Coffee, Chess & Life
I trust everyone is having a productive week! This is the final Thursday of the month…October is just around the corner. Where does the time go?
There is an interesting article published yesterday in Medical News Today that discusses coffee intake and tiredness. Entitled ‘Why does coffee make me tired?’, the author makes it clear that of course coffee does not directly make people tired, BUT sometimes the caffeine in it can affect different people in different ways, physiologically.
For instance, caffeine can disrupt the sleep-wake cycle and in some people this will cause the subject to not adapt well and actually get less sleep overall.
Another way that tiredness might be caused is in how caffeine affects the blood sugar levels in the subject. While not all scientists are in agreement, some subjects might react in ways that negatively impact his/her physiology.
I suggest the reader take a quick look at the article. Normally I am put off by the ‘certainty’ of the authors of many of this type of article, this particular article is actually quite objective. As well it is informative. Topics touched upon include insomnia, anxiety and cardiovascular effects.
(Here both subjects have their heart beats quickened. Blame it on the coffee?)
The Chess Diet?!
You could not have failed to notice the number of silly articles appearing in the past week about how playing chess can actually be a way to lose weight without any real exertion or exercise.
I suppose it was the interesting and well written article published on espn by Aishwarya Kumar that first got this started, but almost immediately the topic was hijacked and spinned into the ‘new quick diet‘ category by frantic journalists probably searching for tongue-in-cheek material before their editor’s submission deadline.
Easy to do diets that do not require much effort are a fad in our ever more obese western culture. They rarely work. You may lose a number of kilograms at the start, but you will almost always regain them, and quickly!
As a general rule of thumb, the healthy way to lose weight is to follow a disciplined fitness/diet program where the subject has a good degree of control and knows exactly what he/she is doing.
Stress is never the solution. Especially the kind of heart attack-provoking stress that a grandmaster encounters in a high profile match where everything is on the line and can instantly become a tragedy with one reckless move.
Being unable to physically move around much during a game, the chessplayer builds up this stress until it can become a weapon that punishes the body. In a tennis match, by comparison, the player’s stress can be released each time he hits the ball. This is so healthy!
In chess stress is a time bomb. Very similar to diseases that waste away the subject’s body (the reason the chess player loses weight), that is why top players such as Caruana and Carlsen follow the parallel rigorous and balanced work-out programs (that may or may not include diet) as the great champions before them, such as Spassky and Fischer. Only a healthy, fit body can deal with constant stress.
My advice to all: there are better ways to lose weight than to play chess! And if you must play chess,the PLEASE try to have FUN!