Maybe it’s bags under your eyes, maybe you just feel stressed out and jittery, or maybe it’s the chest gripping feeling that you’re not breathing, but at some point most people say they need to cut back on coffee.
All the health benefits of coffee are in the 1 cup range as far as I’ve heard, I’ve never had that few (or haven’t since I was 14) but that’s what I hear. Mine consumption of magic morning not-kill-you juice averages 3 cups then goes up and up and up until I’m having panic attacks then I quit for a week or two.
Story of my life, full speed or full stop. But here’s what I found helps mitigate that and live like (sigh) adult.
Step 1: Theanine. It’s the reason people think tea is softer than coffee, it’s not, tea has more caffeine than a typical cup of joe but it also has theanine which takes that edge off. Theanine also protects your adenosine receptors from developing caffeine tolerance so one cup should always work.
Luckily it comes in pill form. Take a theanine capsule with your first cup and you’ll find you don’t feel like having a second because the rush isn’t there, there’s no dragon to chase. And I know, we all love that speedy feeling like you could take on the world but this for when you have to cut back because the world is on your chest.
Step 2: A cup of beet juice. I trained myself to drink it for the nitric oxide benefits for running, it’s not delectable. But before you shake your head you know what? You trained yourself to drink coffee. We trained ourselves to drink booze. We trained ourselves to take in, and later love, a lot of toxic shit. So why not put that skill to use for the light side of the force and train yourself to like beet juice and avocados and whatever else healthy thing you act like you’re too good for.
Anyway beet juice is a vasoconstrictior, just like coffee. This will stop you from getting withdrawal headaches. In the daily presence of coffee your blood vessels have stopped dilating on their own, just like most things in your body if it’s always coming from an exogenous source then your body stops using it’s endogenous systems.
So pop a theanine and wash it down with beet juice.
Then Step 3; before, during, or after your single cup of coffee – which by the way I hope is fresh ground and french pressed because if you’re only having one make it amazing – have a square of dark chocolate.
And I mean dark. Anything under 70% and you’re a pussy. Go 90, that’s where I’ve found love.
It’ll give you an energy boost, it’ll be rich and dark and satisfying (after you’ve trained yourself to enjoy it. If you’re going from milk chocolate to Supreme Dark it will, according to my girlfriend, be like eating dirt) but most importantly it will give you a hit of dopamine. You are coming off the drug of caffeine, your body is going to give you feelings of deprecation and craving when it doesn’t get its fix. It will withhold positive neurotransmitters even when you do feel good because it will have forgotten how to feel good without the presence of your drug.
But it can’t fight chocolate. Get that mood boost.
So theanine, beet juice, dark chocolate, then savour your coffee. Pretend – as I often do – that you live in a coffee commercial. Take your favourite mug outside or near the window, watch it steam, take deep breathes, and love it. Love the coffee.
Look at your coffee right now and tell it you love it.