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This week, Ray, Augusto, Francis and Art start a conversation about coffee and tea and all things caffeine!
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In this Cast | Caffeine-Based Productivity
Show Notes | Caffeine-Based Productivity
Resources we mention, including links to them, will be provided here. Please listen to the episode for context.
- Caffeine | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
- How Coffee and Caffeine Actually Affect Your Productivity
- Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
- Coffee in the Workplace
- Ember mug
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
- Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World by Mark Pendergrast
- Bulletproof Coffee Recipe: The Original Keto Coffee with Butter & MCT Oil
- Tea / Matcha
- Herbal teas are non-caffeinated.
- Caffeine/Energy shots (Best Energy Shots of 2020)
- Caffeine tablets
- Caffeine patches
- Caffeine chart | Center for Science in the Public Interest
Raw Text Transcript
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Voiceover Artist 0:00
Are you ready to manage your work and personal world better to live a fulfilling productive life, then you’ve come to the right place productivity cast, the weekly show about all things productivity. Here, your host Ray Sidney-Smith and Augusto Pinaud with Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:17
And Welcome back, everybody to productivity cast, the weekly show about all things personal productivity, I’m Ray Sidney Smith.
Augusto Pinaud 0:22
I am Augusto Pinaud.
Francis Wade 0:23
I’m Francis Wade.
Art Gelwicks 0:24
And I’m Art Gelwicks.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:25
Welcome, gentlemen. And welcome to our listeners to this episode of productivity cast. Today, what we’re going to be doing is talking about caffeine based productivity, what we want to do is to give you a survey of how to use caffeine to be more productive. And so we’re going to take a survey of the do an overview of all of the various caffeine based products, and I thought what we would start with doing is kind of defining what caffeine is and how it works in the first place. And then we will cover the various types of caffeinated products that are in the world. Not all of them, but certainly some of them. And then some of the health risks I think that caffeine has and we can talk about those as well. And some of the benefits, there’s actually some really good benefits in the in the health space for that. And full disclosure, we’re not medical professionals. So you should probably talk to your your licensed medical professional before you take any advice. And then of course, we’re going to talk about timing and methods for consuming caffeine. And I think that’ll be really useful for folks as well just to understand those components of how to time your caffeine intake for greater productivity. So let’s start with kind of the baseline, which what caffeine is both how we think about it in terms of our world, but also from a little bit more of a scientific perspective. So caffeine, of course, we think of as being in coffee and other products is actually quite a number of other products. But at its core, what caffeine is a stimulant. And it’s kind of the opposite of what you might think in the sense that it actually blocks some neural receptors, so that it causes you to stay in a wakefulness state, you have adenosine, which is a molecule that attaches to parts of your brain and causes you to get tired, get sleepy. And these adenosine receptors on your brain are blocked by caffeine. So caffeine comes in, it goes through the blood brain barrier. And it antagonizes those adenosine receptors and blocks the adenosine from being taken up by the brain and basically absorbed by the brain. And that’s what actually causes you to stay awake and feel that sense of wakefulness. So it can not only block you from getting tired from the adenosine, but it can also then increase wakefulness, in that sense as well.
Art Gelwicks 2:46
If you’re going to look at caffeine as part of your generalized productivity, you really have to understand the science behind it. I think too many people think, okay, a cup of coffee, or two cups of coffee, this is part of what I have, or three cups or eight cups or whatever. But understanding the science behind the chemical itself, as well as how it impacts your unique physiology. And that’s the other thing is that it affects everybody differently. And it changes over time. I mean, that’s one of the things that I’ve discovered is you can mess around with caffeine and how it affects yourself. It takes time to do it. But you can adjust your physiology based on how you consume caffeine to determine what impacts it’s going to have. And it becomes predictable. It’s not one of those, okay, I didn’t get a cup of coffee, therefore, who knows what I’m going to be like today? No, if you pay attention to it, there’s a period of time you can start to understand what this is. But if you don’t take the time to understand the science behind the chemical itself, and what its job is, you know, being a suppressor like, like Ray just outlined, and the fact that it constricts blood vessels in the brain and understanding those mechanisms then gives you the predictability as to well, what’s it going to do? And how am I going to use that, rather than it just being an external factor that kicks in?
Francis Wade 4:12
I think it’s worth knowing that information because the I believe the the common sort of the average way of drinking coffee is not informed by much other than habit. I think most people just drink it out of habit. They don’t delve into the sense and they don’t ask the kind of questions we’re about to ask, but how do you make the best use of it? So they’re just basically following the crowd, which I think limits its usefulness. And maybe even those are a few things that you don’t want that
Raymond Sidney-Smith 4:46
caffeine is a cultural component. And if I if I had to go into a product business, where you could sell very easily, very fast coffee would be it. It’s just such a cultural Moray. It’s such a Strong Moray are in so many different cultures around the world. And it’s just easy to sell in that sense. The interesting thing you noted our which is that when you do drink caffeine, it is also a vassal constructor, right? So it is actually constricting blood vessels. And that’s another component here, which is that we also have to take some of the good with the bad here, the vessel construction is what causes you to potentially feel like you’re thinking faster, things of that nature, you know, that people think about and the reality is, is your water consumption, how much water you’re drinking, comparative to how much coffee you’re drinking affects your ability to have that feeling of effect as well. But any vessel constructor can also cause headaches, and other kinds of issues with regard to anxiety, giving you that sense of anxiety, good to kind of keep us mindful of those pieces. A couple of other like little tidbits that I picked up along the years of researching caffeine, I’ve done many, many experiments with caffeine. Caffeine is something that takes a very short amount of time to get into your bloodstream, usually somewhere around 15 minutes. And it can stay in your body for hours and hours and hours, depending upon your particular body type your particular circumstances. And so just be very careful about the fact that if you drink coffee, say in the late afternoon, you could still have caffeine coursing through your veins, late into the evening, which could potentially disrupt sleep. So we’ll talk about some of those risks as well, because it doesn’t just stop there. The point is, there are all of these biological components that caffeine is working with. And we are complex biological creatures. And so as we talk about this, just remember that the complexity really does come into play in in so many regards.
Art Gelwicks 6:42
One more thing to add. And this is a really common thing. Caffeine is not measured by the cup. So many people will think that, oh, I’ll just have a smaller cup of coffee. It depends what’s in there. It depends what you’re drinking. It depends what the consumption is, cumulative, and raise absolute right? The cumulative effect of caffeine can be way more impactful than the shot of espresso you just had, I was just looking at a chart, comparing different caffeine levels and a Starbucks pikes place venti I think it was, as compared to a Starbucks espresso, you think and express Oh, wow, that’s got a lot of caffeine. No, the venti is like 410 milligrams versus the espresso of 150. So understanding that the measure of volume has nothing to do with the amount of caffeine you’re actually consuming. And where all those sources are coming from, that you’re right, that has that cumulative effect.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 7:39
And as we continue our conversation on we should talk about the fact that we will be talking about this in milligrams of dosages. So that’s a good kind of perspective for people to understand. And the average cup of coffee, I think, has somewhere around 80 to 100 milligrams of caffeine in it. So caffeine, of course, is a white bitter powder. If you see it in its own natural state, it is extracted from other types of products, coffee, beans, and, and tea leaves, and so on, so forth. But the product by itself, you just extracted it and saw it on an a pile, it would just be like a white powder. And it has a pretty normal boiling rate, or melting rate, you can melt it down and that kind of thing. But for the most part, we typically find it in other products. And so I’m trying to think of anything else here that I wanted to cover. So 1.2 grams is where caffeine toxicity starts to begin and can be obviously dangerous for you. So just interesting things from the Harvard School of Public Health, I’ll put a link to this in the show notes for everybody. Because it is useful to kind of keep a check on how much caffeine you’re actually consuming.
Art Gelwicks 8:42
It’s interesting to me, because when you think about caffeine and caffeine consumption for productivity, it almost becomes an extension of your rituals. We think about people who get up in the morning, and they can’t physically function without a cup of coffee, or you don’t want to interact with those people till they’ve had a cup of coffee or cup of tea or whatever the beverage of choice is, as we think about that with productivity, though, it concerns me slightly because we confuse the effect, the actual chemical effect with the psychological effect. If you think about having your cup of coffee, all of a sudden your mood is better. Well, yeah, but the caffeine hasn’t kicked in that fast, takes about, you know, half hour for it to really gear up to speed. But if you’re suddenly more pleasant five minutes after you’re having your cup of coffee, it’s because psychologically, you’ve said that I need this to be able to move forward. So I don’t I don’t want people to conflate the chemistry to the actual, you know, what’s the help with the productivity? I don’t know of a lot of people aside from saying that I have to have it who really integrate well, I don’t know of anybody who really integrates caffeine as a clear part of their process. Activity process. I have yet to meet anybody who’s doing that if somebody is doing that, I’d love to know how that works. I mean, I’ve, I’ve talked about it, you know, we’ve talked about it before with napping and things like that. But as part of a logical, deliberate step, I’m curious how that works. So
Raymond Sidney-Smith 10:18
taking a step back in what you’re talking about are in terms of it being useful to you, there are a number of different things that the idea of drinking warm beverages in the morning can be useful for. For aeons people have had a warm drink in the morning, for a number of reasons. One, it warms you up. But to for digestive purposes, it’s just good for being able to digest things. It’s why we cook food, it’s not because we like things hot necessarily, it’s because it helps to break down that food and we can digest it better. Well, one way of doing that is drinking hot beverages. So the caffeine is kind of secondary to that I think that we probably developed humans developed the process of drinking hot drinks, because you probably killed bacteria. And so we didn’t die as often. And it also helped an aided in digestion. And then the caffeine was a nice addition once caffeine was brought into general circulation and general trade. And so I also happen to be reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harare. So I’m very, I’m very intrigued by the anthropological perspective here, there’s a really great book about coffee, by the way, and I’ll try to look it up and put it in the show notes as well, that is fascinating about how coffee was developed in the world, and how trade brought it to a global perspective as it is right now. But the idea here is that we have the usage of coffee as just one of the products that we can utilize for purposes of something that can also benefit us, which also happens to be cultural, that we have a hot beverage with our first meal of the day. So just be careful about that, which is that the types and ways in which you consume coffee are very much built into your routines. And you will then consume more or less because of that. And what you’re talking about art is really being more strategic and thoughtful about that caffeine consumption. Once we get into the different types of caffeine that you can consume, you can realize that you don’t necessarily have to have a caffeinated drink to start your day. And it actually may not be useful to you once we get into the dialogue later on. So caffeine comes in a number of different products. But mostly we consume caffeine, because it’s included in the medications that we take. People don’t realize that but when you take over the counter medications, many times caffeine is actually in those medications for increased absorption and or to keep you from feeling tired. So if you have a common cold or something like that, you will frequently find it saying daytime and or other kinds of notes like that, that’s because they’ve chalked it full of caffeine so that you don’t feel the effects of the usually the alcohol or whatever the the ethyl base is inside of those products that make you feel drowsy. So anything that says anti drowsy, is how we’re consuming it. Of course, we’re consuming getting coffee, and tea, if you are from South America Matej. The the montae Tea is a cultural artifact, and you’ll find it also in chocolate and any other cocoa based products. And then you’ll find it in many other products as well. But those are really the high level caffeine based foods.
Art Gelwicks 13:21
I think also we have to be careful that we’re not confusing the effect of caffeine from the effect of sugar in the same things. Because you get that sugar spike and you go, Oh, wow, I had a cup of coffee. And it’s no, it’s the four spoonfuls of sugar you just put in there that that caused it to kick up. So, again, deconstructing what you’re consuming, and I agree completely with the warm liquids and the things and, and things like green teas and herbal teas and Chai teas, which is redundant. So pardon for that. But this type of thing is something if you’re looking to tune and optimize your physiological approach to your productivity, this is a good area to work in to play in. Because you can derive the same benefits without having the negative aspects and be able to work yourself towards a change without without really having to work that hard to get there. And I
Raymond Sidney-Smith 14:17
think you should take this in complement with all of these other components. You have a lot of other foods and a lot of other ways in which you can manifest a highly productive nutrition plan. And what I think most people do is they only look at coffee or tea or some other energy drink as a mechanism for being able to jolt either focus, alertness or otherwise. And you actually have a lot more available to you in that space. Especially with regard to sugars and the various types of sweeteners. We tend to think about as being those things that help increase our alertness in the short term. And so sugar is different than other sweeteners and we are mistaken in how much a sweetener can actually increase alertness. It just ends up being confusion over time because, well, high fructose corn syrup isn’t everything we eat today. And that has caused a whole series of problems for us. For at least Americans culturally, we need to start thinking about how we strategically utilize our nutrition for productivity. But today, we’re focused on caffeine. And so caffeine, as I noted, is available in a lot of different formats. And so there’s the general items, as we talked about before, but then we come across supplements and supplements come in the form of all kinds of interesting forms, gel packs, for example, I am a runner, and so when I’m training for something, I will have these little gel packs because I don’t particularly like chewing while I’m running. And the gel packs allow you to just be able to squeeze literally a gel into your mouth, and it has caffeine in it and it helps to kind of boost you and get your muscles reactivated. So that’s helpful. There are obviously all kinds of beverages that contain caffeine, you’ll see energy drinks, you’ll see all kinds of drinks that are available over the counter. And they contain various levels of caffeine, their caffeine or Energy Shots. These are usually in small bottles or in little tiny cups with with a pull off lid, and they will have some high concentration of caffeine with less liquid, those are available, you then have caffeine tablets, I think the brand vibrant is the one that I’ve seen most often where it is literally the break it apart, you will see the white powder that is actually just caffeine, you can actually use a mortar and pestle or something like that and you can actually crush it up and sprinkle it into foods if you want to caffeinate the food directly so you can make something caffeinated like muffins. And then there are patches which I have been experimenting with over the past few years. And so caffeine patches are literally like skin patches that here adhesives that you put onto your skin and they absorb over the course of time and very similar to the way in which diabetics have insulin patches, these patches will distribute through the skin barrier and be absorbed over time into the body. So it gives you a different and indirect source of caffeine through the skin. So these are many different products for being able to absorb the same thing it’s just caffeine being absorbed in the body in different ways. Those things of course take us then along to what are your favorite forms of absorbing caffeine and what have you learned in the process of absorbing and in taking caffeine
Augusto Pinaud 17:42
even that I probably consume enough or a lot I have discovered that what I like the most is the taste of this trunk coffee so I quit having weak drinks I call them you know that watery theme coffee even though the sometimes contains more caffeine than than espresso shot. I like is the flavor of this term coffee but it was interesting art was mentioned and about the sugar and I don’t know I have 678 10 shots of coffee every day. Okay I have espresso machine and I make around those I understand I over caffeinated myself like most people are standard The problem is your buddy also create a resistance level to that so when people ask me oh you don’t asleep for coffee No no, I couldn’t have espresso ship got five minutes I’m out. See you later until tomorrow. I don’t have that benefit anymore. I drink coffee because I enjoy the taste that said I have Starbucks make those cans that they call dole shot and I have them okay because that’s the only thing that gives me that boost. But as artists it’s not the caffeine that gave me the boost is the low level of sugar. That gave me the boost and it is a different even that it has that flavor of coffee and all that is the sugar that gives you the booze and also the sugar that gives you the crush caffeine crushes are completely different than sugar crushes and it is really interesting when you identify the difference between one and the other.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 19:17
Just for clarity and for disclaimer that that double shot of from the Starbucks drink has a high level of sugar
Augusto Pinaud 19:27
Raymond Sidney-Smith 19:28
I know I know and sugar generally is not the thing you want to be utilizing. I’m going to have to have an intervention with Augusto at some point regarding his sugar intake but
Augusto Pinaud 19:38
no no those shut those shots I only have them I have it in the car. Okay because if I we drive if I needed that’s an emergency. It’s a break, break the glass and open the can in case in case of emergency, but it’s not something that I have not even weekly. So he’s maybe monthly but he’s but it is my emergency go to
Raymond Sidney-Smith 19:58
and for anyone who wants to sweeten Something naturally and otherwise try something like monkfruit sweetener or stevia or there are various numbers of Earth Vertol, there’s so many different other natural sweeteners that don’t have the same impact on you as core granulated white sugar. Those things or high fructose corn syrup based sweetening is just terrible. And honestly not that great and coffee, and or even in tea, you can actually get a really nice flavor out of one of those things. Since tea tends to have a little bit of that earthiness and the stevia leaves as well as those that have come from Earth recall, both have that kind of same texture. And so putting them into your teas, sweeten them, without maligning the flavor too much actually might create some more depth there for you as well. I tend to like teas, I am I am a tea drinker, I have picked up a coffee habit, that is something that I’m actually thinking about curtailing over the next six to nine months, I want to be able to strategically use caffeine through coffee, I enjoy the coffee though I actually completely dissimilar to Gousto. I actually like the flavor of the mediated water coffee, I like coffee flavor. And it’s not I actually like a dark roast generally. So I like the I like the earthiness of it. But I don’t like the thickness of say an espresso flavor. Very common, I actually really enjoy the idea of drinking a cup of coffee over the course of time. And we’ll get to as we talk about timing, because it turns out that I actually consume my caffeine over a much longer period of time than most people because I’m not drinking my coffee in one sitting all at once. I’m actually drinking it over the course of hours. And so I get the hopeful benefit of getting kind of a prolonged, you know, blocking of the adenosine so that I get more alertness over the course of time. What else do you use for for caffeine consumption? Do we do we have some chocolate holics here,
Art Gelwicks 22:00
I love my chocolate. But I’ve throttled it back a bit. So but that’s, that’s not a caffeine thing in my book. I mean, it’s one of those again, it’s that mixed bag for sugar into the mix. And for me not to get into a deep story I’ll do at some other point. But at the beginning of the entire quarantine pandemic thing. I had a coffee intervention. within about three weeks of getting back to working at home, I realized that I was having about four cups by noon. And it was just it had gotten out of control. And I was starting to notice physiological reactions to that. So I said, Okay, I got it, I have an opportunity to fix this and figure it out. So my normal day, I may have a cup of coffee, but there’s no mandate to have coffee. I drink a lot of tea now. But I drink a lot of black teas, I drink herbal teas, I drink Chai, and I have a tendency to taper the type of tea through the day. So I may start with a black tea. I’ll then go to maybe chai and then maybe I’ll go I’ll wind up in the herbal space and that as I get later in the day, because I’ve also noticed the direct correlation to screwing up my sleep that this stuff has. But to the sweetener part. I switched off of regular sweeteners as much as possible. I use a dark Agave sweetener for my teas, and I find that it’s great. It works well. It’s about the same caloric level maybe a little bit less, but I don’t use as much I like the flavor better.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 23:32
And it has a low glycemic index, which means that it breaks down those carbs over a longer period of time, which is really good for you. So yeah, the lowest glycemic index as possible.
Art Gelwicks 23:45
It’s it’s been a big help. And I think that kind of transition makes a difference. Aside from that, if I’m getting other caffeine sources, they’re unintentional. I just looked up there’s a there’s a brewery near me that makes a coffee stout. And sure enough, there’s about 60 milligrams of coffee in that coffee caffeine in that coffee stout. So is it okay to have a beer for breakfast? I don’t know. I’m thinking about it.
Francis Wade 24:10
And I my first encounter with caffeine was a party I went to where I had Red Bull and vodka drinks. I had about three. And that night.
Art Gelwicks 24:24
That was your first encounter caffeine, holy cow. Welcome to the deep end of the pool.
Francis Wade 24:30
I had no idea that night as I lay lay in bed, unable to sleep, that something was very wrong with me. And I had no idea what I had no idea. And my heart was racing like nobody’s business, but I fell asleep at four o’clock. I think the following day. I kind of figured it out. But in the moment it was kind of scary. And then I picked up coffee a few years ago and became a daily drinker. And this is instant coffee and Notice that my blood pressure started to go up. And I said, Okay, this is not a good thing. But I did like the feeling. And of course, I went through the cycle of having to take more coffee and stronger coffee, because my mind was being in third out. So I came off of it completely, and said, Well, you know, I do like the boost that it gives it gave me when I before my body adapted to it. So I became a answer arts query, I became a productivity coffee drinker. So I drink a decaf coffee, five days a week, which just for the psychological, helps me get into work a little bit, because it sort of is my signal that it’s time to get known for some do something semi serious or serious. And I save the real, I think about 120 milligram, regular cup of coffee with a nap after for the days when no more than one of once every one to three weeks or once a month, somewhere in that time frame. The days when I need the boost. And I so I deliberately save it for a day when I need to do a bunch of deep work. So I have the whole day, there’s no meetings for the day is no time gonna move up something in the car to go do some errands. A day when I’m, I am going to be focused at the desk. And that’s the only time So under those conditions will not when the conditions are right. I haven’t had it in the last week at least. So I tend to save the coffee days for when I have a deadline that I need to focus on using some deep work. So it’s in that respect, it’s just a, it’s just the device. Having said that, it still is a bit of a hit or miss maybe 50% of the time, I get a really great boost. And it feel really good about what I can accomplish in the day. And 50% of the time. They’re a little bit sometimes nothing at all. So it’s not a sort of precise science at all. But I do save the Save the coffee for the for the day when I have to use it basically. And it’s just decaf for me all the way through. I’ve never had anything but decaf. tasted my wife’s real coffee. But
Raymond Sidney-Smith 27:23
the funny part just anecdotally, decaffeinated coffee is what’s utilized for extracting caffeine for other caffeine products. Because in the caf decaffeination process, they extract the caffeine and then that caffeine is then utilized and all of your energy drinks and so on so forth. So we can thank your decaffeinated coffee. For the rest of us getting caffeinated or other products. I always find it fascinating. They basically use either activated charcoal or otherwise, to strip out the caffeine in one of the decaffeination processes. There are others, but the primary one that I know of is where they use our activated charcoal to decaffeinate. And then they use that for other products around the world. So just wanted to cover some of the other items that we see in the world today as being popular coffee options and popular caffeine options. There is the noted bulletproof coffee and I just wanted to cover that recipe so that we can kind of banter that about Dave Asprey, who is a noted bio hacker, he has gone through this process of developing something he calls bulletproof coffee. And Bulletproof Coffee has now built its own brand and there are bulletproof products of all kinds, but specifically in the coffee space, he has talked about this notion that utilizing coffee mixed with MCT oil mixed with butter, or ghee, which is the Indian clarified butter product, you mix these three together, and it creates this other thing. They call it bulletproof coffee, but it is a little bit different. It tastes obviously very different. And you consume this and it helps to, again mediate the caffeine distribution. And so it then prolongs the distribution of the caffeine in your bloodstream. And of course then helps to keep you alert for longer and supposedly gives you a little higher boost is my understanding. I have I have not been a great advocate of bulletproof coffee only because I haven’t really utilized it all that much. And I haven’t really found the flavor to be a turn off. It hasn’t been anything bad for me. I just it hasn’t been something that I feel like I want to spend that much money on MCT oil is I think expensive and at least here in the States and then having to keep butter around for that purpose. I just don’t use a lot of butter in my life. And so having it’s like butter and salt are not things that are in my family’s diet and so we just don’t have a lot of it around. So I would have to buy a specifically for that. So it’s just been one of those things. have considered it you know, if it were to really provide some great boost, but I drink my coffee black. That’s one thing that people should realize is that whenever anybody is like, Hey, you would do like a, you know, some fancy Starbucks drink I go to Starbucks on I order a black coffee. So I’m the most boring coffee drinker ever, I do get specialized drinks. But those are more treats. I’m if I’m going to get coffee, it’s just going to be black coffee. And maybe I might add stevia to it on occasion for excitement. But I’m incredibly boring when it comes to that the range of coffee that you get some Starbucks drinks, for example, or any go to any coffee cafe, when they extract the coffee, when they infuse the coffee. That is because coffee is an infusion when they infuse the coffee, you may get a little bit of caffeine in one cup. And you might get a lot of caffeine and another cup, there’s an even distribution of caffeine in any particular caffeinated drink. And so be mindful of that as well that you you can get a shock if you drink a coffee really quickly. And it also happened to have a really high caffeine content at the time, you said something
Augusto Pinaud 31:07
interesting because I like you I drink 99% of my coffee intake, it’s on the form of espresso. And the only exception I do for that, and I’ve been doing this for years is my weekly review, where I go with more a superstrong latte, it’s just a little bit of milk is not really probably the ratio I may use for shot of espresso, and then one shot of milk the equivalent, so three to one four to one. But the reason of that is I want my brain to understand this is for a different use. And it’s been a trick I have shaved for my width review. And I have done it like that, for many, many years, I need help my brain to get into a different frame of mind immediately.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 31:55
Yeah, that’s what my matcha lattes on Friday mornings are for is for weekly reviews. And that’s it. And so if I’m going to have a matcha latte, it is the thing that’s going to cue me into my weekly review because that warm beverage is there for me and ready. And it tells me that it’s weekly review time. And so I definitely utilize that caffeine boost, it’s a completely different type of caffeine kind of experience for me. And that kind of brings up the usage of L theanine. And so theanine is a chemical that naturally occurs in teas, you can actually get these as tablets, which I have done. And they are a way in which it again just helping to mediate the amount of Denis seeing that is blocked at any given time. And it also binds to your caffeine and therefore helps kind of like a low glycemic index, it helps to reduce the speed at which the caffeine is is broken down in your liver. And therefore more slowly gets taken into the into the bloodstream. So it’s really, really powerful for being able to give you that slow, even focus that otherwise if you drink an eight ounce cup of coffee, you’re just basically getting it’s like slamming on the gas, and then taking your foot off the gas. And if you’ve ever been on the highway, running 70 miles an hour, just take your foot off the gas, your car slows down pretty quickly. It’s not like it’s gonna keep coasting at 70 miles an hour without a gas, it basically slows down and you feel yourself quickly creep down to 5040 30. And that’s what your body’s basically doing when you get that caffeine jolt. l theanine helps to expand that out. So you actually coast for a much longer period of time, is the experience I’ve had with it. I actually very methodically dose my caffeine intake with the L theanine so that I’m capable of balancing those pieces out. So my coffee is taken with the with the L theanine in the morning, so that I get that high, tapered focus and as best as possible, helping to mediating yo yoed by the caffeine. And that really helps me it’s interesting.
Art Gelwicks 34:05
You mentioned that because here’s me thinking about it, I have started to develop calendar driven caffeine consumption, not thinking about it that way. But that’s what it winds up being. If I look at my schedule for a day, and I’ve got a bunch of what are potentially high stress or impactful meetings, discussions that have to happen, I immediately start the day at a lower caffeine levels. I will start with a potential cup of coffee or a strong black tea. I’ll start with a chai, I’ll start with an herbal tea, even a green tea and slowly work that through the day. Because the I know at that point, I’m going to be consuming several cups during the day just to keep my voice working and everything else. And I don’t need that cumulative effect as I start to consume those. So I actually look at what’s going to go on and make a determination do I need to change that behavior. The other thing, though, is when I look at that, and this is a side effect of tea, I like teeth specifically, because it can sit on my desk for a while, I can finish half a cup, and maybe I don’t get back to it for a half hour, 45 minutes. Well, if it’s coffee, now I’ve reached lukewarm coffee temperature not not even cold coffee, lukewarm. So it’s like the tea, it’s gotten the room temperature, like, that’s fine. I don’t have a problem with it. And I can still consume, continue to consume it. So that I’m, that’s not for everybody. That’s something that I found through a lot of self analysis. But I think this is exactly what you’re talking about, right? This type of self self analysis becomes critical. If you’re going to use this, this can have a major impact on you. And you need to give yourself time to understand it,
Raymond Sidney-Smith 35:50
I was adding to the show notes, the Ember coffee mug, or the Ember mug, which is a self heating mug. And so for those of you who do not want the lukewarm coffee or tea flavor, you can actually utilize the Ember mugs for that. There are also actually cup warmers where you can put your typically ceramic coffee mug or whatnot on this plate, and it will heat it and reheat the product or keep it warm for you, which can also be useful. So I’ll put a link to that in the note, I used
Art Gelwicks 36:22
to have one of the desktop ones for quite a while. And I put my coffee cup on it like yeah, this is great, then there’s a problem with those though, as you sit down through the coffee and you keep putting it back onto the warmer, there’s a point you’ll get to where it’s like drinking the last inch out of out of a coffee pot. It just boils itself down and it just, it just makes a mess out of it. Anyone who likes coffee will tell you just drink the coffee when you pour it. Don’t extend it through the day, it just does not get better with age.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 36:52
Yeah, there’s a concern about burning it and making sure that you’re mixing effectively. So I actually keep a spoon so that I’m mixing the coffee as I’m as I’m making my way through. And that way, if it is on the warmer, which I used to have at my old office, I don’t now I probably should get another one. But I’ll probably get the Ember because it helps to keep the whole cup warm. And I really do like the idea of it helping with digestion. And so I like having a warm drink just to keep my body moving in that sense,
Augusto Pinaud 37:23
actually, regarding the Amber’s, I know somebody who used Amber not for coffee, for water because of the digestion exactly what you’re saying. But not was the idea of, of drinking coffee I agree with. I don’t think covered coffee, do not get better with time, that’s for sure. But if you understand the benefits of drinking that warm water, if you get an amber, what happens now you can have water next to you all the time in that, quote unquote, perfect temperature.
Art Gelwicks 37:57
And that’s, that’s one of the things I’ll do with herbal teas, I’ll make an herbal tea. But I’ll make 32 ounces of it. And I pour it into a travel mug or a travel thermos that I can seal I have one that I’ll put in the show notes later. I’ve talked about before that keeps it hot all day long, I mean to the point where it’ll burn your mouth hot. And I keep that on my desk. And then I can just pour that into my mug. When I was working on site at a client location, I would have that thermos and my mug and I would just keep adding into it kept me from having to get up and keep running to the break area to get another hot tea. But it also gave me that warm liquid to constantly consumed which it makes it easy.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 38:37
There are also those coil based heaters the ones that you can place into the cup, I found those to be incredibly messy, and easy and prone for me to burn myself with. And so I just decided against those. But they’re they do exist there. There are those kinds of it’s basically a little coil with you know, that’s extended, so you can place it into the cup and it heats up and therefore heats the beverage inside of it. Again, I just think it’s a recipe for burning.
Art Gelwicks 39:03
I yeah, I had an associate years ago who had one of those and he took it out of his cup wasn’t paying attention, laid it on, on top of a stack of papers came back and had scorched the papers. Like yeah, this is not a good plan, dude.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 39:15
Yeah, UL listed or not, that is just a dangerous recipe. So I’m going to count against it. With that. We are going to come back next week, everybody and continue our conversation about caffeine based productivity. We have so much more to talk about in terms of different beverages and different ways in which we make our coffee and coffee based drinks and tea based drinks because people don’t realize there is there are a lot of variations in tea based caffeinated beverages and or tea based beverages. And then we will also talk about timing our caffeine for more productivity. And so think of Jim thank you gentlemen for this conversation. If you are listening to us and have a question or a comment about something we’ve discussed in this cast, feel free to visit At our episode page on ProductivityCast dotnet. There on the podcast website at the bottom of each episode page, you can leave a comment or a question. If you are on the episode page, you’ll also find our show notes, those have links to anything we’ve discussed, so you can easily jump to it from there. It also includes a text transcript, which allows you to expand it if you click on that Read More link and it actually expands it and you can read along while you’re listening. You can also click on the PDF download link that is below that Read More link, you’ll see a little link that says gives you instructions to download it. And that will go ahead and download the PDF to your local system, you can open that up and read that site on the go. If this is your first time with us, feel free to consider following us or subscribing to us in your favorite podcast app. It’s free in whatever sense of the of the way in which the word is being used now by Apple and the other podcast directories but follow or subscribe us. You can learn how to do so by clicking on the Subscribe tab on productivity cast dotnet as well. If you have a topic about productivity that you’d like us to discuss on a future cast, feel free to visit productivity cast dotnet forward slash contact you can leave a voice recorded message or you can type us a message directly into the contact form and maybe we’ll feature it on a future episode. I want to express my thanks to Augusto Pinaud Francis Wade and art Gelwicks for joining me here on ProductivityCast this and every week you can learn more about them and their work by visiting ProductivityCast dotnet and clicking on the about page. I’m Ray Sidney-Smith and on behalf of all of us here at ProductivityCast Here’s your productive life.
Voiceover Artist 41:34
And that’s it for this ProductivityCast, the weekly show about all things productivity, with your hosts, Ray Sidney-Smith and Augusto Pinaud with Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks.
Download a PDF of raw, text transcript of the interview here.