Optimise your coffee break

Coffee is bad…… but is it really??

Short answer is NO! Coffee presents numerous health benefits; it is the greatest source of anti-oxidants (beneficial components that help neutralize free radicals) in the western diet. Plus, it is full of several important nutrients, including Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Magnesium, Potassium, Magnesium and Niacin.

What happens when you drink coffee? you get amped up for a short period, and you inevitably come down a bit when it wears off…. or so you think. However, caffeine is a subtle substance. Learning how it works on your body and brain, and how it can be most effective, to give you that edge at concentrating, while still keeping the jittery edge off.

Before we touch on the how to use your next coffee break to your advantage lets first touch on the pros and cons of coffee.

Negatives of Coffee:

According to Michigan State University, caffeine is a diuretic and can increase dehydration. It can also interfere with sleep and cause you to feel jittery or restless. Beyond the caffeine, the acid in coffee can exacerbate ulcers. Coffee can also raise both blood pressure and cholesterol and speed up your heart rate, according to Brown University.

Before you jump to think coffee is bad just wait…

According to research presented at the 2005 national meeting of the American Chemical Society. Regular coffee consumption can provide benefits; it can help protect against Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver cancer and liver cirrhosis. Further, several studies show that coffee drinkers have up to a 65% lower risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease. Finally, it has been shown to reduce suicide by 53% if you drink over 4cups. Wow! Now there is an excuse to get yourself a coffee! However, there is more to consider…… (Stay tuned for up and coming articles)

How does Caffeine work?

Caffeine does its magic not by directly stimulating your cells, but by acting extremely similar to adenosine, a cell by-product that your body monitors as a kind of gauge for exhaustion. Caffeine’s molecules plug up your receptors for adenosine, so your body stops getting signals that it’s tired. However, if you’re running on just a few hours’ sleep and living off pizza and sugar, caffeine will only tweak your behavior a bit, not reinvigorate you. So, it’s best to set up an optimal deployment scheme for caffeine. It can’t hurt after that near-all-nighter, but it won’t be as helpful, either.

How do I get the most out of my coffee break?

Brace yourself for this… take a coffee detox. Believe it or not if you are a regular coffee drinker you have built up a tolerance. Therefore, the best thing you can do is a coffee break removing coffee for 1-2weeks. Caution if you are regularly having 3+cups per day, I suggest gradually cutting down before detox. Caffeine is addictive, going cold turkey could be to bigger shock on the system. The first few days will hard trust me! You will get mind numbing headaches, lack of motivation and energy but stick it out! However, stick it out and by the end of the two weeks you will be asking yourself why didn’t I not do this sooner. You will no longer held hostage from your morning coffee fix to start your day, you will already be full of energy and ready to go. Not only this but when you require that extra boast of energy coffee will be there to help, however now you will receive the full effects of your coffee!

With all these endless benefits it is clear that coffee is great! Why it gets such a bad rep baffles me! However, there are some important considerations when it comes to an individual’s tolerance to coffee such as the effects on the hormones and neurotransmitters. Stay tuned for future articles where I will dive in a little deeper into these topics, these will be especially important for all the stressed out coffee addicts!