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Drinking coffee first thing in the morning? Here’s why it may do more harm than good

 How many of us wait for that shot of coffee in the morning to be up and about? But did you know that the early morning cuppa before eating, while giving that instant gush of energy, may end up tiring you out for the rest of the day? That’s because it fights with adenosine or the hormone that promotes sleep drive, in the process depleting your energy levels.

When you start your day with coffee, the caffeine rushes to receptors that are responsible for generating energy in your body. Adenosine also shares these receptors and with a shot of coffee pushing it out of the queue, its levels increase in the body. So once the effect of caffeine wears off, the accumulated adenosine rushes to bind to receptors and pushes you towards sleepiness. This is what causes you to feel a sudden crash in the middle of the day, what we call a rebound fatigue.

Additionally, regularly consuming caffeine first thing in the morning can build dependence. Gradually, you need more caffeine to feel normal, which raises adenosine levels even more, slumping your energy levels.

What’s the best way then to drink coffee? Just limit caffeine intake in the early part of the day and delay it further to noon. Allow adenosine levels to rise naturally. Then in the early afternoon, when your energy levels dip, a cup of coffee can perk you up and help you focus better. The ideal dose is around 100 mg of caffeine.

By reserving caffeine for after lunchtime, your receptors remain sensitive so that caffeine provides an optimal effect. Adenosine buildup earlier in the day also helps receptors to respond more vigorously to mid-afternoon caffeine. This will give you enough energy to sail through your work late afternoon.

Additionally, stopping caffeine a few hours before bedtime could help you sleep easily.

Delaying your coffee and having it along with some food prevents acid build-up in an empty stomach. And coffees are usually acidic, with PH levels varying between 4 to 5. Pair the brew with a protein-rich breakfast.

Another reason why we shouldn’t drink coffee first thing in the morning is because our body is naturally dehydrated when we wake up. The body in sleep can use up to a litre of water. So what we need after waking up is to replenish it. Besides, caffeine is a diuretic and can make us lose more water.

So what can you substitute your coffee with? Really simple things like drinking a glass of room-temperature water on waking up or tepid water with lime, stepping out in the sunlight and having a nutrient-dense, protein-rich breakfast. Then smell the coffee.

Source: The Indian Express

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