This Boomer’s Fading Caffeine Dependency

At age 62, and being married to someone with significant health problems, I am acutely aware of the lifestyle impairment and expense issues associated with poor health and old age. This is one reason why I am trying to do a better job now with my own health, to avoid or at least significantly delay health-related problems in my own life.

The starting point for this is self-education.  I do not 100% trust the information I receive from the conventional health care industry, including physicians and particularly the drug companies and food manufacturers. I now read on these issues extensively and watch documentaries, paying close attention to the science behind all claims. (I am still an engineer at heart.)

I subscribe to Dr. Mercola’s free email newsletter which – if you can ignore the advertising – contains lots of useful information about health and nutrition that you may not see or read elsewhere. (Check it out here.)

This brings me to caffeine and diet soft drinks. I am not a coffee drinker but for years I was a serial diet Coke consumer at the office. It would start almost immediately upon arrival and continue throughout the day until I left for home. Interestingly, I would rarely drink diet Coke at home but I would at a restaurant or while traveling in the car.

More recently, I began drinking a bottle of water first thing in the morning, enhanced by a flavored drink powder that included caffeine.

Caffeine has a lot of different positive and negative qualities, not the least of which is that it is addictive. (More info here.) A lot us consume too much of it. If you consume as much I did, stopping can create miserable withdrawal symptoms.  I finally decided that I just did not want to be addicted to anything. Also, apart from the caffeine dependency issue, diet soft drinks contain other chemicals that are just bad for you.

So last March, I consumed my last soft drink, period. (The sugar is also very bad, so I don’t drink regular soft drinks either.)  To introduce you to some of the more recent science on the badness of soft drinks of all kinds, read this and this.) During the day I now drink water or unsweetened iced tea. This has improved my sleep, eliminated heart palpitations, etc.

I continued to use my daily drink powder to give me that “morning boost.” (That is also the brand name of the product I use.)  However, that is about to change. This product is a grocery store brand which was sold in two flavors. The flavor I like (grapefruit) has been phased out. I dislike the other flavor (nasty orange – like Tang). So, when my current supply runs out, I think I will be off caffeine completely except for the natural caffeine found in tea. I don’t drink iced tea for the caffeine nor do drink anywhere near the volume of tea that I used to consume of diet Coke.

So, my very soon I can reasonably say that my caffeine dependency will be gone. If I am careful and smart, I will never consume another soft drink of any kind.

I think that will be a good thing for my mental and physical health going forward, don’t you?


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