coffee beans

Why You Might Need an Afternoon Jolt of Caffeine

After your morning rush to work or walk to your desk for your WFH job, you might recognize that familiar 2 pm lag. Once you meet any morning deadlines, and after you come back from your lunch break, you can start to feel that the afternoon drags on. There are many reasons for this, especially if you’re a coffee drinker. We’ll explain caffeine tolerance and why having some caffeine in the afternoon is the best way to help finish a working day. Drinking coffee in the afternoon helps get your energy up for the rest of the day, so you can complete your work on a high note or enjoy a nice little treat during your daily routine!

Caffeine Tolerance

As the term suggests, caffeine tolerance happens when your body gets used to the amount of coffee that you drink on a normal basis. Maybe when you started working or started college, one or two cups of coffee a day was enough to help you through the day and achieve what needed to get done. However, if you’re an avid coffee drinker, you now might find you need three or four cups of coffee a day to achieve the same effect. This is normal, since your body and brain can become accustomed to the effects of caffeine the more you drink it. 

Owing to caffeine tolerance, one cup of coffee may not be enough to keep you alert during the whole day, which can add to the sluggish feeling that starts in the mid-afternoon. Having some caffeine in the afternoon can help increase your blood pressure to keep you going for the rest of the day. While four cups of coffee is the safe daily max amount of coffee for most adults, spacing out your cups of coffee can make the effects last longer. For example, you can start your day with a cup and then take another coffee break in the afternoon! Spacing out your cups of joe can combat caffeine tolerance, so you can enjoy the effects of coffee even more.

Coffee in the Afternoon

Getting a cup of coffee from either a short trip to the break room or from a coffee shop around the block is by itself a nice break for your brain to focus better on the rest of your work. However, drinking coffee in the afternoon can also help you to feel continually alert, so you can finish those last-minute reports or deck edits. Knowing you’ll have a cup of coffee in the afternoon is also something nice to look forward to during either a busy or a drab day. Treating yourself to a short walk to the nearest coffee shop in nice weather or brewing a cup from your new favorite select roast can add some excitement to your routine! But, how do we know that coffee in the afternoon is the best time to drink coffee? 

best time to drink coffee

Best Time to Drink Coffee

According to experts, the best time to drink coffee isn’t actually right when you wake up. Of course, the earlier you wake up and drink that first cup, the earlier the effects may wear off. Our levels of cortisol, a hormone involved in alertness, are naturally elevated when we wake up. Pairing these higher levels of cortisol with a cup of coffee in the morning can cause us to feel even more tired when the afternoon comes and cortisol levels drop as the effects of that first cup of coffee wear off. To avoid this crash, experts suggest that we should have our first cup of coffee mid-morning, so we can actually feel the effects of the caffeine. However, if you like starting your morning with a cup of coffee, you can also start with a decaf brew! This way, you can continue your usual routine without combining high cortisol levels with caffeine, thus avoiding a super-crash later on. Having a consistent routine helps build momentum for the day, and decaf coffee in the morning can allow you to feel the full benefits of caffeine later in the afternoon. 

Caffeine in the Afternoon

However, once that mid-morning cup of coffee wears off, afternoon lag can start to set in. Drinking caffeine in the afternoon can help you avoid afternoon lag and feel alert and ready to finish the rest of your workday tasks. If you’re hanging out with your friends, socializing over a cup of joe in the afternoon can help you to enjoy your day that much more. Regardless of the day of the week, caffeine in the afternoon can keep you going after your natural cortisol levels decrease, thus avoiding the energy crash typical during afternoons. 

The best time to drink coffee depends on you, your caffeine tolerance, and your schedule. However, determining key points throughout your day to drink coffee will allow you to fully feel the effects of caffeine. Drinking coffee in the afternoon is a great way to get through your day, whether you’re at work, doing chores, or hanging out with friends! Having an afternoon jolt of caffeine can make you feel more awake and beat that afternoon sluggish feeling that can otherwise stop your momentum. 

In this article, we described what caffeine tolerance is, the effects of having caffeine in the afternoon, and the best time to drink coffee. While experts suggest that the best time to drink coffee depends on the person, knowing when caffeine can help you most is key to drinking coffee at the right time for its full benefits. Nevertheless, having caffeine in the afternoon will keep you awake and allow you to enjoy the latter part of the day without feeling drowsy or sluggish. With the work-grind culture of today, a cup of java will surely help you accomplish what you need to get done while enjoying a tasty select roast!

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