Brian Krausz

I build internet things

Caffeine Experiment

February 27, 2008

Yes, I stopped posting for 2 months, I know…it comes and goes in waves, my apologies.

Coincidentally 2 months ago I embarked on a little experiment, albeit accidentally, and I’d like to hear if there are any similar experiences:

I used to drink a good 3 cans of soda a day minimum, averaging around 150mg of caffeine (I prefer diet soda). Then, on an educational trip overseas, I went several days without any soda due to its lack of availability and the encouragement to drink lots of water. Truth be told, the first few days were pretty miserable…I was constantly exhausted. But once I got over my withdrawal, I was perfectly fine.

So I decided to see if I could keep it up once I got back stateside. I purchased several huge cases of bottled water (I find it’s easier to grab a bottle of water from the fridge rather than having to get up to fill a water bottle), and so began my informal experiment.

Three noteworthy results came from this experiment:

  1. I noticed no significant change to my sleeping habits, which are deplorable (as shown by the 6am timestamp on this post). I would still toss and turn in bed, and stay up ungodly amounts of time, and still pull the occassional all-nighter.
  2. Similarly, I noticed no significant change in my level of alertness. I could stay awake just as long as with caffeine, no more, no less. Now when I’m tired and need to stay up a bit longer, instead of reaching for a soda I either grab a bottle of water or go eat a snack, both of which seem to work pretty well.
  3. Soda now tastes pretty bad to me. I was at Subway a week ago and decided to try some soda for old time’s sake. I used to live on diet soda, but now it seems I can’t stand the taste. Unexpected side effect.

Has any other caffeine addict had a similar experience? I love saving a dollar or two at every meal by having water instead of soda, and I feel generally healthier (though that may be that I started working out a bit, which may have skewed the results of this experiment, but so be it). I recently had to pull my first full all-nighter since the experiment started, and I was most surprised at how equally functional I was compared to my caffeine-driven all-nighters.

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