’ll often skip coffee because it’s hard to find a decent latte on the road. And, I don’t replace it with anything else but water. Moderation is key, I s’pose…

  2. Once you get over the headaches, etc. it’s totally worth it. I was addicted but it was worth the withdrawl now. I’m actually much more productive now, the loss was short term. BTW your hair looks cute Kelly, keep it a little long

  3. heather, how long ago did you quit and what were the deciding factors?

    thanks for the hair compliment :) right when i had just decided to buzz it ;) now i’m torn again.

  4. I quit over a month ago now, maybe 6 weeks. I’m doing a whole cleanse thing for general health reasons and all the sources said start there. I have actually found it very freeing which is why I could relate to the blog title of slavery. Now I don’t have to even think about it and anywhere that has coffee has other options too. I did not do decaf coffee tho because it was too similar. Have you ever been to The Herb Bar? They have some great stuff called “Dandy Blend” that is a great transition drink that you can take with you & mix w hot water if you go out for coffee alot. Good luck!!

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