The Highs and Lows of Caffeine Consumption

For some people, the morning hasn’t truly begun until they’ve sat down with a cup of hot coffee or tea. Many people around the world rely on different forms of caffeinated beverages to jumpstart their morning, and put them in a good mood for the start of the work day.

While there has been a lot of research in the last few years about the benefits and drawbacks of caffeine consumption, it’s been hard to separate the fluff from actual research. We’ve synthesized a few points for you here, so you can know that you’re making an informed decision about how you start your morning. Then, we’ll talk a bit about which beverages can give you the best morning boost.

PRO: It helps you feel less sleepy

Caffeine is a stimulant – there’s no two ways about it. For some, this is the benefit that they seek when they reach for a cup of coffee in the morning. Caffeine makes you feel more awake, and increases your ability to pay attention.

If you’ve had caffeine, you’ll also be able to remember more details. This might be because you’re simply more awake to recognize them in the first place. It improves response time and accuracy, and all of these effects are improved when you stimulate yourself with caffeine frequently.

namtipStudio / Shutterstock

CON: Caffeine can induce fatigue later on

Everyone’s been there – you have a cup of coffee with breakfast in the morning, and all of a sudden, you’re on top of the world. You destroy your to-do list, and you’re just about to dive into a full afternoon of work when you hit the dreaded mid-afternoon slump. Caffeine can make you feel more alert in the morning, but once it wears off, you will feel more tired than you would have otherwise.

This occurs because caffeine blocks our brains absorption of the sedative chemical adenosine. It wakes us up for a time, but eventually, our brain will increase production of adenosine in order to prepare our body for sleep, which makes us feel exhausted even if it’s only four o’clock in the afternoon.

Voyagerix / Shutterstock

1 of 5