A window into the life of a professional geek, wife and mother (and nonni), stitcher/designer, bibliophile, old-school gamer, and whatever other roles she finds herself in.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Death by Dr. Pepper!

I have been, in some form or another, a horrible caffeine addict for much of my adult life. Sometimes tea, sometimes coffee, but I get into the habit on work mornings of having a cup of hot caffeine. It's a bad habit, and probably stemming more from the desire to have A Hot Beverage than that I need the caffeine.

I've given up caffeine for Lent before. Several times, in fact, and I know to quit the caffeine a week beforehand to get the headaches out of the way. And to stock up on herbal teas. But somehow, the habit sneaks back in.

Overall, though, I do drink a lot less caffeine than I did 3-4 years ago. I've discovered that part of my consumption came from 'warm-up' cups - I get busy, my coffee gets tepid, I go top off the cup to warm it up. I've started using hot water instead of coffee for warmups, and with tea, it's less of an issue since one is already adding hot water to a tea bag in the first place! I'm trying to get in the habit of just starting the day with a cup of hot water - no caffeine in that!

Like many things, caffeine in moderation isn't a bad thing. Recent studies suggest that some of our favorite caffeinated drinks may even be good for us.

But like many things, too much of a good thing can be bad, or even deadly. One friend found a site that purports to tell us how much of one's favorite caffeine source it would take to kill you. So I decided to run a few numbers on my favorite caffeinated drinks:
Dr. Pepper: 308 cans
Mr. Pibb: 315 cans
Barq's: 574 cans
Arizona green tea: 316 bottles
Tea (imported): 210 cups
Tea (US): 421 cups
Chocolate milk: 2525 glasses
Coffee (brewed): 117 cups
Hot cocoa: 901 cups
Chai: 126 cups

Now, from a practical perspective, I don't think one can die of caffeine overdose from beverages alone. By the time you get to that 100th cup or can, your body would probably have already processed your first one.

You'd probably be unable to sleep for a week, though!

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