If the 7am lines at Starbucks and Dunkin' (or Tim Horton’s if you’re Canadian) are any indication of society’s reliance on caffeine, then we’re slaves to the magic beans. Is that a bad thing? Are we going to rain on your java parade and tell you to abstain from caffeine? We ARE going to tell you to quit putting all manner of bizarre, sugar-laden additives in your coffee that bring the caloric total of your morning beverage from zero to the equivalent of a box of Lucky Charms, but we won't tell you to quit the morning brew altogether. There’s a place for coffee in your life, but chances are you’re doing it completely wrong.
If you wake up and the first thing you do is reach for your coffee cup with the clever saying on it; if you’re one of those poor souls who can’t think clearly or have a conversation until you’ve sucked down a liter of whatever your chosen caffeinated beverage is… we are about to change your life with the simplest of changes to your morning routine. You just need to do ONE simple thing aside from removing the chemical horse excrement that is sugar and flavored creamer.
Wait 60 minutes after you wake up to consume caffeine. That’s it. That’s the whole thing.
When your bare feet hit the ground in the morning and you get that early morning full spectrum sun on your face (you ARE getting early morning sun, right?), your body starts producing adenosine. Adenosine is a very necessary nervous system depressant that regulates your energy levels and circadian rhythm. In the absence of caffeine, specifically, it builds up over time in your cells and makes you appropriately tired by the end of the day so you can wind down, chill out, and get kick ass, restorative, growth-hormone producing, dreamy shut eye. Caffeine, however, screws this process up magnificently. You can use this to your advantage, or it can kick your ass, and it’s all about timing.
Most people think of caffeine as a vasoconstrictor, even if they have no idea what "vasoconstrictor" means. All it means is that it tightens your blood vessels, forcing your heart rate to increase in order to pump the same amount of blood through a smaller space. That’s not wrong. Caffeine does do that. More importantly, though, caffeine is an adenosine blocker. It pours into the adenosine receptors and halts the natural process of adenosine slowing you down as the day goes on. What most people do is reach for that coffee the moment they wake up. First of all, that’s super unnecessary as your energy should be naturally high when you wake up IF you got that kick ass sleep I just talked about. Second of all, if you block the adenosine immediately upon waking, when that caffeine wears off, the adenosine your body keeps producing throughout the morning floods those receptors, resulting in a major, depressive, sleepy crash. Then you reach for more caffeine, which leads to subpar sleep, making you NEED that caffeine upon waking up. Rinse. Repeat.
If you just hang in there for an hour or, if you’re a champion, 90 minutes, your body is allowed to undergo the adenosine process for a bit. Then when you have your caffeine, you’re not as wired because you’re not piling energy on top of energy. Instead, you get the benefit of mental clarity, productivity, and sustained energy without the crash. As the caffeine wears off, you have an appropriate level of adenosine and you don’t need more caffeine in the afternoon. That way you’re not screwing up your sleep in the evening and you wake up refreshed, ready to kick the day’s ass.
If you want to learn more about optimization, email us and our appropriately caffeinated performance experts are ready to give you FREE 1 on 1 guidance..