Caffeine #atozchallenge

caffeine

Caffeine molecule (source: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

Here’s the drug that powers most of the Internet. Yep, it’s a drug and a psychoactive one at that. But it’s perfectly legal, and for that matter, quite lucrative. Just ask Howard Schultz.

Most people take their caffeine in either coffee or tea, but soft drinks, particularly cola drinks like Coke and Pepsi, have a lot of caffeine as well. Based on an eight-ounce serving of each, brewed coffee has the most caffeine, at 80 to 135 mg. Tea is next, with 47 mg, and Coke comes in at 34 mg. Now there are some soft drinks, like Mountain Dew and Jolt cola, that have a lot more caffeine, and the energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster, are loaded with it. I used to drink lots of those drinks before my stroke. Sometimes I think that might have brought on the stroke. Caffeine is “contraindicated” (as the doctors day) for people with high blood pressure. Mine was astronomical, and I was just making it worse.

Since then, I’ve switched to decaffeinated coffee, and after this long I can barely tell the difference, although I’m sleeping much better and don’t walk around feeling like my head is about to explode. For years, the only brand of decaf was Sanka, in the orange can. Back in the Fifties, Sanka used to sponsor the TV show The Goldbergs, and Gertrude Berg, who played Molly Goldberg, used to stand at the window in her kitchen and tell you to drink it.

By the Seventies, Robert Young, who played the title character in the TV show Marcus Welby, MD, did the ads for them.

When I was in college and again when I started working third shift (11 PM to 7 AM), I used to use NoDoz, which was a pill that gave you as much caffeine as in two cups of coffee. There was another caffeine pill called Vivarin, which was about the same thing.

In moderation, caffeine is all right and can help you think better. More than that, not so much.

When I moved to the south, I discovered Goody’s headache powders. They were a mix of aspirin and caffeine, and really did work, though taking them was nasty, because you tasted the aspirin. But they worked great. They used to advertise on Braves games. Here’s retired NASCAR driver Richard Petty for Goody’s.

Anacin was pretty much the same thing: a big dose of aspirin and as much caffeine as in a cup of coffee.

So, enjoy your coffee, in moderation.

65 thoughts on “Caffeine #atozchallenge

  1. When I started to work, one of my bosses exclaimed “you don’t drink coffee? How do you even function?” I didn’t drink coffee until I was in my 40’s. And yes, aspirin and caffeine really does work with many migraines.

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  2. Very interesting from a health perspective, although I can’t really remember what coffee tastes like. I drink water only and enjoy a light beer once in a blue moon. Dr. Google tells me that a combination of caffeine and aspirin is commonly prescribed for headaches, muscle aches and pains associated with fever and a cold. I never knew that.

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  3. My caffeine intake is in moderation, thankfully. I don’t like black coffee or teas and since I’m a bit lactose intolerant, I end up having decently small amounts. Need to up my herbal tea intake though.

    Interesting perspective.

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    1. I’ve never been a tea drinker, as much as I’ve tried. I just never developed a taste for it. Here in the south, it’s served iced all year round, with lots of sugar brewed into it (what they call “sweet tea”). I think it tastes horrible, myself, but I’m in a definite minority here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Iced tea is nice, but here in India tea is had mostly hot, in various variations like masala-spices and milk and tea, or just plain milk and tea. In the recent years various infusions like Oolong, Green tea, Chamomile, Green Coffee even and a multiple others have taken the country by storm. Thanks for sharing your story. Very interesting, John.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I rarely drink coffee and if I do it is always decaf. Caffeine is horrible for me since I am hypoglycaemic. I think too many people are hooked on caffeine and the companies love it. Soft drinks and those horrible caffeine drinks should not be given to kids. My niece was hooked on red bull when she was 13 and I don’t think it helped her in the long run since she suffers from insomnia. My dad was up to 30 cups a day of coffee and when his heart was racing he stopped the coffee intake to 1 per day. I think caffeine, in moderation, is a good thing but we have too much in North America.

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  5. I didn’t know Anacin was caffeine. I’ve cut down on coffee quite drastically but can’t go decaf yet…

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  6. Enjoying a cuppa hot coffee right now. I suppose I could switch to decaf if needed, but I sure love the ‘pick me up’ it gives me in the morning. I try to limit it to 2 cups …. okay, maybe 3. Great post! Thanks!

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  7. I’m a coffee-addict. If I don’t have two cups of coffee a day I get a migraine. But I do avoid drugs such as Goody’s and Excedrin, and have never indulged in energy drinks as I do have a heart defect that is sensitive to Ginseng and the like. Way to stick to decaf, I was just about to go down to brew a second cup of coffee out of most likely boredom than a need for any further energy, and you just reminded me to pull out the green cup instead of the red. 😉

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    1. Two cups is about what the doctors say is the maximum on coffee, and none after noon if you want to get to sleep that night. There are some people that can drink it all day long and sleep like a baby at night (or so they claim).

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I still drink regular (caffeinated) coffee, and I still drink sodas, but because of the 2-3 cups of caffeinated coffee I drink each day, my soda of choice is caffeine-free Diet Coke.

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  9. First off, your blog name is the best! Secondly… I am very addicted to caffeine. Only in coffee now – I used to have sodas too. And I only (only!) drink one pot of coffee a day. Some mornings I can go without coffee but often get a headache. Someone told me about a half and half decaf/caf mix that I might try to step down.

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  10. As a coffee and tea junkie myself, I’m always managing my consumption levels to get the boost I need/want without overbalancing into complete dependence and headaches. I’m glad this drug is legal! @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

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  11. Interesting, John. The commercials are great (I do remember Marcus Welby).
    I knew you’d had a stroke, but I didn’t know that caffeine could have played a part. I’d like to go caffeine-free completely…someday. So far, I’ve managed to switch from coffee (3 cups) to tea (1 cup) in the morning.

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    1. I don’t think you could do a Molly Goldberg on TV nowadays. Not so much because it would offend people (though I’m sure it would), but because no one could relate to her. There aren’t many in the world like her anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I love coffee, I can’t function without it. I didn’t know there was a Goldbergs back in the 50’s. I watch a tv show of the same name now 🙂

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  13. I’m sitting here reading your post, while my afternoon cup of caffeine coffee is keeping me company. It’s never bothered me, and tends to be relaxing, and helps me sleep good, which is opposite of most people, I think.

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  14. Oh goodness Molly Goldberg is a gem! I’m definitely a decaf-er with my coffee, and while I drink a fair amount of herbal tea, I also have a passion for a black vanilla orchid tea which alas is caffeinated. I may need to pay attention just how much caffeine I’m getting daily.

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  15. I take one for the team and drink regular coffee because the Mister doesn’t care for decaf. Easier to make one pot every morning instead of two. If he didn’t grocery shop with me, I might get decaf and put it in the canister before he even knows. I alway order decaf when we eat breakfast out. I have never been able to tell the difference. Of course he jokes it is because the waitress is likely giving me regular. There must be something to orange color like the Sanka can. I’ve noticed that the tops of the coffee pots with decaf are usually orange.

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  16. I enjoyed your post today. Thinking about coffee and the media made me think of the ongoing saga that had been portrayed in the Tasters Choice commercials with Anthony Head from Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame. I read on line that they dropped them because people were more interested in the story than what they were selling. Visiting from
    If I Only Had A Time Machine

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  17. As you know, I’m decaffed, too. I have a real cup of coffee, a real soda, or a real iced tea now and again, but I’m generally decaffed. I used to have migraines much more often. Goody’s does help. So does a Tylenol and a chug of real soda 🙂 Doctor gave me a scrip once for acetaminophen, caffeine, and somethin else, somethin controlled, all in one pill. Best headache pill ever, but my scrip expired before I ever needed a third pill, lol!

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  18. I’m glad that you’ve been able to adjust to your de-caf and that your health and sleep are doing better because of it. I get my mild daily dose of caffeine with my dove dark chocolate!

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  19. I was completely caffeine free when I lived in the US. In 2013 I moved to Ecuador where almost none of the teas were labeled with caffeine content (there was one nasty decaf tea I found). I asked around and the general consensus was “drink it if you like it.” No coffee for me but decaf coffee wasn’t in this neck of the woods then either. Now, some teas are labeled but I already “drink what I like” and the teas I like mostly have caffeine.

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  20. John,

    You and I were sorta thinking alike. You covered caffeine and I sketched a coffee cup. lol DH takes Vivarin when working to give him a caffeine boast without having to make a bazillion bathroom breaks that drinking coffee brings on. However, I drink at least two cups each day. That’s not a lot compared to some coffee drinkers and it makes me happy.

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    1. I remember this girl in high school who had these big brown eyes. Turns out she was drinking so much coffee they were bugging out. I have a 16 oz. Thermos cup that usually lasts until dinnertime (the coffee stays hot all that time, believe it or not) and I refill it from a Thermos. In terms of 6 oz. cups, I’d say I drink close to 5, maybe a little more, but it’s decaf.

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  21. I didn’t really think about the effects of caffeine until I became pregnant and researched it a little. I was pretty shocked about how much I was putting into my system every day. Now, I usually just have one coffee first thing in the morning and stick to herbal tea for the rest of the day. If I have two or three coffees I do start to feel jittery.

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  22. My introduction to coffee in the mid-60’s was instant coffee. My grandfather liked his in the stove top percolator but my parents always used instant. I wasn’t much of a fan until I added milk and sugar. Out on my own, I eventually moved to the early Mr. Coffee makers. Heaven! A whole pot at a time, kept warm until you either drank it all or let it burn to the bottom of the carafe. Years later found us using a Keurig and loving the convenience of the fresh single cup.

    When we moved to Ecuador for two years, we graduated to a French Press. My husband really liked it but I wasn’t a huge fan. But I did love the Ecuadorian coffee! Back in the states, we tried regular single cup drip brew but when the coffee maker died, we went back to a Keurig.

    I find myself drinking much less coffee than I did when I was working, even when working out of the house (IT professional consultant). Two pots a day wasn’t unusual. Now I rarely make it through two cups…often reheated. I think I drink more cold coffee than hot.

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    1. Instant was popular among WWII and Korea veterans, and was advertised almost as heavily as ground coffee at one time. Now, you hardly hear about it.

      We brew a pot in a percolator and transfer it to a Thermos when it’s done. I have a travel mug (another Thermos) that will keep the coffee hot pretty much all day. It’s not unusual for me to be driunking the same cup of coffee in the evening as I was in the morning. I don’t drink coffee like I did when I was working (I’ve been retired almost five years now)…

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  23. I’ve never been a coffee drinker but I do drink a lot of tea. I have been trying not to drink it too late or switch to decaf as I think it helps me to sleep better.

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  24. I’m supposed to avoid caffeine and I can feel the effect if I have too much. I’ve cut back to one cup in the mornings and I almost always have a cane sugar Mexican Coca-Cola for dinner. I’ve known people who go through several pots of coffee each day, but it starts messing with my stomach when I overdo drinking coffee.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I think cane sugar Coke is sold around Passover. I guess corn syrup isn’t Kosher.

      Even though it’s decaf, I probably shouldn’t drink as much coffee as I do, because I’m real prone to indigestion and probably take more antacid tablets than I should.

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