Programming and caffeine. Productivity vs. Health.

I’m sure this is the last thing most people are thinking about as the deadline for an important project approaches.  Well that’s why I’m thinking about it for you!  I’ll start out with the plain and simple answers.

  • Productivity – YES!
  • Health – Yes, No, and Maybe.

There are three ways to get your caffeine.  Daily, almost every day, and occasionally.  Which one am I for?  Daily.  Here’s why.

  • Caffeine can result in headaches in some people if you “skip” occasionally.  Headaches are not fun.
  • Using caffeine occasionally has other side effects which are negated by drinking it often.  You might get a bigger pick me up that one time, but more bathroom trips isn’t the best thing in the world either.  And besides you shoud want to experience The Brief Chemically Induced Happiness of a Programmer as often as possible.

Positive Side Effects:

  • Improved mood.  **REAL WINNER**
  • Increased alertness.
  • Better contextual memory recall.

Negative Side Effects:

  • Tip of the tongue syndrome.
  • Increase heart rate.  I haven’t seen this to be a big deal unless you have medical problems. (Bad heart, High blood pressure, etc.)  However, I would not recommend exercising while using caffeine. An extra 20-30 bpm added on to 160 during high intensity training is not healthy for most people.  There are, of course, the extremists who scream caffeine is liquid stress.  He even takes it one step further by implying that if you drink coffee, you are supporting child slavery…
  • Caffeine isn’t for everyone, and there are side effects depending on your genes.  Most of the world has built up a great tolerance for caffeine.

These effects are also very temporary, but the positive mood that gets the ball rolling is NOT temporary.

Ok, you want caffeine, you’re addicted to caffeine, and you want it now and don’t care how.  Just stop right there.

People today should care a little bit more about what they put in there body and pop is evil. Diet soda isn’t much better for several reasons.  The only reason to drink diet soda instead of real thing is it doesn’t make you fat.  WRONG, Diet Soda Makes you Fat! When I eat something sweet and sugary I don’t want my brain thinking I just ate 0 calories.

Personally I recommend either coffee (black for me), or tea (Earl Grey for me).  In fact, luminosity recommends coffee or tea as part of the regular diet.  Go ahead, take the brain grade test and see if it recommends it for you.  (I wasn’t drinking coffee or tea at the time.)  However, it doesn’t say one way the other about caffeine, because its benefits are more then debatable.

I’m for caffeine, how about you?