Caffeine is the most widely consumed stimulant worldwide. Whether you want to push away the sleepiness in the morning, fight with mid-day exhaustion or work on a project till late at night, coffee, with its naturally occurring caffeine, always comes to the rescue.
Sipping on a hot cup of coffee does not only wakes you up but also lifts your mood and instantly super-charges you. It’s surely beneficial for your health in several ways, but consuming too much of it also has some downsides.
Drinking excessive coffee means you’re taking in too much caffeine as well which can lead to a caffeine crash. Caffeine crash somewhat delivers the opposite effect of caffeine, it makes you lazier and sleepier.
Short Answer: You can avoid caffeine crashes by switching to a coffee with a low caffeine content like decaf coffee.
Keep reading to know more.
A caffeine crash usually occurs to a person a few hours after consuming a moderate to a high dose of caffeine in a tired or sleepy state.
When the caffeine wears off in your body, you’re likely to experience the symptoms of a caffeine crash, which include:
- Extreme tiredness
- Inability to concentrate
- Dozing off
So why does caffeine crash happen?
The answer: Caffeine is observed to block adenosine in your brain, which is produced by your brain when you’re tired, and your brain doesn’t stop producing it even when you are drinking a caffeinated coffee drink.
So when the effects of caffeine wear off, adenosine floods your brain’s receptors, making you even more tired and sleepy than before.
How Much Caffeine Can You Consume In A Day?
A maximum of 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine in a day is said to be safe for most healthy adults.
That roughly equals the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, two shots of energy drinks, or 10 cans of cola. It should be noted that the actual caffeine content in drinks varies widely, particularly among different energy drinks.
Similarly, the caffeine content of coffee is highly variable too, ranging from 50 mg to over 400 mg in a single serving. And so, coffee lovers should know how much caffeine they are consuming through their favorite coffee drink.
The following table contains the serving sizes and amount of caffeine content present in different kinds of drinks.
|Type of coffee||Serving size||Caffeine content|
|Espresso (double shot)||59.2 ml||126 mg|
|Latte (double shot)||59.2 ml + milk||126 mg|
|Brewed filter coffee||240 ml||96 mg|
|Nespresso||40 ml||65 mg|
|Instant coffee||2 teaspoons, dissolved in water||63 mg|
|Coke||12 oz, 370ml (can)||33 mg|
|Decaf coffee||240 ml||2 mg|
For How Long Does Caffeine Stay In The Human Body?
You can feel the caffeine’s effects in your body as soon as 15 minutes after consuming it. After about one hour, the level of caffeine in your blood peaks up and it stays at this level for several hours for most people.
Half of the caffeine is still in your body even after six hours of consuming it. Altogether it takes around 10 hours to completely wash off caffeine from your bloodstream.
Best Coffee Without The Crash
Decaf coffee is the best if you want to avoid the caffeine crash.
It’s important to limit your caffeine intake if you want to avoid the caffeine crash. The more caffeine you’ll consume, the more your body will get used to it and once it wears off, you’ll have to deal with its undesirable symptoms.
Therefore, one way to reduce your caffeine intake by not giving up on your cup of coffee is by switching to decaf coffee. There are multiple health benefits of choosing decaf over regular coffee. You can read about them here in detail.
Firstly, it can help you avoid those unwanted caffeine crashes that you experience when you take too much caffeine.
Secondly, turning to decaf coffee can also help in dealing with insomnia that may be caused by consuming excessive amounts of caffeine, this will possibly enhance your overall energy levels in the morning. Furthermore, limiting your caffeine consumption can also help in lowering anxiety, particularly in people who have anxiety disorders.
That said, it is also important to keep in mind that decaf is not completely caffeine-free. Though around 97% of caffeine is removed from decaf, it still contains a small amount of it and thus, it’s important to consume this coffee in moderation too.
How Can You Avoid A Caffeine Crash?
1. Spread out your caffeine intake throughout the day
I know it might not be easy, but just don’t slam your pot of coffee as soon as you get out of your bed. You should always spread your coffee intake throughout the day so you can avoid a crash in the afternoon.
2. Get a good amount of sleep
Starting your day with normal adenosine levels will help you in preventing a crash and this can be done by getting a good night’s sleep. For adults, an adequate amount of sleep is between 7 and 9 hours a night.
3. Make sure to drink enough water
Drinking water first thing in the morning when you get up will save you in the long run. The bottom line is: You have to drink enough water to get caffeinated. It keeps you hydrated, helps in preventing headaches, and is extremely important for your brain to function well— it all goes back to adenosine.
4. Don’t consume coffee on an empty stomach
Food provides you with natural energy and helps you move on throughout the day. On the other hand, caffeine is a temporary source of energy.
Without consuming healthy food, your body will feel exhausted faster. And drinking coffee on an empty stomach can cause stomach aches, so besides feeling tired, you can feel sick, too.
Even if you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to prepare a full breakfast, grab some granola bars or you can make quick oatmeal at work, just make sure to eat enough healthy food to fuel your body throughout the day.
5. Avoid adding sugar to your drinks
Adding sugar to your drinks may cause a spike in your blood glucose, leading to a possible sugar crash later on in the day. Try tapering down the sugar in your caffeinated drinks to save the caffeine but kick the crash.
You can watch the following video to learn more about dealing with caffeine crashes.
To Sum It All Up
Caffeine can be a helpful tool for an adult who requires help waking up every morning and keeping the focus on work. But, too much of it can also cause problems if you’re not consuming it carefully.
Everyone metabolizes caffeine differently and therefore may face varying levels of caffeine crashes. In general, the more caffeine you consume, the more severe withdrawal symptoms you’re likely to experience.
Therefore, it’s very much important to listen to your body and observe how it responds to caffeine, also note the effects if you’re consuming caffeine to address issues such as lack of sleep. Once you’re aware of your body’s ability to process caffeine, you can then decide the most suitable way to mitigate caffeine crashes.
The suggestion is not to use too much caffeine or you could become dependent on it or suffer from insomnia or headaches. Otherwise, it’s always good to enjoy that amazing coffee drink in moderation!
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