Coffee has somehow always generated heated debates, with scientists frequently analyzing its health benefits, its effects on productivity and general well-being, as well as its downsides that can negatively impact our bodies. As with everything, abusing coffee by drinking many cups a day just to give yourself a boost will likely result in a very different outcome than the one you’re hoping to achieve.
If consumed properly, however, it can offer you a wide range of benefits and can even help you reach peak performance for tackling your daily tasks. All you need to do is be aware of a few key characteristics of a cup of ‘java’ and make sure you consume it in a way that improves your energy levels without jeopardizing your health.
Below you’ll find a discussion about the pros and cons of drinking coffee that you might find of interest, along with a couple of tricks you could utilize to help tweak your productivity in the workplace:
Health benefits of coffee
Among the myriad of advantageous effects coffee can have on our bodies, being high in antioxidants and rich in nutrients like potassium, manganese, and vitamins B2 and B5, are some of its most appreciated health benefits. Its most important component, caffeine, boosts the metabolic rate and can help you burn fat, as well as improve general physical performance.
It has been scientifically proven that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and of experiencing various kinds of liver diseases. Similarly, coffee has been shown to decrease the possibility of suffering from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Drinking coffee can give a fantastic boost to your mental performance and can significantly increase your alertness as well. It has also been shown to directly improve memory and cognitive functions, such as contributing to sustained attention, quicker problem solving, easily-achieved focus and other areas that can beneficially influence your productivity in the office.
The disadvantages of drinking coffee
By drinking coffee regularly, anyone can easily become dependent on it and even experience withdrawal symptoms (like headaches, irritability and brain fog) once coffee is not available to them or they decide to stop drinking it. It can also cause irregular heart palpitations and can even worsen symptoms of restlessness and anxiety.
Since coffee is quite an acidic drink, it can contribute to unpleasantness in the digestive system, such as heartburn, indigestion and even imbalances in gut flora. Another significant part of our lives which can be negatively affected by coffee is our sleep. If consumed later in the day, it can potentially disrupt our regular sleep schedule and even contribute to the inability to fall asleep.
Maximize your productivity with coffee
All in all, drinking coffee in moderation can improve your productivity, whilst helping you to be more alert and less tired in the process. As a mildly addictive substance which our bodies quickly get used to, you won’t actually get better results with caffeine by drinking more. In fact, you’ll most likely achieve the opposite and end up doing damage to your system. What you need to do instead is to drink coffee in a smarter way to maximize the benefits it offers.
According to a recently-released book by two former Google technologists, who have definitely done their fair share of research when it comes to all things coffee-related, there are a few ideal moments in a day when caffeine helps you out much more than at other times. Their research claims that you don’t actually need to drink coffee first thing in the morning, since your natural cortisol levels are quite high right after you wake up. Instead, they’ve found that caffeinating at around 9:30 AM will probably give you a much better boost.
After having lunch, people can often feel tired or drained, which is a signal that it might be time for another coffee (or a nap, if possible!). You can leisurely enjoy a second cup after eating. However, be mindful of drinking anything with caffeine after 4 PM, because it might influence your sleep schedule in a negative way—instead you can always opt for some green tea, which helps in keeping your energy at a more consistent level.
Don’t forget that this isn’t a one-size-fits-all rule, since we all have different bodies which react in diverse ways to coffee and caffeine. You can definitely try out the tips and tricks mentioned above, but you should always listen to your body’s responses and consume coffee in a way that you find benefits both your health and your personal productivity at the office.