Got to have it. No choice. It’s imperative. “Choose not to choose” is what a bus-stop advertisement informed me yesterday. I convinced myself I had the fortitude to make it through the rest of the morning with nothing less than water, cereal, milk and toast to digest. I would not be tempted. I would not falter. But every second person I seen was holding one. The many different designs of paper cups on display all containing a variation of the same liquid…coffee.
Like all addicts, I swore I’d only have just the one when I had my first coffee two years ago.
I discovered the elixir of life one Sunday morning. I couldn’t move. It wasn’t sleep-paralysis, this was something else. Alcohol induced. I could open my eyes, one at a time. When I say I couldn’t move, I mean voluntarily. My arms and legs were all a-twitch. It took a few minutes to roll myself out of bed. The time spent in motion before my shoulder hit the floor wasn’t long enough for me to take stock of things. A few more minutes and my arms were back. I crawled downstairs and into the kitchen. After several failed attempts of me trying to explain to somebody’s legs under the kitchen-table that I needed water and paracetamol and I needed them fast, the legs moved and soles passed over my left eye. I was in this shitstorm all by myself it seemed.
I grabbed a handle of a cupboard with both hands and dragged myself to a horizontal position. My knees failed me. Down I went. My chin was left resting on the counter. The third attempt at standing worked a charm. I gripped the edge of the counter and made my way to the sink like a kid in a swimming pool leaving the deep-end. Delirium tremens were kicking in, causing me to think there was a cat sitting in the sink. Just a tea-towel. I turned the cold tap on and positioned my face underneath. I pulled back instantly and sat in a heap on the floor. Hot tap equals hot water, dickhead.
Just as I was about to give up on the day and try to fall asleep on the kitchen floor, I noticed the steam rising from a mug on the table. I went for it. Cross-legged with mug in hand I silently asked every God in existence that coffee wouldn’t taste too shitty. One sip. Two sips. Third sip was more of a gulp. Suddenly I was on my feet. Boo-ya! Before I knew what my legs were doing I was at the top of the stairs, jumping around like Rocky. Now my mind was working again. Oh yeah, I thought, I have work this morning. I checked my phone. Work in twenty minutes. I thought I could fit a shower and a bowl of cereal into that time-frame and I did. I ran to the bus-stop and was full of chat for the bus-driver. This coffee stuff is really something, I thought.
There are other benefits to drinking coffee, care2.com reports that “in a 2005 review of nine studies, researchers found that for those that drank four to six cups of coffee per day, versus only two or fewer, their risk for Type 2 diabetes decreased by almost 30 percent.”
“Researchers reported that volunteers who drank caffeinated coffee in the morning performed better than nondrinkers on tests that involved learning new information. Coffee can also improve cognitive function as we age. One study found that combining coffee with a sweet treat had an even bigger impact.”
“According to study researcher Josep M. Serra Grabulosa, from the Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychobiology at University of Barcelona: ‘Our main finding is that the combination of the two substances improves cognitive performance in terms of sustained attention and working memory by increasing the efficiency of the areas of the brain responsible for these two functions.
‘This supports the idea of a synergistic effect between two substances, in which each one boosts the effect of the other.’”
So, it turns out that murky liquid isn’t strictly a hangover cure, it’s actually a supplier of reinforced cognitive function. Isn’t that the same thing?