Outside the box

How to get the most bang for your cup

It’s proven that coffee can increase productivity. But it also can leave you an anxious wreck distracted by everything. During this lockdown we’ve found it near impossible to keep motivation high. So here are some tips on how to get the most benefits out of coffee.

1. Cycling coffee

Not like coffee on a push bike, but in the way Lance Armstrong took his steroids. Moderate your tolerance so your body can respond effectively.

Like most drugs we all have different natural tolerances and the more we take the drug, the less it affects us. Consumers with a zero tolerance for caffeine get the maximum effects of euphoria, alertness, good mood and increased energy and motivation. Fortunately those with a higher tolerance can influence how much their body reacts to caffeine by resetting your tolerance by simply taking a break from caffeine.

2. Don’t drink it first thing in the morning

Brave the grogginess for an hour so your body can naturally wake up, that way you become less dependent on coffee to wake up.

In the morning we release a hormone called cortisol which is typically known as a stress hormone, but should also be thought of as an alertness hormone, hence why we produce lots of it when waking up. Consuming caffeine while our bodies are at peak cortisol levels teaches our bodies to produce less cortisol which as a result, undermines the caffeine effects and disrupts our bodies natural way of waking up. So in short, give it an hour or two from waking up until you make that first cup.

3. Coffee nap

Neck a coffee, then have a nap. It sounds counter-intuitive but I promise you’ll wake up with more energy than Gary Vaynerchuck.

Adenosine is a chemical in your brain that promotes sleep. Caffeine and adenosine compete for the same receptors in your brain, which is partly why coffee makes you feel less sleepy, it stops the adenosine from being received by your brain. Sleep naturally helps get rid of adenosine so the theory is that by drinking coffee just before you have a nap your brain has less adenosine to compete with meaning the caffeine works more efficiently. Drink the coffee and go straight to sleep for 15-20 minutes. When you wake up the coffee will just be kicking in, and much more efficiently #lifehack

4. Don’t drink it too late in the day

Find your cut off time and stick to it. Don’t let it mess with your sleep.

Goes without saying really. But everyone is different but if coffee is stopping you from sleeping work out what your cut off time is. Caffeine has a half-life of five to six hours, so for most of us if we drink a coffee at 4pm we will still have caffeine in our bloodstream by 9pm-10pm.

5. “There’s too much caffeine in your bloodstream and a lack of real spice in your life”

Life is pretty boring in the UK at the moment. Don’t beat yourself up for not being inspired 24/7. Coffee doesn’t give you ideas, it just helps to put pen to paper.

The Smiths first said this in 1987, but it has never been more relevant. My interpretation is that we can’t expect ourselves to be constantly inspired if there’s not much going on in our lives. Don’t expect caffeine to be a fix-all, inspiration doesn’t come from stimulation alone.



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