Is Your Daily Coffee Doing You More Harm Than Good?
It is often said that productivity is fueled by coffee (caffeine) and that if coffee disappeared, the world's economy would come to a grinding halt.
But, is this true? Is coffee really making people more productive or is it all just an illusion of productivity?
In this article, I'll explain why for many people coffee is not increasing productivity and may be causing you more harm than good.
The Coffee Productivity Myth
Scientific studies do support the theory that caffeine (coffee) increases alertness, a positive outlook, motivation, and even creativity, but what most people don't realize is that these positive coffee effects quickly become diminished once the human body builds up a tolerance to the caffeine molecule.
People who are addicted to caffeine, do not reap the same benefits as those who only consume caffeine occasionally. The more regularly you consume caffeine the less it works, basically. And, because of tolerance, people have to drink even more coffee to feel that initial "high" again.
Most habitual coffee consumers, consume coffee to achieve a state "normal productivity". Since they are addicted to the drug caffeine, their bodies have become accustomed to it, so without it, the body withdrawals and the person feels horrible. Only coffee (caffeine) can restore them back to "normalcy".
So in a sense coffee is keeping productivity in the workplace going but only because workers are dependant on the drug and not because coffee/caffeine is increasing productivity. Without it, most people would cease to function well because of the debilitating caffeine withdrawal symptoms.
When Coffee Does More Harm Than Good
When your coffee consumption gets to the point that you can't function without it and you find yourself wanting to consume ever-increasing amounts of coffee to try to chase after those ever diminishing effects. It may be time to consider quitting coffee or caffeine.
Not only does coffee addiction come with a substantial price tag financially, but it can also do damage to your health if you consume too much on a daily basis.
Most research supports the notion that moderate coffee consumption can be a healthy part of the diet. However, daily caffeine amounts beyond 400 mg per day can lead to health problems, especially for people with underlying health conditions like hypertension and heart conditions.
Probably the biggest way too much coffee or caffeine harms a person's health is that it interferes with a person's sleep. While the immediate effects of caffeine wear off in 4-5 hours the secondary effects last much longer as your liver is metabolizing the drug in order to eliminate it from your body. Even if you consume caffeine in the morning there is still some in your system when you go to bed that same night. Therefore, if you consumed too much caffeine, this caffeine will prevent you from getting the sound sleep your body needs.
With the secondary caffeine effects, you will feel tired and be able to fall asleep but achieving deep sleep will be more difficult because caffeine is interfering with this process. So while it may seem like you are sleeping, your body isn't getting the right kind of sleep.
Coffee's Catch 22
Many people get caught in a catch 22 scenario when it comes to coffee consumption and it goes something like this. A person consumes coffee because they are tired and wants to feel more alert, but then that person doesn't sleep as well as they should because of that coffee consumed that day. The next morning the person feels even more tired so they consume more coffee. Unfortunately, this cycle keeps perpetuating until the person is consuming way too much coffee and they see the need to cut back or quit.
If you feel like you are consuming too much coffee and it's interfering with your sleep and true productivity, then it's probably a smart idea to cut back or quit caffeine. Wean Caffeine has been scientifically formulated to systematically help you quit caffeine without the major withdrawal symptoms associated with going cold turkey. Learn more about Wean Caffeine here.
Ted Kallmyer is the caffeine expert at CaffeineInformer.com and a certified nutritional coach at HealthyEater.com