Monday, November 26, 2007

Caffeine Withdrawal

Yesterday was a LONG day. We left at 7:30 a.m. and got back around 10:30 p.m. Hubby was feeling pretty miserable by then, his throat quite sore and the cough seems to have moved into his chest.

Stumbling into the kitchen this morning I was dismayed to find we were out of regular coffee. I'd used the last of it yesterday but totally forgot and we didn't have time to stop and pick it up anyway. So... I made a pot with the decaf and tried to pretend it was regular.

Didn't work. Ugh. Within an hour I had a caffeine withdrawal headache. Took aspirin. Didn't help. At 10 a.m. I popped open a can of diet Coke in an effort to mainline caffeine into my system.

Didn't work. Now I know why. My system is used to coffee. Coffee has more caffeine than any other beverage (except those weird energy drinks), about 110-150 milligrams per cup.

I learned this interesting fact when I cracked open a book from the library: "Life Is Meals: A Food Lover's Book of Days" by James and Kay Salter. The info about caffeine is found on January 4th.

I also learned that in Turkey coffee was so essential that denying a wife her coffee gave her 'grounds' for divorce (LOL I love puns!).

I'm a bit of a coffee snob. Not a big fan of Maxwell House. My favorite is Millstone's hazelnut flavored beans that I grind in the store (one of these days I'll invest in a grinder of my own). Cooks Illustrated did a taste comparison of supermarket brands a while back and Millstones was ranked pretty high. But we've tried coffees from all over and have found, in general, we favor a mild to mid-roast bean done in a drip machine or french press.

And both hubby and I are partial to hazelnut creamer. Other flavors just wear thin after a while but we've found that hazelnut never gets old. Problem is: this stuff is getting more and more expensive! When we started using the creamer it was around $1.50 for the large container. That's jumped up to over $3 which is just flat out painful! We tried to wean ourselves off, trying hazelnut syrup or just sugar. But we didn't enjoy our coffee nearly as much, and after much agonizing decided this was an area where we'd splurge and just get the creamer. Since we typically drink only one cup each morning, it's not so bad.

Can't handle caffeine in the evening, so we keep regular and decaf on hand. I once had a cup of Turkish coffee at a Greek Festival at ten in the morning. I was still awake and totally wired the next morning at 3 a.m. Even in college I couldn't handle it.

Hubby drank too much recently and literally got sick. He had the shakes and felt really weird, and it took hours before the symptoms subsided. Realized later he'd had the equivalent of eight cups of coffee and doctors agree that four cups a day is the limit before starting to experience a caffeine overdose. At least he didn't have to go to the hospital like the girl in this article.

All this talk about coffee makes me want a cup and I DO have decaf. Hmmm, think I'll go make a pot.

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