To Drink Coffee or Not To Drink Coffee?

Outrageous experiments in sensible eating.
Jan. 9 2011 8:33 PM

To Drink Coffee or Not To Drink Coffee?

Because the goal of Week 1 was to get nutrients in , I gave up coffee for the week as it isn't necessary to good nutrition, though some studies say coffee has health benefits .

Ellen Tarlin Ellen Tarlin

Ellen Tarlin is a former Slate copy chief and writer of the "Clean Plate" blog. Her essays have appeared in the Boston Globe, the Boston PhoenixBrooklyn Bridge, Bark, and  the RISK storytelling podcast. Follow her on Twitter.

I love coffee. I normally drink way too much, though I do drink decaf. One good thing about this habit is I drink a lot of milk with it. But it is an addiction, or a dependence, or at least a crutch.


This past week it was a relief not to always be chasing a good cup of coffee. I've frequently been late for work, walked blocks out of my way, and made many extra stops just to find the perfect cup of coffee (in addition to the stuff I make at home). This week I drank Tazo Zen green tea instead, and I felt a lot less headachy, less lethargic, and more mentally clear. Plus, my breath didn't smell like a filter full of used grounds.

I have given up coffee entirely many times, but I always return to it because I get so much enjoyment from it.

So the question is, should I let myself have a cup of coffee tomorrow morning? (Just one. I don't intend to go back to my all-day habit.) Or should I stay off the stuff at least another week?

Is coffee-drinking a sickness or a joyous obsession?



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