Alert the media, we have a real shocker here:
Every morning, millions of people perform an essential daily ritual - having their first cup of tea or coffee. It concentrates the mind and acts as a pick-me-up.
Or does it? The latest research suggests that familiar buzz doesn't so much as give us a lift, but fights the caffeine withdrawal symptoms - fatigue, mental fogginess and a dull headache - that have kicked in since our last cup.
Indeed, experts suggest that this morning ritual is actually a sign of mass drug dependency.
'People who consume caffeine regularly will become dependent on it - if you take caffeine away from them, they will function below par,' says Peter Rogers, professor of biological psychology at Bristol University and a leading expert on caffeine.
'They just don't function normally without the drug on board. If it's your first tea or coffee of the day, it gets you back to normal, but beyond that you don't get much more of a kick.'
Forgive me if I seem dense, but it seems to me there's a pretty fine line between"doesn't really give us a lift" and "fights withdrawal symptoms like mental fogginess." My coffee might not really make me as alert as the next guy, but it makes me a hell of a lot more alert than I would have been without it. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's a drug and we're addicted. Now, shut up about it. Why do you think they call it caffeine, kid?