The Mayo Clinic says I get to count my coffee as a source of water intake, although it shouldn’t be a major source. So I’m going to start counting it. They also say that about 20% of my fluid requirements are met by my food intake. My new rule is going to be to drink as much water as I can before 7 pm and then … sleep all damn night. My sleep is just as important as my water intake and REM sleep can’t happen if I’m up all night peeing. So that has to stop.

I’m supposed to also be worrying about the caffeine in my decaf coffee and so shouldn’t drink that or if I do, not count it toward my water intake. That is also no longer going to happen. I’ve looked stuff up instead of just nodding like a bobble head doll.

There are, according to the Mayo clinic, 2 to 12 milligrams of caffeine remaining per cup of decaf coffee. In a regular cup of Joe, there are 95 to 200 milligrams of caffeine. I make my coffee on the weaker side and so we will compare 2 milligrams to 95 milligrams and say – this is so minuscule as to not count at all. From this day forward, I can have one more cup of decaf coffee in my day and it totally counts as water. Flavored water, to be sure, but it counts.

Now, nobody is telling me to be extra careful about other sources of caffeine. Most of the teas I drink are herbal teas, but the one that is astounding is my favorite lemon tea. It has 45 milligrams of caffeine in it. I know this. When I’m sick and drinking coffee seems dubious, but I need a little caffeine kick, this is my tea of choice. Green tea and black tea both have about half to one-quarter the caffeine that coffee has, depending on how strong you brew it.

I don’t drink soda, which is a real plus for me. Many of those cans contain between 30 and 50 milligrams per can. They also contain high fructose corn syrup, a horrible invention. The empty calories are staggering unless you drink the diet brand, and then the shitstorm of chemicals that make up fake sugars are horrible, damaging, and should be shunned. So the entire concept of a can of soda is anathema to good health.

Energy drinks mostly give you that boost of energy by supplying you with some caffeine. Even so, each and every one of them has less caffeine than a simple, cheap cup of coffee. And there are either sugars or fake sugar things like the cans of soda.

The other thing I eat that I know has caffeine it in is chocolate. I don’t eat very much of it at one sitting, but I have chocolate every single day. I have been enjoying Lindt extra creamy milk chocolate for a while. The 3.5 ounce bar is 2.5 servings. I break it in half and then break that up into 20 little pieces. It takes me three to five days to eat that much chocolate. As you can see, I’m not wolfing it down. I put a smaller than a stamp sized piece of pure deliciousness in my mouth and let it melt. I’m happy with one small piece at a time.

The higher the cocoa content, the higher the caffeine in the chocolate. The charts tell me how much caffeine is included beginning with semi-sweet chocolate. Semi-sweet chocolate is 43% cocoa and my chocolate is 31% cocoa. So there is about 25% less caffeine in my milk chocolate. According to an easier site to use, there are 44 milligrams of caffeine in two ounces of semi-sweet chocolate so I would guess there are about 30 milligrams in my milk chocolate. It takes me a week to eat that much, so again, this is a non-issue and I can enjoy my chocolate with impunity.

I don’t want to do all this work at the box and then not continue to profit outside the box. But I need to measure my overall satisfaction and wants/needs against dietary concerns. I’m sure there are purists who never have caffeine anywhere near their houses, let alone consumed as actual intake. However, I’m not going to be one of those people.