I actually didn't start drinking coffee until a few years ago. I had read something about a research study which indicated that moderate amounts of caffeine significantly increased performance levels in distance runners. I had always viewed coffee as an addictive drug that I should avoid at all costs, but it was a chance to give my training a kick-in-the-butt and be able to relate to 90% of the adult population at the same time.
Well, a few years have passed and it's impossible to tell whether coffee has had any impact at all on my training. My times have certainly gotten slower, but there's no way for me to know if my daily cuppa has been a factor or not. Perhaps I would be running even slower right now if it wasn't for the coffee. Without a full-blown scientific analysis that I can't afford, I'll never know. Nor do I care. Why? Because I have discovered other wonderful benefits of my daily cup of joe.
First, let me say that the thing I appreciate most about coffee is it's versatility. When you get a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, a can of soda, etc., you have to take it as-is. You can't practically alter it in any way. Coffee's different. I'm usually in a "light and sweet" mood, but on days that I'm feeling more harsh than usual then I go for black with some sugar. Most of the time Chock Full 'O Nuts is fine. But if I'm in a celebratory mood then only something from Starbucks or Daybreak Coffee will do the trick. In other words, you're not tied down to one formula...you can prepare your morning brew in accordance with your mood.
Anyway, I have made the same discovery as millions of other coffee-drinkers across the globe; coffee (or more specifically, the caffeine in the coffee) can inspire and trigger your creative juices. It has become a huge help in the morning when the thrill of the morning run has worn off and my physiology and psychology is heading on a downward slope. This used to occur around 9:30 or 10am when I would struggle to make it to noontime, but that's no longer the case. Now my coffee gives me what I need to operate on all cylinders and move through the first half of the workday with a brisk pace. Then, by lunchtime I've hit my stride and I stay fast-moving and productive through the rest of the workday. It's rare that I look back on any given day and see a down period. And all that talk about coffee boosting one's creative power is absolutely true.
Finally, I will add that the closest I can come to true nirvana these days is doing a hard, early morning training run on a Saturday morning, showering off, hopping back into my PJ's, grabbing the newspaper, pouring a hot cuppa and plopping down on the couch. Of course, once the kids wake up nirvana is instantly shattered, but I can handle it better when I have caffeine coursing through my veins.