Nothing in the Tank (Whence Comes the Energy Redux)

27 Mar

I’m gonna be honest, guys: I am wiped. My brain is the consistency of vanilla pudding. I kinda can’t see straight. And I’ve got the slightest hint of a headache creeping up the back of my neck right now. This is the second morning of my third week of caffeine detox. At this point, I’ve stopped even drinking green tea. I have had no caffeine at all in the last 36 hours. I keep waiting for “food” to give me the boost that coffee did. Food is calories, calories are energy after all. Correct? So where is my boost?

I just ate two little almond muffins and a handful of raw nuts. That’s all good, solid food energy. I’m drinking tons of cold water. I got 38min52sec of exercise this morning in the pool. Isn’t steady aerobic exercise supposed to flood your body with oxygen and make you feel like a hero? Also, I went to yoga last night. Yoga is a gas station, or so they say.

I can not express to you exactly how badly I want a cup of coffee right now. It’s 8AM. I’ve been up for three hours already and I’m staring down the barrel of a full teaching day. I won’t get out of here until 7PM. Seriously, I don’t know how I’m going to do this without caffeine. What do people DO for sustained energy without caffeine? That is not a hypothetical question. I am looking for answers.

Oh, hello interwebs. What’s that you say? You have some suggestions.

PALO

What the hell is Palo?

PALO is a Natural Vitality Tea that provides sustained energy and balance without caffeine. PALO is brewed from Mamajuana…

Mamajuana? Really? You mean the Dominican Republic’s answer to Aquavit? You mean that insane blend of vaguely poisonous roots and leaves that are stuffed into old rum bottles, which are then filled with grain alcohol? No? Then what is Mamajuana?

Mamajuana is a blend of healthy roots and herbs which was traditionally prepared as tea and drank for vitality in the Dominican Republic and the surrounding Greater Antilles by the indigenous people.

Vitality. Sure. Vitality and waking dreams. I can’t vouche for this product. I simply Googled “Sustained energy without caffeine” and it was the first hit. Let’s see what else is on offer.

Reliv’s 24K

Boasts no caffeine, no sugar and only 5 calories per serving. So what the hell is in it then and what does it do to you?

24K’s synergistic blend of 24 active ingredients taps into your body’s natural vitality to provide energy, focus and stress relief. And with no caffeine, no sugar and only 5 calories per serving, it’s healthy energy for body, mind and spirit.

Sounds awesome. But it’s sold by a kinda creepy, Amway-like network marketing company (“NMC”), whose mission, in addition to selling product is “to help people; to nourish our world.”  I don’t know. I watched some of their videos and they just…well, watch them yourself and tell me if I’m being an asshole.

Then there’s MonaVie, by far the best name.

Fortified with 100 percent natural sources of energy, these advanced formulas features Palatinose™, a carbohydrate energy source found naturally in honey, sugar cane, and sugar beets. Scientifically shown to promote longer lasting energy, Palatinose metabolizes more slowly than sucrose and maltose—typical ingredients in other energy drinks—promoting a steady stream of energy over a longer period of time.

MonaVie is brought to you by yet another NMC.

Finally, all the way at the bottom of the page, I found an article from old faithful Livestrong. It offers no chemical miracles but rather a more detailed description of pretty much everything I wrote at the top of this post. 1) Get plenty of sleep; 2) exercise in the morning 3) shower after exercise (really? Do people need to be reminded of this?) 4) eat a healthy breakfast with a good mix of complex carbs and proteins; and my favorite, 5) have something to look forward to in the morning.

A dreary job or lackluster schedule can make you reluctant to roll out of bed, whereas a breakfast date with a friend or reading your favorite newspaper can give you the incentive to get ready and start the day with an energizing experience.

You know what I used to look forward to every morning? Coffee.

Anyway, the original point of this whole post was just to apologize for not writing anything particularly inspired today (brain = pudding) and to let you know that because I can’t focus, I’ll be running a 2nd Multiview. I hope it gives you the energy I can’t seem to locate.

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10 Responses to “Nothing in the Tank (Whence Comes the Energy Redux)”

  1. bgddyjim March 27, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    So, what do I do to wake up in the morning to revive, beat the chest like King Kong and get the day going – WITHOUT coffee?

    Nothing.

    All of that crap that you listed is just that – some of it expensive at that. Nothing will get you rolling than a good old cup of coffee (that’s legal anyway). There’s just some s#!t I won’t give up – that’s one.

    I’d go back to the hangover headaches from sleeping in if I were you…but I’m not so I already had at least 3/4 of a pot… And it’s all good.

    Eventually you will balance out over time – this low you’re feeling will become your new normal. That’s how it works.

    • mymultipersonality March 27, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

      oh jees, I hope my new normal will be something better than “low.” we shall see.
      Obviously, all that stuff is a scam. it’s just full of the stuff we should all be consuming on a regular basis, like various carb forms and omega 3s. if people could actually get their hands on pure foods, there would be no need for any of these supplements.

      • bgddyjim March 27, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

        People can get their hands on pure, good foods – that just takes a little bit of effort (and humorously enough, more money). Most pesticides and other things some like to complain about lately are harmless (or very close to it). Back when foods were absolutely pure and free-roam, the life expectancy was what, 45 at best? Of course, pointing that out doesn’t sell books, magazines or newspapers, so there’s that. Here is an example of my point: http://christostriathlon1.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/now-what/

        As far as new normal goes, if you really want to give up coffee, a new normal isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As your body gets used to the change, you’ll perk up – but that “Ahhh” jolt is not coming back. I know a lot of people that quit coffee, mainly to escape the caffeine, but it is insanely good for you, and in large doses [5+ cups a day] (despite what some will write about it).

        Also, for aerobic exercise, it isn’t the flood of oxygen that makes you feel like a hero – it’s the release of endorphins. Unfortunately, you’ve got to make it hurt to release them (it’s the body’s natural way of dealing with pain). If you can get yourself into “the zone” as they call it, where you feel like you can run forever, then run about two miles after you find out you can’t, you’ll feel the endorphins when you finish. It’ll vary for everyone, my butter zone is between 7 and 13.1 miles (running) – any less and the release is smaller, any more and the hurt drowns out the euphoric feeling – and the more impact to the activity (safely of course), the better. I don’t get the same release from riding, but I enjoy it a lot more than running.

        I’ve got a few posts in which I describe getting into that zone that REALLY work:
        http://fitrecovery.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/running-into-the-zone/
        http://fitrecovery.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/finding-my-zones/

      • mymultipersonality March 27, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

        Hmmm…i don’t think we can boil the life expectancy question down to such a simple explanation. 150 years ago, people worked 14 hour days on farms and in factories; there was no preventive health care, outside maybe an annual visit to the community doctor; no mammograms or birth control; women frequently died in child birth. By the time my grandfather was 60, he’d had five heart attacks, the 6th one got him when he was 65. He was a pack a day smoker and a caffeine addict.

        As for caffeine, I haven’t read any data that proves caffeine is effective in any doses larger than like one cup of coffee. Please forward the links if you’ve got them as I’d be interested in read those–though my guess is, that research is probably funded by coffee manufacturers.

        As for pesticides, GMO, etc… I’d just rather not put any of that stuff in my body. Plenty of data on both sides about what is harmless and what isn’t.

      • bgddyjim March 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

        Coffee is insanely good for you in large doses, caffeine is just good for A.D.H.D. (as it has the opposite affect – it soothes the hyperactivity, but that’s another story). The links for coffee are all here: http://fitrecovery.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/thank-you-sir-may-i-have-another-2/

        I’ll take all of the GMO’s I can get. They did a study that found Organic Farming worldwide, if implemented, could feed 4.2 Billion people – there are 7 Billion on the planet. Some GMO’s are iffy to be sure, but most just increase production of perfectly good food. (http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/green_room/2011/03/organic_crops_alone_cant_feed_the_world.2.html).

        Either way, your choice is perfectly legitimate and cool. I would never suggest that eating healthy foods is bad in any way, shape or form. I was just responding to some of the outlying stuff. It’s all good.

      • mymultipersonality March 27, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

        I have heard about the use of caffeine to treat ADHD. Go forth. Much better than Ritalin, I’m assuming. And look, I LOVE coffee. I always will. So I feel mildly queasy bashing it right now. And of course, to each his/her own. I’m hardly one to impose my choices or beliefs on anyone else. It just helps me right now to vilify the thing I can’t have.

        But all that article really says is that Americans drink so much coffee that they’re meeting their antioxidant needs. And what this tells me is that we’re NOT eating enough fruits and vegetables.

        (Likewise, the Slate article doesn’t seem to be arguing in favor of GMO, just states that organic may not be the only way to do things going forward.)

        I’ve found conflicting reports that put coffee on the lower end of the antioxidant scale when compared to white and green tea. Who knows who’s right or wrong? This is just one of those debates that will go on forever. And why?

        Because at the end of the day, all of this is about the dollar. We (and I include myself) hear “antioxidant” or “organic” and our brains explode and we open our wallets. Boom!

        I miss coffee. I miss it intensely. But I never drank it for its anti-oxidant properties. I drank it because it made me feel less tired. If you’re not eating antioxidant rich foods then sure, coffee might be one way to get the good stuff into your system. But when you compare it to other antioxidant rich foods, coffee is no substitute.

        That said, please have an extra cup for me today!

      • bgddyjim March 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

        Absolutely, and I’ll keep the aroma from said coffee restricted to my office.

        The only reason I went to all the trouble, was to give you the old, “it’s ok if you don’t have to quit coffee” chuck on the shoulder.

        I wish you well on that endeavor.

  2. iwanttobeatriathlete March 27, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    Try adding Chia Seeds into a smoothie, cereal or yogurt. It’s what I started today doing with Pocho. I need to get him energized and caffeine is not an option. Girl, if you are suffering bad from headaches I might be able to help you every once in a while with some Reiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reiki). Just let me know.

    • mymultipersonality March 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

      the headaches are mostly gone. it’s really just the energy sitch that’s bugging me. it doesn’t help that I’ve been getting up so damned early lately. I’m sure I’ll normalize a little after Nautica. But chia seeds are on my next grocery list.

  3. doug.s April 5, 2012 at 5:48 am #

    Kicking caffeine is the key to more energy. Stick with it!!!

    http://getbusydoing.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/kicking-caffeine-slowly-in-6-steps/

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