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Personal Productivity

How much does coffee help you work?

The answer seems obvious if you consider the fact caffeine contained in coffee causes dependency. However, it would not suffice to simply state coffee is bad for you. We will try and explain why it’s absolutely critical to cut down on coffee consumption. That is, if you want to be efficient in your work and preserve your health. In order to do that, we will have to debunk a few deep-rooted myths and get into human physiology just a bit.

Coffee boosts your energy levels and… drains your energy

Caffeine increases your muscle tone and helps you quickly mobilize to work. Thanks to coffee we are able to wake up quite fast and brighten our mood. You may actually only need to remember the smell of freshly brewed coffee to experience an energy surge and have your spirits lifted!

But what’s so terrible about that? – you may wonder. Now let’s dust off that school knowledge and recall the law of energy conservation. If energy goes someplace, it’s missing from the other.

Caffeine affects the nervous system, claiming a large volume of resources at once. The body resources are replenished at a much slower rate than they are spent, which is why tiredness, extreme exhaustion and sleepiness are the typical consequences of consuming caffeine. If you want an analogy, you are using a coffee cup to ladle out the energy that the body was planning to feed to you during the day in teaspoons. And in that case you would have enough to work efficiently and steadily throughout the day, whereas with caffeine you run out of energy well before lunchtime.

So what can be done? Just don’t try and energize yourself artificially! Of course, without a cup of coffee you may require longer to collect yourself for a work day. But, much like a marathon runner, you will be able to cover more distance at a good speed. In your case that means successfully completing your work without overstraining yourself.

Caffeine makes your body forget how to mobilize

Getting used to anything performance-boosting is fraught with your body not relying on its own resources anymore, constantly waiting for some external boosting.

Indeed, why bother if you can take a stimulant? Besides, in the beginning, drinking coffee brings pleasure because of the taste, while the energy surge is just a pleasant bonus.

A veteran coffee addict does not get the same pleasure from the drink itself, consuming it just for the energizing effect, no matter how short-lasting. And the after-effects of caffeine, in the meantime, get more and more noticeable. While in the primary stage fatigue occurs only after the “fuel” is burnt through, in time signs of exhaustion appear before you actually drink coffee. Reminds you of anything? Depending on the type of stimulant, this effect can be known as “tripping”, “hangover ” etc.

Coffee makes us hyperactive

But back to the school knowledge. Nothing comes from or disappears into nowhere. Caffeine affects and stimulates certain brain areas, leaving the rest of them unattended. Its energizing effects make us feel energized and very efficient, but at the same time we are deprived of the possibility to think rationally and steadily. Coffee makes us into children suffering from ADHD, if you will. We can move mountains, but that’s not what’s really needed most of the time. A boost of energy that powerful results in us losing our patience.

An overdose can in general prompt senseless activity. Large amounts of coffee result in our activity peaking and our energy getting wasted for nothing. Clearly, most of us are not doing any hard physical labor; most are involved in office work in front of a computer. Consuming coffee in unreasonable amounts results in a release of excessive amounts of energy and later – extreme exhaustion.

Caffeine derails out nervous system

Just like any stimulant does. Using coffee leads to an increased production of stress hormones: adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol. This imminently causes changes in the body: your immune system, cardiovascular system and gastrointestinal tract are affected.

Is it really that bad?

Even in the light of everything written above coffee is not poison. It has lots of wonderful health benefits. For example, consuming this fragrant drink reduces Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s risk. Antioxidants in coffee protect your body. It’s just important to know the limits and remember that the health benefits of coffee have nothing to do with the presence of caffeine. Therefore, you can get those benefits consuming other products that would not cause dependency.

Therefore, coffee should be drunk much less frequently

If it’s difficult for you to give up coffee altogether, at least limit its consumption to weekends. Try to replace coffee with some other drinks (at least partially) that contain less caffeine – for example, green tea. However, over time do try to limit the consumption of green tea as well, introducing to your diet useful caffeine free drinks – Rooibos, Mate, herbal teas, cichorium etc.

And remember that changing your daily schedule can help you give up morning coffee quickly and painlessly. You just need to increase the amount of sleep. Then you won’t need to pull yourself together piece by piece in the morning.

And what if coffee has become a ritual?

No doubt, giving up a habit of many year is incredibly difficult. However, there is a way out: just come up with a new ritual – just as fragrant and enjoyable.

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