BlogEric SnaellDecember

Laying off Caffeine

It's time to deal with the unhealthy holiday foods. I've decided to deviate from my usual holiday exceptions, where I allow myself to eat whatever (as it's, literally, holidays for Christ's sake). But I need more than a strong will to convince myself not to go overboard with delicious goodies. So I trick myself to focus on something else that will give me the same result. It's sort of similar to booking a dentist appointment to cut down your sugar consumption. This time I'm focusing on laying off caffeine for the duration of the holidays.

Caffeine must be the most popular stimulant in the world and it's proven to improve reaction times in sports. There are several studies showing the health and performance benefits of moderate caffeine consumption, so why should I keep a break from it? Obviously a break from any stimulant could reset the body's tolerance level. But there is more to it.

Often we use caffeine to force our body not to rest, regardless if the effect is a placebo or not. And what could be healthier than to actually follow your body's call for rest? And maybe that pre-work out drink is unnecessary? (Mental note: book a dentist appointment for that as well). Forget the morning coffee during the holidays and sleep a bit extra if needed. And here's where we get to the hart of this challenge. For a lot of people caffeine is synonmous to coffee. But caffeine can be present in a lot of foods, such as chocolate, tea, ice cream and soda. And it's not always labeled (it comes disguised as guarana for instance). Do you see where I'm going with this?

So when I'm offered chocolate during the festivities, I will let my will power come from my thought of ''laying off caffeine'' rather than ''don't allow an exception in your eating regime, even if it's a holiday''. So indirectly I will avoid a lot of unnecessary sugar and fat. For me, and my twisted mind, it makes a big difference.

Luckily there's no caffeine in turkey, so I'll be chewing that with a non-caffinated beverage and a clear conscious. It will be interesting to see the results in January when I will consume caffeine again. I'll probably time it to a track meet and see how explosive I can be in the block start. I'll let you know how it works out. Until then, happy holidays!

Previous Posts