Why your 3pm cup o’ Joe needs to go

It’s the cup of happiness and motivation that gets us going in the mornings. It’s what makes workdays tolerable and weekend brunches more enjoyable. But could that reliant cup of coffee that’s helping us push past 3pm be causing us more damage than good?

Don’t get me wrong, I loveeee coffee (maybe even a little too much). My morning coffee is a non-negotiable but are the other cups of coffee during the day really needed, particularly that 3pm pick me up cup?

Cortisol is a hormone made in the body. It naturally begins to rise in the morning, helping us to get up out of bed. It then starts to slowly fall away in the afternoon/ evening and by the time bed time comes around, cortisol it’s at the lower end of the scale, helping us to fall asleep. Coffee disrupts this process as caffeine causes the body to produce more cortisol. By having that afternoon pick me up, the coffee will cause a spike in cortisol, causing an endocrine disruption. This can result in you feeling wired but tired come bedtime.

Coffee is a stimulant, which means it helps you to feel more alert. It can also take 5 + hours for the stimulant to exit the body. Meaning, if consumed to late in the day, it can disrupt your sleep. Having a spike in cortisol, along with a stimulant present in your system, your looking at a poor quality, sleepless night.

When you’re in desperate need of that 3pm pick me up, try the following:

Drink water. Being thirsty and dehydrated causes you to feel tired. Rehydrate yourself with a glass of water. ​

Get some fresh air.

If you work inside, chances are you don’t get much fresh air. Get up and go for a walk to get your blood moving and get some oxygen into the brain.

Have a snack.

Your body gets its fuel from food. Have a small snack to help you get through. A piece of fruit with a handful of nuts is always my go to. Fruit for the hydration and antioxidants and the protein and fats in the nuts will help to stabilize blood sugar levels, as well as energy and mood.

Swap coffee for tea.

If you get a coffee for the sake of having a hot drink, why not swap it out for a non-caffeinated herbal tea like chamomile. With the likes of turmeric lattes and beetroot lattes becoming more and more popular in cafes, why not give them a try.

I put this into play and within one day I noticed the difference. Not only did I sleep earlier, I woke up the next morning feeling fresh and ready to go. My sleep quality improved and I wasn’t restless during the night. I felt less stressed and my mood and energy felt stable. If I can make the switch, then so can you!