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How to Use Caffeine to Your Advantage

How to Use Caffeine to Your Advantage


2 minute read

Most humans have a slight dependence on caffeine, if not an addiction. Moods drastically depend on the opening of Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, you get the point. But caffeine doesn't necessarily have to be villainized, and in this article we'll go over some ways to use caffeine strategically and to your advantage so you don't over-consume and become dependent on this powerful elixir. 

First, we have to understand the role of caffeine in our bodies. What caffeine does is attach to a molecule called adenosine. Adenosine is responsible for making us feel groggy and sleepy. When caffeine attaches to it, it blocks it from functioning- hence the energy we feel from caffeinated drinks. 

Be Strategic

Time your intake to when you need the most energy. When do you need the most mental or physical energy? Right before a writing task? On your way to the gym? 

Time Properly 

Let your body fully wake up before you reach for that cup of coffee. You produce more cortisol in the morning to help you wake up, and with high levels of cortisol- caffeine isn't going to help much. Try waiting until after breakfast to avoid spiking that cortisol even higher and get more out of your cup o' joe!

Another timing detail to keep in mind is that caffeine is more effective when taken before adenosine starts to kick in. So if you know your afternoon slump hits around 3pm- try to have some caffeine about 30 minutes beforehand. 

Recovery

In a study of the influence of caffeine on resistance exercise, authors found that intake of caffeine prior to resistance training may "reduce the occurrence of delayed onset of muscle soreness." Keep it in moderation, and consider adding some caffeine before your workout- as long as it doesn't surpass 400mg a day and interfere with your health. 

and as always...

Happy Healing! 

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