HOW TO AVOID THE AFTERNOON CRASH

Have you ever noticed that right around 1-2pm you start feeling sluggish and overly tired? You then probably reach for a highly caffeinated beverage or sugary drink to pick you back up. I know I did.

I am highly addicted to caffeine like most adults. My morning would always begin with 12 oz of water and a full cup of coffee. Only to reach for another cup about 90 minutes later and then another one in the early afternoon.

I started buying Half Caffeinated coffee to try and limit the amount of caffeine I was taking in because something tells me too much might not be a great thing! As a health & wellness expert, it’s important that I practice what I preach, right?

What is Caffeine? What does it do?

Caffeine is a stimulant, which means it increases activity in your brain and nervous system. It also increases the circulation of chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline in the body. In small doses, caffeine can make you feel refreshed and focused.

Caffeine can block different adenosine receptors in the brain, with varying effects. By blocking the A1 receptor, which promotes sleepiness when activated, caffeine can increase alertness. By blocking the A2A receptor, caffeine can increase dopamine levels, which has stimulating and mood-enhancing effects.

I recently listened to an old Andrew Huberman podcast on Joe Rogan about caffeine and I highly recommend you listen to this yourself.

Here is a quick link to the short version of Andrew Huberman explaining Caffeine. Check it out here.

To sum up, waiting 90 minutes after you wake up to ingest any caffeine will allow your body to wake up on its own and then it allows the fatiguing adenosine receptors in your body to dissipate without being blocked by caffeine.

Essentially, reaching for coffee first thing in the morning delays the fatigue further and further down the road and leads to that early afternoon crash where all you do is reach for more coffee, pre-workout, or energy drink. Kicking the can so to speak.

Last week I gave this a try for the entire week and the results were incredibly fascinating.

The first morning was tough. I had to make a short espresso just to get in the car. It doesn’t help that I wake up at 4:30am to get to the gym. I then delayed the first real cup of coffee until about 7 am. Typically by 7am I would be having my second full cup so this was at least a step in the right direction.

The first day I avoided drinking an early afternoon cup and although I felt a little fatigue (especially from waking up at 4:30) it wasn’t nearly as bad as it had been previously.

Day 2 I was able to push back even further. Woke up at 5 am and didn’t have any coffee until 7 am which was a short espresso. I would just have water instead. Once I got to the gym, I had a half-caffeinated cup of coffee and worked out with the group. Felt so pumped and actually had so much more energy that I was able to do some pretty great lifting. Didn’t have any more caffeine and felt great the rest of the day.

By Day 3, Wednesday, I was now locked into just having a short espresso about 90 minutes to 2 hours after I woke up and maybe a small cup of coffee for the road. No afternoon crash whatsoever. I felt alert and honestly, I felt a lot more upbeat.

I would keep to this the rest of the week and even today! For me. I think of coffee as a stress reliever more than anything and I have built the habit of reaching for the coffee anytime I feel any anxiety coming. Trying to calm myself and hold off on the first thing morning cup has actually help me stay a little more relaxed and allowed my energy levels to restore to “normal”.

I’m literally just following the little advice from the Andrew Huberman podcast. Once again I highly recommend listening to it.

Coffee and caffeine in general are great. It helps you regain focus and can help pick you back up when you are feeling sluggish, but sometimes we can overdo it. Sometimes less is more. Try to hold off on that first cup. Give it 90 minutes or 2 hours. Allow your body to wake up on its own and see if that alleviates the early afternoon crash. It has been working for me and I’m curious if it can work for you as well!

Let me know how it goes! If you have any other questions or have more insight on caffeine drop us a line at [email protected]

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