How to make the most of your coffee
Like most people, I love a good cup of coffee and sometimes struggle to get into my groove in the morning without one.
That’s because caffeine found in coffee and tea has a stimulant effect that can help you wake up in the morning, sharpen your focus and concentration and stay alert at the end of a long day. The effects of a cup of coffee are short term and last about 5 or 6 hours, and the impact varies from person to person. For some people, just 1 cup can cause insomnia, so if that’s you, it’s important to listen to your body and avoid coffee in the late afternoon and evening.
When you really need it, around 4 cups of coffee per day will give you the maximum boost in alertness, but only if you haven’t built up a tolerance to caffeine. Your body quickly builds up a tolerance to caffeine and in as little as two weeks, your coffee will be simply staving off the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal instead of giving you that much needed pick me up. So the best way to use coffee to enhance your alertness is to avoid it on most days (or have less) and increase your intake on those days when you really need it.
According to current scientific evidence, you can have up to 400mg of caffeine every day without any adverse health effects. That’s about two and a half shots of coffee. And far from being unhealthy, there is some research to suggest that regular coffee consumption may be associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
Caffeine is also a mild diuretic so make sure you drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration (which can also lead to feeling of fatigue – but that’s another story for another post!).