Come, let us converse…

I’m drinking a cup of coffee as I write this.  I have a serious dilemma on my hands for which I will need your consult to solve.  I drink one cup per day regularly upon awakening but never allow myself to exceed this amount.  I don’t know why. Well I do know why but I’ll save that part.  So anyways, I typically come home and take a thirty minute to one hour nap and then am good to go until right before midnight.  But lately, especially with the most demanding daily schedule of my life, I feel these naps can no longer be justified – that time is too precious to waste in slumber.  I realize that most of you, hell, 99% of working Americans/students typically just consume coffee throughout the day at various points to combat their sluggishness.  I would like to take the plunge to join these ranks but have one major fear: how do you avoid escalation?  If caffeine loses its effectiveness and requires larger and larger amounts, how do you stave off that point where you’re needing 10 cups a day to keep from collapsing?  I typically slow down at around 1:00PM and again at 4:00PM and would like to limit myself to a cup at these two points (along with the obligatory morning cup) for a total of three per day.  Can this be done effectively or is ‘escalation’ inevitable?

I can’t express how excited I am that the season is upon us.  We’re going to be doing things a lot differently this year, in tune with your requests.  The most frequent criticism of Red94 last season was my narrow scope of analysis as I sometimes omitted even conveyance of the final scores from each game.  What was the point?  We weren’t going anywhere so I was more interested in how the team developed.  With health back on our side–for now–I’ll be providing more traditional coverage with recaps in the Dailies and even highlight videos.  I’m also going to open the blog up for pre-game and in-game discussion and am hopeful of intelligent discussion.  It’s not fair to not provide a venue to discuss the subjects of true importance – the games.

With the prospect of Jared Jeffries seeing regular minutes and the confirmation of Courtney Lee’s abilities, I’m feeling more confident now in the chances of regaining our past defensive identity.  Playing Jeffries over Hill gives the rotation a group of six defenders (Lowry-Battier-Lee-Hayes-Jeffries-Yao) among whom only Yao could be considered ‘just good.’  (Having said that, Yao is elite as a goalkeeper.)

Another point: a lot of talk lately over just how bad rookie Derrick Favors has looked leading some to smugly conclude that any interest the Nuggets may have had in the Nets forward must surely have eroded.  Not sure I follow this logic. Everyone knew Favors was raw.  If the Nuggets had interest, it wasn’t with the present in mind and surely took into consideration his stage of development.  They’re not going to suddenly be turned off by the validation of something they probably already knew.






About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of Red94.net.

in columns
  • Suhas

    I would suggest the following:
    – if you intend to drink more coffee, increase your morning dose rather than spacing it out throughout the day
    – when you feel tired later on, take a break from whatever you are doing, take a walk, get a drink of water, and hopefully come back feeling refreshed
    – if you really need caffeine later on, try less caffeinated drinks such as soda or tea.

    I too am looking forward to the new season, on the court and in the blog. A full season of Kevin Martin, with new additions Jacob and Connor, it doesn’t get much better than this!

  • Anonymous

    why do you suggest increasing the morning dose over spacing it out throughout the day?

  • Lars

    Just to add a suggestion

    Would love to see an “on Lee” breakdown of our newest acquisition. I am not sure how I feel about him yet. Recently, the first thing that comes to mind when I watch him play is chucker, but I will hold my judgement till I see him a bit more.

  • Anonymous

    Good idea. I will key in on him in one of the games.

  • Anonymous

    Good idea. I will key in on him in one of the games.

  • Tkired

    building up a tolerance to caffeine is like any other drug, multiple daily use is going to make it less effective. Although with coffee, it is usually fairly easy to stop drinking it for a few days, and bring your tolerance back up.

  • Anonymous

    Personally, I find that if I take any caffeine much past 3 PM, it makes it harder to get to sleep at night. Then again, I get my caffeine in the form of Diet Dr. Pepper, and some people can drink caffeine right before bedtime and still get to sleep, so your results may vary.

    But no matter how demanding your schedule, you don’t want to get less than seven hours of sleep a night, or your health and long-term memory retention starts to suffer.

  • rob

    I share your concerns about building a tolerance. That said, I presently drink two cups in the morning time, and only occasionally dabble at other times. One problem I have run into, is if I don’t drink anything with caffeine I seem to get headaches in the evening of a day spent without the miracle drug. Not sure if its really related, but its happened enough times that I think it is. A warning perhaps.

  • Suhas

    I find that if I space it out it starts to last for less time. So if I start drinking coffee at 1pm, I’ll start getting really tired at noon.

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t had a cup since 6AM for the first time in a few days and am getting a headache….

  • Blake

    B-complex vitamins (an ingredient in things like Red Bull and 5-hour Energy) have helped me from getting sleepy during the day. You can pick them up at any drug store for cheap.

  • johnjohn

    On the Favors front, I think that if he stinks this whole year, that does blow the Nets pitch. He’s the centerpiece, any way you cut it. I suspect he’ll have flashes throughout the first few months that will keep him hot enough as a prospect.

    On the caffeine front, I have one strategy to offer. I drink some in the morning (not much, maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of a standard 12 oz cup), just enough to get me started. And after that I only drink it if I need to focus or work intensely on something. For me, that usually means writing, which is sometimes the bulk of my job but sometimes only a small part of it. During writing periods, I can drink up to two cups throughout the day, but during periods where all I have to write is emails, I try to resist the caffeine call entirely. (I also crash badly from caffeine, so tend to stay away from it any time from about 8a to 1p).

    Another strategy is the well-known green tea one: drink a little bit of green tea every hour, be more or less constantly sipping it. I’ve never done this consistently, and it requires a lot of discipline, but it works for thousands of folks.

    And Rob–you’re probably dehydrated, cuz. Gotta drink a lot of water EVERY time your drink any amount of coffee.

  • johnjohn

    On the Favors front, I think that if he stinks this whole year, that does blow the Nets pitch. He’s the centerpiece, any way you cut it. I suspect he’ll have flashes throughout the first few months that will keep him hot enough as a prospect.

    On the caffeine front, I have one strategy to offer. I drink some in the morning (not much, maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of a standard 12 oz cup), just enough to get me started. And after that I only drink it if I need to focus or work intensely on something. For me, that usually means writing, which is sometimes the bulk of my job but sometimes only a small part of it. During writing periods, I can drink up to two cups throughout the day, but during periods where all I have to write is emails, I try to resist the caffeine call entirely. (I also crash badly from caffeine, so tend to stay away from it any time from about 8a to 1p).

    Another strategy is the well-known green tea one: drink a little bit of green tea every hour, be more or less constantly sipping it. I’ve never done this consistently, and it requires a lot of discipline, but it works for thousands of folks.

    And Rob–you’re probably dehydrated, cuz. Gotta drink a lot of water EVERY time your drink any amount of coffee.

  • Anonymous

    Yea – problem there is what to do on those off days.

  • Anonymous

    I can fall asleep at any hour under any circumstances – it’s my superhero superpower

  • Anonymous

    It’s definitely related. How long do the 2 cups last you? I’ve never doubled up like that. My 1 cup at 5/6 AM lasts me until around 1PM when i start slowing down, but I also workout at 730 so the endorphin boost from that is possibly skewing the data.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting. So you just pop a few when you’re feeling tired? How exactly does it work? (i find that things work for me much better when I understand the mechanism.) I know B vitamin regulates energy levels, but I wasn’t aware that this was immediate-short term….I thought it was simply your long term energy stores…?

  • Anonymous

    I’ve read a lot of people recommend green tea. I’m going to need to try this. So sip constantly?

  • Easy

    A 15-30 minutes nap (after noon) is better than a few cups of coffee. The efficiency you gain from it for your waking hours is well worth the time you take for the nap.

  • Rahat, I’m a grad student which means I have to do a lot of work on very little sleep. My coffee drinking did get out of control at one point(5-6cups a day), but I also have a very addictive personality (cigarette smoker). To control my caffeine intake I eat very light and healthy lunches, along with small (healthy) snacks in the afternoon. You can control your energy by controlling your blood sugar. Right now I drink a cup in the morning and a cup after lunch and I don’t feel tired. Escalation is not inevitable otherwise there would be rehab clinics for coffee drinkers. While it is addictive, dont be afraid, its not heroin or anything.

    I have found myself unable to sleep recently but I think thats just due to opening night getting closer and closer…

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. The hard part though is making yourself get up after 15 minutes. My naps always extend to one hour and I end up wanting to kill myself out of guilt.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. The hard part though is making yourself get up after 15 minutes. My naps always extend to one hour and I end up wanting to kill myself out of guilt.

  • Denton

    I find if you take one cup of coffee in the morning and then sip green tea all day as needed that I can get through the day. The green tea gives you slight kicks of caffeine, but seems to avoid total escalation. I got to where i was drinking 5 plus cups a day and decided to try this. Haven’t been crashing in the afternoon like I would when I just refused to drink the coffee. The other option is complete withdrawal, but depending on how busy and intense your days are you probably won’t be able to go on little sleep.

  • Stephen

    A good 15-20 minute nap is the way to go.(Perhaps invest in a small alark clock,or use one of the cell phones w/an alarm function.
    The energy drinks are loaded w/sugar and caffeine. Tea also has significant caffeine.

    From article on drinking green tea as way to avoid caffein…
    http://www.medicinalfoodnews.com/vol10/2006/green_tea

    Content of Some Common Drinks (per 100 ml)
    Coffee brewed from grounds 40 mg1
    Espresso coffee 212 mg1
    Instant coffee 26 mg1
    Coffee liqueur(63 proof) 26 mg1
    Lipton black Tea (bag 33 mg2
    Green tea (loose leaves) 32 mg

  • RL

    Apparently, you’re young. My problem is falling asleep when I need a nap.
    Pick a few yoga stretches (or something indoor that you can do for 5 minutes . Get the blood flowing to you brain. might work.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, when I would eat light lunches that definitely made a major impact on things. I also would love to be able to get by on two cups per day.

  • Anonymous

    I think I’m going to need to try the green tea.

  • Anonymous

    the naps are probably the healthiest way to do this. but how do i force myself to wake up. what always happens is that i set my alarm for 15 minutes, and then when i wake up, i just tell myself “ill just sleep for another 30″…

  • Crappermail

    set your alarm for 30-45 minutes and just make a rule to NEVER NEVER EVER let yourself hit snooze (it helps to sleep on a couch or the floor instead of a nice comfy bed, which may tempt you to sleep longer and fall in a deep sleep). if your schedule allows a nap right after lunch, do it.. don’t feel guilty; it’s so good for you! (and btw, if it only takes a couple minutes to fall asleep anytime/anywhere, you may be slightly sleep deprived.)

    also, i’ve found that 5-6 small meals/snacks keeps my energy up and allows me to stay mentally alert (better for metabolism and blood sugar too). have a little protein with each, minimizing simple starches and processed foods, and drink plenty of water throughout the day (lots of water even works for Jason Kidd).

    throw in some regular exercise with your nap and changes to your diet, and i’ll bet you’ll get a productivity boost that would far exceed what you’d get from a 2nd or 3rd cup of coffee. just limit it to one morning cup, then maybe have a green tea if you need a concentration boost, as the previous poster noted.

  • Beraten

    I lend my expertise from 3 fronts: I am a graduate student, I married a barista, and I was in charge of energy drink/caffeine levels for a top-level college debate team the last two years. I know from caffeine, is my point.

    Assuming that, on a given day, a nap is out of the question, have a regular coffee drink. Don’t drink it at home, drink it out (either at a coffee shop or in the car).

    The ritualized aspect of the same drink prevents escalation; refusing to drink it at home creates an artificial barrier to use. If you have to leave the house, you’ll only get it when you need it.

    I recommend a coffee drink without sugar (I like iced red-eyes) because sugar adds to the addictive nature, leads to a crash, and is unnecessary calories.

  • Beraten

    I lend my expertise from 3 fronts: I am a graduate student, I married a barista, and I was in charge of energy drink/caffeine levels for a top-level college debate team the last two years. I know from caffeine, is my point.

    Assuming that, on a given day, a nap is out of the question, have a regular coffee drink. Don’t drink it at home, drink it out (either at a coffee shop or in the car).

    The ritualized aspect of the same drink prevents escalation; refusing to drink it at home creates an artificial barrier to use. If you have to leave the house, you’ll only get it when you need it.

    I recommend a coffee drink without sugar (I like iced red-eyes) because sugar adds to the addictive nature, leads to a crash, and is unnecessary calories.

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