May 29, 2017

Caffeine as a Prep Item

Caffeine as a Prep item

Have you ever been so tired that you know your judgment is impaired but for whatever reason you couldn’t get any shuteye? What about getting up in the morning and feeling more tired than when you went to bed?

As I pointed out in Keeping Watch Once It’s Hit the Fan, if things go sideways there might be a need for you to stand watch. If it’s just you and your family, how can you make sure you stay alert enough to stand watch and keep everyone safe? The potential solution to this problem is caffeine.
The Upside

Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant that is found in a variety of plants. It can heighten your alertness and provide a boost of energy. Caffeine is commonly found in coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks, energy drinks as well as some medications.

A safe daily limit is 200 – 300 milligrams, which equates to 2-4 cups of coffee. When used in moderation, caffeine can be used to wake you up in the morning or help you keep going through the day.
The Downside

As was just stated, caffeine used in moderation has an upside. However, overuse can lead to dependency. If you’re drinking four cups of coffee to get going, a diet soft drink mid-morning, another with lunch and a couple throughout the rest of the day, there is a good chance you’re dependent on it. Diet Dr. Pepper is my drink of choice. I used to drink 8-10 a day! I used to say caffeine had no effect on me, that I could drink a Diet Dr. Pepper right before bed, go to bed and fall asleep just fine. I was abusing it and was dependent on it.

Once dependent on caffeine, the withdrawal headaches can be horrific. If you decide to being limiting your intake, it is suggested to cut it in half for a day or two, and then in half again and on and on until you’re consuming a healthy amount.
Final Thoughts

I am now only consuming two cans of Diet Dr. Pepper a day. I made the mistake of having a couple cans late one evening and I am definitely affected by it now; I think I saw the clock strike 02:00.

The idea of getting some of those energy shot drinks has occurred to me in the past. Before I limited my intake I took one on a day with little sleep, and surprise, surprise, it didn’t affect me. It only made me yawn louder. Now however, I think having a few on hand to help me be aware, should I ever need to be awake and alert late at night, is probably a good idea.
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  1. I’ve been stocking green coffee beans for about a year now. I do it partly for the caffeine but also for the comfort aspect. Coffee and chocolate – gotta have ’em! – in moderation.

    While roasted coffee has a limited shelf life, green coffee beans last about two years with little preparation. Home roasting is a little messy – better done outside – but not at all difficult. I use a propane flame at home but I like to roast my beans over the campfire when camping.

    I buy from an online importer who buys from all over the world. It’s an interesting hobby learning about the different locations, climates, etc. and tasting to find a favorite. I save some out for current use, and then package the rest for longer storage (mylar w/O2 absorber). I’m no expert and don’t have beans old enough to tell you that my packaging is the best – but I’m comfortable in saying that I’ll find a way to make a decent cup of joe even if the power goes out.

  2. Jim Moore says:

    I think caffeine is a good product to prep in pill form as well as other more organic forms. I’m sure it will be a good trade item as well. I also suggest Vitamin B Complex. A good double dose of B Complex can keep me going for hours.
    On an even more natural point, thumping your thymus with a closed fist can wake you up and create an all over more wakeful feeling quickly and easily. Thumping your thymus joined with thumps on you K-27 and Spleen points will really get you going. Additionally the Bellows Breath as taught by Dr. Weil is a great wake-up tool and one I have taught to many who habitually drive when tired.

    Congrats on your Dr Pepper reduction Chris. I hope you can totally eliminated them, IMO more because of the aspartame than the caffeine. I personally saw a marked improvement in my cognitive function once I eliminated aspartame from my diet. That’s been years ago and I still won’t touch the stuff.

    • Chris Ray says:

      “On an even more natural point, thumping your thymus with a closed fist can wake you up and create an all over more wakeful feeling quickly and easily. ” that is very interesting, I should look into this.

      While I should quit Diet Dr. Pepper completely, its my one vice, so we’ll see. I would switch to regular if not for the diabetes.

      • Heidi Sparks says:

        In spite of the diabetes, you might want to consider ditching the diet sodas if you’re allergic to fire ants, bees/wasp/hornet stings. I am allergic to them. They are all in the same venom classification of hymenoptra. I found out about the issue with aspertame when I got really sick from a batch of diet Pepsi. If the diet drink sits anywhere that reaches 86 degrees or higher, the aspertame converts to wood alcohol,then to formaldehyde, then to formic acid. Formic acid is the equivalent of the aforementioned venoms. This can be found on the FDA website too. Since then, even though I’m hypoglycemic, I’m a cherry cokeaholic. I consider it to be a lesser evil than some other vices I can think of!

  3. Jim Moore says:

    Here’s a quick video you can follow along;
    Carey uses her finger tips and I suggest using your closed fist. Works better for me.
    The basis for it is that your thymus is simply the “heart” of your lymphatic system but it doesn’t pump. Thumping it stimulates your lymphatic system.

    But, but, but aspartame is some nasty poison Bro!

    There is a Dr drink with stevia. I’m not a pepper so I don’t know how it compares.

    • Chris Ray says:

      Thanks for the link!

      I know aspartame is some nasty stuff, but than again, so is a lot of the additives in the majority of our food supply.

  4. i haven’t used it in years, but there is guarana. it is natural, and it will keep you awake for quite a while. it’s carried in most health food stores. and alot of your energy drinks have guarana. most of the sobe drinks have guarana. you can also get it in pill form.

    nowadays, i make an Americano every morning. espresso, about 3 shots, and hot water, with half & half and a little sugar. keeps me going all day. if i’m traveling, i’ve found that mcdonalds and sonic will make it for you and only charge about $2. starbucks usually is around $3, but it’s the bigger cup. but i’ve found that i don’t really like the taste of starbucks espresso. at the store, i buy llava or pylon 10 oz anywhere from $3 to $4, and i usually get around 2 weeks worth of cups.

  5. I also keep green coffee beans for long-term food storage. Fresh roasted coffee beans beat all other options, and they stay fresh for about a week. I’m wondering about cocoa beans for long term storage. Any advise? Where would I find these?

    • I know chocolate doesn’t really go bad, it can turn white, which is called blooming, but the taste is still fine. I wonder if ground cocoa is the same.

  6. Cristy Ray says:

    For myself, I like to have various black tea flavors. While not as much caffeine as coffee, they are my own drink of choice for the mornings. I have used tea bags that are over 3 years old, and could not tell a difference in the alertness I got from them compared to fresher teas. So, my pantry carries at least a years worth of tea at any given time.

    • We have tea as part of our preps, I’m not a huge fan of hot beverages, but I do enjoy iced tea from time to time.

  7. I’ve gradually reduced my caffeine intake b/c of my health problems. However, I have stocked some coffee & tea b/c I know some will want it or need it. So I think it will be a good item to barter.

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