Today’s Solutions: November 29, 2021

If you’re guilty of indulging in a cup of coffee, or three, every morning, you may find yourself experiencing fatigue and irritability mid-afternoon. Otherwise known as a caffeine crash, this slump can put a damper on your day, but understanding what causes it can help you avoid it in the future!

Caffeine fires up the central nervous system, allowing you to become more alert and focused. A liver enzyme called CYP1A2 breaks it down, and genetic differences as well as lifestyle and dietary habits determine how caffeine affects you and to what degree. This is why some people can have a cup of coffee at 6 pm and sleep just fine and others experience shaking or anxiousness with even one cup. 

If you’re reliant on caffeine to start your day, caffeine crashes occur when you start to go through afternoon withdrawals. Metabolism speed and mealtimes can also affect how quickly your body processes caffeine and the magnitude of your subsequent crash. 

Most Americans consume some form of caffeine, whether it be coffee, soda, chocolate, or tea, every day. So how can you prevent this unpleasant side effect? 

  1. Eat a gut-supporting diet that balances blood sugar. Spikes in blood sugar can exacerbate caffeine crashes, so support your digestive system with foods that are naturally low in sugar and opt for fruit, rather than processed sugar, when you’re craving something sweet. For more information on how to eat for a healthy gut, check out our article on eating for a healthy gut.
  2. Reduce intake. Slowly phasing out some of your caffeine will generate a less severe response from your body each afternoon. If you’re cutting down on caffeine to reduce negative symptoms, be sure to do so gradually. Going cold turkey can lead to worse withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, and headaches. Slowly switching to half decaf before all decaf will make the process less painful. 
  3. Set caffeine cut off time. Cutting yourself off midmorning can help reduce the overall amount of caffeine you intake, reducing your dependence on it. This can also help improve your sleep by making it easier to doze off at night. Consider also pairing your caffeine with meals to slow your body’s absorption rate for a more gradual energy boost. 

Caffeine can be a great resource for an early morning start or an extra push to get through a long day, but it’s not without drawbacks. If you’re experiencing caffeine crashes, consider switching up your intake habits for a more pleasant afternoon. 

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Italian garden installation shows us how much CO2 trees store

Trees are the lungs of our planet—we know that trees are needed because they sequester dangerous CO2 emissions, but do we really know how much we depend on them to clean the air we breathe? ... Read More

Go Cubs: The inspiring story of California’s undefeated deaf football team

The California School for the Deaf in Riverside had never won a division championship football game in its 68-year history, but that all changed this year when the team not only won a championship game ... Read More

New biomarker for Alzheimer’s discovered

Alzheimer’s is a complex neurological disease, with scientists still trying to piece together the complete puzzle of factors that contribute to its development. A number of different genetic and environmental risks have been determined─though more ... Read More

Bread and Roses uses floristry to empower refugee women in London

Rebuilding a life in a foreign country as a refugee is not an easy task. This is especially true for women, who often face more barriers than men as they are less likely to have ... Read More

Study: Schools of fish operate like a superorganism

The world under the waves is still a mystery, with 95 percent of oceans yet to be explored. Scientists are always uncovering many new and exciting aspects of this ecosystem; from the importance of fish ... Read More

New biodegradable glitter lets you sparkle guilt-free

As sparkly and magical as it is, glitter is actually a form of microplastic, and even products that claim to contain biodegradable glitter rarely actually are. This is a difficult issue to tackle because countries ... Read More