It’s pretty well-known that having a baby is knackering. I don’t think anyone goes into parenthood without an inclination that their sleep will be majorly impacted. What people don’t tell you though is that this doesn’t get any better as your kid gets older. Sorry to ruin any hope for you newbie parents.
Even though Toddler L’s sleep is pretty good these days, she just doesn’t stop during the day which means she tires me out in different ways. It’s no longer sleep deprivation, but a combination of mental, physical and emotional exhaustion! Arguably, this triple whammy is worse than a lack of sleep.
It’s hardly surprising then that I find myself drained quite often and looking forward to a bit of toddler-free time. It can be difficult to pretend you’re a dinosaur, host a fake tea party or push a scooter up a hill when your devoid of energy and would struggle to get through the day even when sitting on the sofa.
It was therefore with great interest – or at least as much interest you can have when bleary-eyed and yawning – that I read an email from Berocca the other day. I’ve never had the vitamin tablets before, but I know numerous people who swear by it for their energy boost. I’ve also heard it works well as a hangover cure, but I don’t think they market themselves as such…
What they suggested was that I partake in a little experiment which they called ‘The No Morning Coffee Challenge’. Those five words alone were enough to send shivers down my spine. As an already knackered dad, were they suggesting that I try to cut my morning coffee out of my routine? If I weren’t so tired, I’d probably have been outraged.
I’ve always enjoyed a coffee here and there, but I’ve never been much of a hot drink drinker – well, until I became a dad. For the past few years, I’ve got into a regular routine of having a coffee in the morning. As Toddler L has her breakfast, I’ll drink my coffee and mentally prepare for the day ahead. Obviously I don’t know medically whether it has an impact, but I’ve never felt that buzz or pick-me-up from a coffee which so many people talk about. For me, it’s just habit and routine to have one in the morning.
As such, swapping a coffee for a Berocca in the morning didn’t faze me. I know some people who wouldn’t cope without their drink first thing, but I’m not one of those. If anything, as someone who doesn’t think they get a hit from coffee, I was looking forward to seeing how swapping to a tablet packed with energising ingredients would impact things. Too often we rely on routines and sometimes making a change can be good.
As I say, I’ve never had a Berocca before so had no preconceptions of what it would or wouldn’t do. Reading the bumf sounded pretty impressive though. For instance, it contains vitamins B1 and B2 which work with your body to release your natural energy, vitamin B5 which is scientifically proven to support your mental performance and vitamin B12 to help combat tiredness and fatigue. There’s also stuff like magnesium and zinc which I’m assuming does additional good stuff rather than just making me set off an airport metal detector…
The theory behind the challenge was that Berocca would leave me feeling energised throughout the day, rather than just giving me a caffeine high in the morning. As such, I could crack on with all the things I needed to do during the day whilst feeling on top form. It certainly sounded appealing!
So for five days last week, I had a Berocca every morning and ditched the coffee. The tablet was popped into a glass of water, then fizzed away as it turned the water orangey yellow. It kind of tasted like a watered down fizzy orange juice – it wasn’t the nicest drink I’ve ever had, but it was miles away from being the worst. It felt strange not having a hot drink in the morning, but I soon got over it. Maybe I’d not have been so amenable had it been winter.
Rather than it being a normal week, we were actually on holiday last week. This meant that my challenge wasn’t a like-for-like experiment. As such, it was a little difficult to compare a ‘Coffee Monday’ to a ‘Berocca Monday’. However, as we tend to have action-packed holidays where we do a lot and see a lot, it probably made the challenge more interesting as I knew we’d be doing much more than normal.
— The DADventurer (@The_dadventurer) May 9, 2017
So how did I get on? Well, I’m not going to pretend that having a Berocca turned me into Superman. I still felt tired at certain points during the day, but this was always going to happen considering we were on an active holiday with a toddler. I didn’t find that there were any negatives from swapping a morning coffee for a Berocca though – well, apart from giving me luminescent pee. In fact, I’d probably go as far as saying that it did help me feel more energised throughout the day.
The cynics reading may suggest that I’m going to say this because I was paid to do the challenge. Well, regardless of this or not, I did notice a bit of a change. The best way to try and show that it did help is by comparing a normal week to last week. Last week saw me do a lot more physical activity than usual – all with a Berocca instead of a morning coffee.
According to the missus’ Fitbit, over the five days, we did a total of 57,396 steps – the equivalent of 38.69km. This also included climbing the equivalent of 139 floors as we trekked up a waterfalls, walked across clifftops and across moors. A normal Monday to Friday sees me barely touch 25,000 steps cumulatively, with two of these days usually spent stationary with the laptop as Toddler L is at nursery. As such, I was able to be more active – and for longer periods – without feeling as tired.
Funnily enough, one of the things the missus commented on was that I didn’t nap. This’ll make me sound like a proper old man, but I often fall asleep in the car when we’re travelling between places. The missus jokes about my inability to stay awake when in the car, but strangely I didn’t fall asleep at all on the holiday. This is unheard of – particularly in the afternoon – so I can only put this down to feeling more energised throughout the day due to Berocca.
What the challenge has also shown is that change can be good. I now know that I don’t need coffee in the morning to function and that there are alternatives out there. Obviously I’m going to continue to drink coffee, but considering I have two sugars with each mug, it can’t harm to lay off them a couple of mornings a week. Furthermore, I’m not the greatest at drinking water, so starting the day with a big glass of Berocca helps me in this department.
How do you think you’d have fared in the challenge? Do you need your morning coffee to function properly? Have you ever had Berocca? Let me know below!
N.B. This is a commissioned post written in collaboration with Berocca.