Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Caffeine: The Breakup and Makeup

I read an article that said that 90% of Americans consume caffeine daily.

90%!!!

I've always been up front about my love of caffeine and Endorush, especially during prep. But last Fall, I did something I didn't know was possible: I quit caffeine cold turkey.

Yep, caffeine and I officially broke up. And it was glorious.

I learned to wake up in the mornings without stumbling to the refrigerator for that first gulp of Endorush. How to push myself through a workout based on sheer willpower and determination. How to stay awake through the 3 pm sleepy hour at work.

I was doing great! I was happy and felt healthy and whole.

My plan was to stay away from caffeine until I absolutely needed it during prep. I knew the day would come when I'd need it to function while I deprived my body of calories and overtrained it in the gym. I hoped to hold out for as long as possible because I didn't want my body to be addicted to anything.

That's not to say that I NEVER had any caffeine. I'd have sips of J's Diet Coke here and there, but my body wasn't dependent on it.

Caffeine and I stayed broken up until Memorial Day weekend, when we made up and got back together.

We were in Texas for FitCon, and I knew it was going to be a difficult weekend for me - long hours and social obligations combined with the usual stress of staying on my diet and getting in all cardio and training workouts. I brought along a couple bottles of Endorush, and sipped them very sparingly. Just a sip made a huge difference in my performance! The added boost of energy enabled me to push through my cardio and workouts with intensity.

Endorush: We're back together again
I have conflicted feelings about going back to being on caffeine. On the one hand, I don't feel like it's healthy for the body to have an addiction of any kind - and then feed into that addiction. I don't WANT to feel hazy and stumbly in the mornings if I don't have some caffeine. On the other hand, the caffeine is impacting my performance in all areas on my life in a positive way. I'm more productive at work, and I can train more intensely in the gym. It's like a double-edged sword.

I've come to terms with the fact that in order to continue functioning at a high level for the next few weeks, I need to consume caffeine at various points throughout the day. I don't want my performance at work to suffer - I need my job! I don't want my performance at the gym to suffer - I'd like to push myself to be my absolute best on stage. After the show, I think I may try to wean myself off of it again. Until then, it's time for another sip of Endorush!

Are you addicted to caffeine? Have you ever quit cold turkey? Do you find that caffeine helps your performance?

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