Do you drink coffee everyday?

If you’re over 18, you probably do. Statistically.

Over 50% over Americans (over the age of 18) consume coffee on a daily basis.

You may be the kind of person who gets cranky when you don’t have your coffee, or you may be able to go without it.

Either way, if you drink it everyday, you are sabotaging yourself from the benefits you could be getting from that age-old energy booster known as caffeine.

Here’s how you should be doing it…

Caffeine: You’re Doing it Wrong

I am guilty of drinking coffee everyday. It’s like a ritual for me (or at least it used to be).

It’s mostly a mental thing.

Consuming caffeine daily can really increase your body’s tolerance…which means it basically stops working. (Or, at least, it takes much more for the same effect).

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To start getting the most out of caffeine, your first step is to quit drinking it for a week. An entire week.

That’s 7 days, if you’re wondering. (Or if you are trying to justify why a “business week” would be suitable)

6 Tips for Effective Caffeine Consumption

You will need to take this step before you can really get started on the road to using caffeine effectively.

Once you have spent an entire week caffeine-free, you are ready to implement these strategies…

1. Spread It Out

Try drinking coffee or tea over a longer period of time. This will release the caffeine more steadily, over a longer period, which will help sustain your energy levels.

2. Drink Water First

If you typically drink coffee first thing in the morning, try drinking a large glass of water first. Hydrating your body can increase your energy and you may not even need the coffee. Or you can use caffeine later in the day when you start to lose energy.

3. Consume Less Caffeine

Don’t go back to drinking coffee daily (switch to decaf if you must). Use caffeine when you need it. It will be much more effective to only use caffeine when you have a big job to do or when you need an extra boost.

4. Stick With the Basics

Coffee and tea can be great for implementing a moderate amount of caffeine. Stay away from the sugary drinks (including artificial sweeteners). They can give you the initial boost, but you will most likely end up crashing shortly after. If you haven’t noticed, I have been mostly mentioning coffee and tea for a reason (not Monster and Red Bull).

5. Eat Right

If you’re consuming more protein/complex carbohydrates and less junk/simple carbohydrates, you will automatically feel better. It will also allow caffeine to work more effectively since it won’t be competing with a bunch of processed nonsense.

5. Wait Before Another Cup

Don’t be so quick to grab a second cup of coffee or tea. You may not need it, or it may be more effective to save it for later. Give the caffeine time to start working. Wait before you make the quick decision to grab another cup.

6. Eat First

Consuming caffeine on an empty stomach can be a bad thing. I admit that I like taking caffeine on an empty stomach when I really want to get a boost and it is very effective for that, but don’t make it a habit. Here’s why:

“Drinking coffee on an empty stomach, such as first thing in the morning, stimulates hydrochloric acid production. This can be a problem because HCl should only be produced to digest meals. If your body has to make HCl more often in response to regular cups of coffee, it may have difficulty producing enough to deal with a large meal.”

More Ways to Caffeinate

With all this coffee talk, it’s easy to forget that there are literally thousands of ways to consume caffeine and coffee is just one of them.

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Caffeine pills are a great way to just get the caffeine. They can be a better alternative to sugary coffee or energy drinks. These caffeine pills are great.

Of course, like anything, you don’t want to take them all the time or in excess.

Another (and more natural) option is Guarana. Guarana is a plant (it actually comes from the seed) with naturally occuring caffeine.

Green Coffee Bean Extract and Green Tea Extract are other great options for more natural energy boosters.

With most energy boosting options, it’s still caffeine. It’s important to take caffeine in moderation for your health and for the best results, but if you can use it responsibly, it can be a great boost.

Photo Credit: Marius, Silke, Timothy

Statistics: Coffee Drinking

Sources: Negative Effects of Coffee