Updated: Nov 3, 2021
Ok, it's Saturday and you're off work and you go for a catch up with your friend during the day, what do you do? Whether you drink tea or coffee or a fizzy drink, caffeine has become such a huge part of our culture. Whether it's visiting a coffee shop with friends or a warm drink in the office or grabbing a coffee on your way to watch your kids play a sport.
As a personal trainer, we are known to love coffee. This is often due to the long hours we sometimes work and the classes we may need to teach. An average cup of coffee has between 60-200mg of caffeine, depending on whether it was instant coffee or from a coffee place, on the other hand a cup of tea may have around 80mg. It is recommended that adults have no more than 400mg a day, which is just a guideline but a good one to follow.
Thinking about limits, how many cups or tea or coffee or fizzy do you drink a day?
Why does caffeine wake you up?
We love a coffee for the kick it gives us, but do you actually know why? Well, we have receptors in our brain and caffeine is similar to the molecule that binds to these. When we drink that morning cup of tea or coffee the molecules of caffeine bind to these adenosine receptors which block those feelings of tiredness, fatigue, and sluggishness. And voila!!
Over time we become less sensitive to the caffeine because our body can produce more of these adenosine receptors, so much more caffeine is required for the same effect.
What are the benefits of Caffeine?
Alertness - Caffeine has so many benefits when it comes to needing you to focus. So ideally have a cup 1 hour before a workout of exam and your concentration will be amazing.
RPE - when you exercise, having that cup of tea or coffee can help reduce your rate of perceived exertion, or how tough an exercise feels.
Social elements - coffee shops have become a real part of our culture and it can be such an amazing way to socialize for everyone.
Delicious - I'm a coffee guzzler, the taste and smell is like nothing else and actually a cup of coffee as part of my routine can really set me up for the day
Caffeine can have a half-life of up to 12 hours! Many factors will play a role in how long caffeine will stay in your system, but trying to reduce caffeine later on in the day can play a real role in your quality of sleep. Avoid that cycle of caffeine mid to late afternoon to stay awake, which in turn will affect your sleep. Also be aware of all the food/drink items that contain caffeine. For example, chocolate, fizzy drinks, and some medication too.
If you have a sensitivity the caffeine it may play a role in bowel movements, headaches , heart palpitations, falling asleep (think of those Jager bombs you may have had), and increased anxiety or stress.
Diuretic affects of caffeine tend to be more noticeable the larger the quantity. Make sure you replace all fluids by adding a cup of water alongside your coffee.
If you are stuck in a "I'm tired so I'll drink a coffee cycle", than this could be ruining your sleep quality and quantity. Try to monitor how many caffeinated drinks you have post lunch and your quality of sleep. Maybe switch to decaf?
Am I drinking too much?
The only way you will know is if you track what caffeinated products you are having. 400mg a day can add up if you have a busy day in the office and you have coffee after coffee or resort to energy drinks.
If you wake up feeling fatigue or drained it could be a sign of coffee withdrawal, just be aware of this.
Sources used were https://www.bupa.co.uk/newsroom/ourviews/how-caffeine-affects-body