I was a late starter on the coffee drinking front. I never drank normal tea or coffee up until I was about 27/28 years old. I didn’t like the taste of either and they seemed unnecessary to me. When I was working a 9-5 (It was more like 9 to 8…) I decided that I needed to keep myself awake so jumped on the coffee bandwagon.
The start of an addiction…
I introduced myself to instant coffee because it was free at work. It was a means to and end and purely for medicinal reasons…To keep me awake! It worked. I used to feel a buzz going through me soon after drinking it. I was hooked.
I was a 1-a-day user at first, which then crept up to 2 and snowballed very quickly into 3 before I had the time to think about it. Chasing one caffeine kick after another. One day it hit me! What was I doing. I don’t even like coffee…
The truth is that caffeine can be addictive. If you add sugar to your cup, even more so.
Beating the Addiction?
Because I hadn’t been drinking it for long it was easy to get off it so I reduced my coffee over the next two weeks until I stopped completely. Then, just like a new day, I started all over again…
I have two a day at the moment, but the most important part is when I have them…Timing is key. That’s a lie, there is one other important part and that’s what type of coffee you drink, too.
The Circadian Cycle
I read recently about How to make the most of your coffee and I found it quite interesting because at that time I was having a coffee as soon as I woke up and the another one around lunchtime. I decided to make a change…
The Improved Caffeine Cycle
I stopped having a coffee as soon as I got up (8-8.30am) and instead had one around 11am. Then, in the afternoon around 2-3pm I would have a green tea instead of coffee so there was a lower amount of caffeine coming in.
Why it Works
The thinking is that the body has natural rhythms of alertness and sleepiness hours – I’m no scientist so forgive the non technical terms. Broadly speaking, when you first get up the body naturally produces some chemicals to wake you up so having caffeine can mess up that natural cycle.
Waiting until those chemicals have subsided (mid-morning) to have your first cup of java supposedly prevents the interruption. Then you can have another caffeine hit mid-afternoon, again when the alertness chemicals are low.
I don’t want to write a thousand words about it so here is a nice picture to illustrate my point:
The Results Speak for Themselves
This system so far seems to be working really nicely for me. I feel good when I get up and don’t have those caffeine high spikes. I wake up gradually and feel alert then I get the caffeine hit mid-morning, followed by a smaller one mid-afternoon.
I highly recommend you give it a go! I’d love to know how any else finds doing it this way or a different way.