Let’s face it, we’re all guilty of drinking too much coffee every once in a while. It’s just so hard to limit yourself when this drink is so delicious and beneficial for your productivity and mental activity. We have to take a step back and remember that drinking coffee is an art, though. It’s not even just about what kind of coffee you’re drinking, but also when you’re drinking it and how you’re doing it.
To reap the full benefits of coffee, you have to take all of these things into account. Otherwise, you risk causing unnecessary heart and digestive issues, more anxiety, a messed up sleep schedule, and general twitchiness. Coffee is meant to be a magical drink, so let’s use it that way. There’s no need to suffer from the side effects if you actively try to drink your coffee in a healthier way. Let’s see exactly how you can do that.
1. I’m lovin’ it!
The best way to ensure you’re getting the most out of your coffee, psychical and mental health-wise, is to ensure that you’re enjoying every second of it. More often than not, we drink our coffee in just a matter of minutes without taking the time to enjoy the flavour or the moment. An approach like this can make you feel like you didn’t have your coffee at all. This can only trigger the want for more coffee, which is never a good thing.
Make drinking coffee a ritual, not just something you do when you wake up. In other words, take all the time you need to enjoy that perfect cup. You can enjoy it while talking with a friend or in complete solitude as you watch the city wake up. This will do wonders for your mental health, as drinking coffee really is all about the ambience and environment you drink it in.
You know very well that coffee simply tastes better when you’re doing something you love while you’re drinking it. Your coffee drinking ritual will be enough to get you ready for the day, make you really appreciate life, and improve your mood significantly. Creating positive thoughts around coffee will only result in planting more positive thoughts in your mind- and that’s never unhealthy.
2. Yummy, yummy in my tummy
People use coffee as an excuse not to have breakfast and skip other meals, but that’s not a very wise thing to do. In fact, it’s the perfect way to mess up your stomach and make it feel funny for the whole day. Also, coffee suppresses appetite meaning that if you drink it on an empty stomach, you probably won’t eat for a while. Running on an empty stomach is like starting your car without fueling it up first. Not only will you feel tired, but you’ll also lack focus, suffer from tummy issues, and can potentially faint.
Another reason not to drink coffee on an empty stomach is that it releases sugar into your bloodstream. This causes the pancreas to release insulin. In turn, you experience a sharp drop in blood sugar and end up just craving sugar. Aside from triggering cravings for sugar, this can trigger cravings for more sugar. Basically, it’s an unbreakable cycle that only ends in you feeling bad and tired.
So make sure to get some food in you and let your stomach digest before that cup of coffee. It’s best to eat healthy foods without sugar in them, too, as this will regulate your blood sugar and improve your mood. After all, your body will be getting all the sugar it needs from the cup of coffee, without you even having to add sugar to it.
3. How low can you go
It seems that you can’t stop drinking coffee once you start drinking it, doesn’t it? One day you’re drinking just a cup per day and suddenly you’ve had five coffees in the last five hours. Overcaffinating yourself will cause only trouble for your entire digestive system and heart. There really is no need to have more than one coffee a day to get your day started.
However, if you cut from fifteen to one cup of coffee a day, you’re not going to have a good time. Coffee is very addicting and you’ll go crazy without your usual daily fix. Not only will you experience withdrawal symptoms like being cranky and not being able to focus, but it will also physically hurt. That’s a pounding headache just waiting to happen.
Avid coffee drinkers need to slowly downgrade the number of cups they drink per day. For example, if you drink ten coffees, get it down to eight cups in the first week. From there, you can get it down to five, then to three, and finally to one. It’s going to be a hard process and you’ll have to be determined but you can definitely do it.
It helps if you find other things to do to distract yourself from drinking coffee at a certain time when you’re used to having a cup. There are also other strategies you can try, like brewing your second cup of coffee from the same beans as the first one. There’s much less caffeine in beans after you’ve already brewed from them once, so this definitely helps without making your body feel like it hasn’t gotten its fix at all.
4. Give me some sugar
One simple trick to make coffee healthier is to cut the sugar out. This is something unimaginable to most coffee drinkers who simply can’t stand the taste of coffee by itself. Coffee already stains your teeth and can cause discolouration, but adding sugar means you’re basically making your teeth rot. Sugar is the main cause of cavities and too much of it can give you a toothache and a dental bill you’ll never forget.
Let’s face it, the taste of coffee is one to get used to, but without the sugar, you’ll develop a finer palette. You’ll finally understand what people are on about when they comment on different roasts and you’ll know exactly what makes regional coffee so special. When you cut the sugar out is when you start enjoying the taste of coffee instead of the taste of sugar.
If you really can’t drink your coffee black, that’s cool, too. Instead of sugar, try using creamer. If you can get your hands on it, raw creamer is an even better option. This will make your coffee more caloric but the fat of the cream will definitely cut into the bitterness of the coffee. As well as that, cream is naturally sweet. This means that you’ll cut sugar out much more easily and that you won’t miss it because you’ll have a fine substitute for it.
On the same note, stay away from flavoured creamers. They’re full of chemicals, corn syrup, and vegetable oils. At that point, you’re better off putting sugar in your coffee.
5. Healthy world, healthy you
Conventional coffee may taste good, but you can bet it’s full of pesticides. In this case, it’s not even the coffee itself that’s bad for you but everything else found in it. Instead of just buying the first bag of coffee you see at the supermarket, go out of your way to find organic coffee. Thanks to high social awareness these days, it’s easier than ever to find healthy organic coffee that doesn’t cost a fortune.
By buying organic coffee, you’re also supporting organizations and companies that strive to make the world a better place. The coffee you usually buy comes from big corporations that just exploit land for coffee, don’t pay their workers fairly, and contribute to making the world a worse place to live in. Why should you stand behind something like that when you have a choice to do better for yourself and for the global community?
Spending a few bucks extra can be the difference between a worker that picks your coffee going home and having something to feed their children with. The more people support organic coffee production, the better and more comfortable life is on both sides of the world- the producing and consuming side.
6. Good morning, have a cup of coffee!
Ah, that delightful first sip of coffee on groggy mornings when you feel life coming back to your being. What could be better than that? Mornings are definitely the best time to have your first cup of coffee of the day, but that doesn’t mean you should have it as soon as you wake up. The thing is, our body produces cortisol throughout the whole day which makes us feel naturally awake and alert. If you want to reap the benefits of coffee, you shouldn’t drink it before 9:30 and after 11:30 am.
This is because our cortisol hormones are highest between 8 and 9 am, so you’ll only be building up your caffeine tolerance without getting the energy boosts. Between 9:30 and 11 am is when cortisol starts to dip, which is when you want to lock on to the natural energy you have and make the most of it. The trouble for most people is that they work morning shifts and are already at work in this prime period.
Thankfully, more and more employers are realizing their employees start their mornings with coffee and don’t have the time to drink it before work. That’s why most modern breakrooms today can be seen sporting the best coffee machine on the market. This allows employees to take advantage of that prime coffee drinking period and be more productive than ever before. If your employer still hasn’t gotten the memo that most people are coffee drinkers and think having a coffee maker at work is one of the best benefits of an office job, send them this article.
7. Good night, skip the cup of coffee!
As the day goes on, your body produces less and less cortisol. This reaches a certain point in the evening and you can tell it’s come to it because your body will be telling you it’s time to go to bed. Listen to it! Even though our circadian rhythms are different, we all get sleepy at about the same time every day. So if you know you usually get sleepy around 9 pm, don’t drink coffee after 5 pm.
Another hormone called adenosine is also responsible for putting you to sleep. Coffee works by clicking it and letting your brain stay up. So by drinking coffee before bed, you’ll be making the job of two hormones trying to get you to bed much harder.
This will result in an irregular sleep schedule, less productivity, less motivation, and a complete disruption of your daily schedule, too. You’ll be heading out to work with the thought of taking a nap in your head. The worst part is that not even coffee will be able to help, or that you’ll need a higher dose than normal to wake up. This just builds up your tolerance, makes you drink more coffee, and worsens your health.
If you’re used to having a hot beverage before bed, choose tea instead. Plant teas have a calming effect and make us comfy, warm, and sleepy. Just make sure to avoid green and black tea because they also have some caffeine in them.
As you can see, coffee can be your best friend if you know how to drink it responsibly. It’s very easy to get carried away but that doesn’t mean you lack the self-control and self-awareness to stop doing something when you know it’s doing you more harm than good. The art of drinking coffee is a hard one to master, but hopefully, these things have made it at least a little bit easier. We’re confident you’ll be able to reap the full benefits of coffee without any of the side effects if you take these tips to heart and start using them daily.