There are two things many people need to breathe.
Air comes first but coffee is a close second. It’s a cornerstone of life for many of us, particularly in the southern states of Australia, and the day doesn’t really begin until the caffeine hit gives us that kick we need to race through the day.
I’m one of the coffee brigade. I get up at 5am every day and coffee is always a key part of my morning. It’s one of my favourite things to enjoy and luckily, I don’t see any harm in it either, as long as it’s consumed at the right time and in the right amount.
It takes your body 10 hours to process caffeine so, if you have a cup of coffee at Noon it will be at least 10pm before it’s out of your system. Some people are even slower to process it. I’m one of those people who could have a cup of coffee and still go to sleep, but I know that it’s not deep, good quality sleep.
Being chronically deprived of good, deep sleep can result in an increase in cortisol levels which is the stress hormone that’s bad for your body. Over time, it will push up your insulin levels which will make you store fat.
Going beyond the good effects of coffee such as increasing alertness and improving memory will push us into being over-stimulated and not able to function at our best.
So, the trick is to have no more than two caffeinated drinks a day and always before Noon.
Coffee isn’t the only way to consume caffeine. It’s in black tea, green tea and there’s even some traces of it in decaffeinated coffee. Energy drinks and soft drinks, not to mention everyone’s favourite espresso martinis, also contain caffeine so these beverages will all impair our sleep quality if taken within that 10-hour block before sleep.
Don’t think that adding milk will soften the caffeine blow either. It will still contain the same amount of caffeine and turn it into a snack which will spike your insulin. It may be a beverage, but its effect is the same on the body as eating all day long.
Keep them to a highly enjoyable, fulfilling minimum and they will be a treasured part of your diet without hurting that all important sleep quality which is so crucial to good physical and mental health.