Month: January 2019

When Is the Best Time to Drink Coffee?

Coffee is a necessity to many of us. To the rest, it’s an enjoyable, satisfying way to start the day or end a meal. Coffee is a popular drink. It has been shown to have several health benefits. But there are times when you should and should not drink it.

Reasons to Drink Coffee

People drink coffee for a number of reasons.

  • To wake up and get going in the morning. This may be the most popular reason that people give for drinking coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant and many people feel that they “need” that boost in the morning.
  • To help digest a meal. Many people find that drinking coffee after a meal helps counteract the sleepiness or tired feeling that you feel after eating a big meal. The caffeine helps you stay alert.
  • To stay awake to complete a work or study assignment. This is another way that coffee is popularly used. But as we will see, this can backfire if you do it too often.
  • They enjoy the taste. Many people find coffee delicious. They enjoy experimenting with different flavors and blends.

Is Coffee Healthy?

Coffee has several health benefits.

If the caffeine in coffee bothers you, or you’ve been told to avoid drinking stimulants, you can still get the same benefits by drinking decaffeinated coffee. These health benefits include:

  • Protection against certain types of cancer, including liver cancer.
  • Lower risk of depression and suicide.
  • Lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Protection against Parkinson’s disease.
  • Improved alertness and mental function.

What is the Best Time to Drink Coffee?

When your brain needs it. Most of us reach for our first coffee the moment we get up. But according to scientists, we should actually slow down that reaction and wait for an hour or two.

These studies have found that when we first wake up, our brain produces high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. It does this to get us awake and moving. If we drink coffee at the same time, we won’t get the full effects of the caffeine.

You’ll also add to the already-high stress levels in your body. A small amount of stress is fine and can even be good for you. Too much can be dangerous.

It’s better to wait until our cortisol levels drop and then take some caffeine, because it will have more of an effect then. For most people, this is between 9:30 and 11:30 in the morning and 2:30 to 4:30 in the afternoon.

Before you exercise. Caffeine has been shown in multiple studies to help you work out. It allows you to endure a longer workout and increases your body’s ability to burn fat.

Researchers are not exactly sure how caffeine does this, but the effects have been documented. The same research found that, contrary to popular belief, drinking coffee won’t make you dehydrated during a workout.

The Kathy also says, “Coffee Is a Lot More Than Just a Drink.”

The conclusion you can draw from this is that drinking coffee before your workout can help you improve your performance, lose weight and work out longer.

If you work out in the evening, you may want to skip this step. Drinking coffee too close to your bedtime will interfere with your sleep.

When Should You Not Drink Coffee

When it’s steaming hot from the pot. It’s tempting to want to grab your coffee as soon as the pot is ready, but try to avoid doing that. Drinking anything that’s scalding hot can be a dangerous move for your health. According to a 2016 study by the World Health Organization, regularly drinking beverages that were 149 degrees or hotter could give you an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer.

That’s especially worrisome because that happens to be the temperature that many coffee shops and restaurants serve their coffee at. Many home coffee makers also brew coffee that’s about that temperature. Be safe and be patient. Let your coffee cool for about five minutes before you down it.

When you’re using coffee to make up for lost sleep. Many of us use coffee to stay awake and alert when we haven’t had enough sleep. According to health experts, anything under five hours of sleep is insufficient to keep us working at peak performance. New studies have found that after three nights of insufficient sleep, caffeine won’t help you stay awake.

Six hours before your bedtime. According to research on levels of cortisol in the brain, drinking even a small amount of coffee six hours before your bedtime will disrupt your sleep.

The research concluded that if you want to ensure you can sleep, give yourself that much time for the coffee to leave your system.

If you need calcium. Coffee causes us to lose calcium from our bones. That’s one reason why growing children should not drink it. It has the same effect on adults. Fortunately, you can add calcium by simply putting milk or cream in your coffee.

Drink to Your Health

Let’s sum up what we’ve learned. The best times to drink coffee are:

  • An hour or two after you wake up.
  • Before a workout.
  • In the late afternoon.

The worst times to drink coffee are:

  • When the coffee is very hot.
  • Six hours before your bedtime.
  • When you first wake up.

Coffee has many health benefits, but using it properly is key to enjoying it. Fill up your cup and enjoy.

What you can do if you drink too much coffee?

Anyone of us who drink a lot of caffeinated beverages knows the effects it can have on our bladders. For years caffeine has been said to be a culprit in dehydrating your body, but that is a little misleading. It’s not actually the caffeine that dehydrates your body, but high amounts of it have a diuretic effect, aka it makes you pee a lot. All that caffeine stimulation doesn’t just affect one part of your body, it’s going to hit your kidneys as well. And being that the caffeine is a foreign substance, your body is going to do what it takes to get it out, especially when there is too much of it.

So, when you end up peeing a lot, you lose too much water and salt from your body, and that is what makes you dehydrated and thirstier than normal. With all that heart pumping, blood pressure raising, and adrenaline flowing, an overdose of caffeine can get you’re your sweat glands into the action.  This sweatiness can further contribute to your body’s dehydration and need to drink water. Of course if you’ve been out in the sun and you’ve had a lot of caffeine, it’s going to worsen the dehydration and your thirst will be more urgent. if you experience this symptom, make sure you’re turning to life-saving water to help you out, not more caffeinated drinks.

You May Diarrhea

Surprise, caffeine stimulates your digestive system as well. Acid producing caffeine sends signals to your body to produce more bile, the stuff that helps break down waste and get it ready to go out. Too much bile caused by an overdose of caffeine builds up and can contribute to diarrhea. The caffeine also causes your intestines to expand and contract faster (they’re overstimulated, too) causing a laxative effect on your system. Although it’s not completely understood by the medical community a high amount of caffeine has this effect on your urge to go, but our digestive system is pretty sensitive, so generally your body will tell itself that what goes in must go out. This is especially true if it wants to get rid of too much of a foreign substance like caffeine. Especially when combined with all that peeing, diarrhea can further dehydrate your body.

You May Heartburn, Nausea, and Vomiting

Too much caffeine can have other quite unpleasant effects on your digestive system. When an excess of caffeine hits your stomach, some funky things can start to happen. Your stomach is already full of acid and caffeine just piles it on. This excess irritates the muscle at the end of your esophagus, making everything in your stomach, including the acid, start to flow upward, causing that burning sensation in your chest and esophagus.  All that acid also irritates your stomach lining which can leave you feeling queasy. Although most people only experience nausea, there are some people who end up vomiting from too much caffeine intake. Coffee, being the diuretic that it is, means that it’s going to cause your body to give up it’s fluids, and you don’t always get to choose the most pleasant way for that to happen.

You May Headaches or Migraines

When it comes to headaches, caffeine can be a double-edged sword. A moderate amount of caffeine can be used to help ease headaches, in fact, a number of over-the-counter migraine medications include caffeine. It’s also possible that caffeine affects the neurotransmitters in your brain that help block head pain. So then why might you suffer from a headache after drinking too much caffeine? It’s not actually the caffeine that is causing the headache. Caffeine constricts the blood vessels in your head and when it’s gone out of your system, they expand again. Your blood vessels expanding back to their normal size is what can cause you to have a headache, also known as a rebound headache. If you’re in the habit of grabbing a cup of coffee or caffeine-laden painkillers whenever you get a headache, it’s important to recognize whether your headache is a symptom of too much caffeine so you can treat it with non-caffeinated pain relievers.

You May Fatigue

Since we’ve beaten you over the head with the fact that caffeine is a stimulant that keeps you alert and awake, it might seem a bit crazy that fatigue is a symptom of a caffeine overdose. But the fatigue you’re feeling after having a lot of caffeine is also a rebound effect—it wasn’t directly caused by the caffeine, but it was a result of it leaving your body. When your body is tired, caffeine can give you a false energy. It can be awesome to have so much energy to get what you need done, but ultimately, it’s only masking the underlying tiredness and the reasons why your body is tired. Caffeine is only a temporary fix and in the long run, it can stress your adrenals which will leave you chronically fatigued. So, if your body is tired, get it the rest it needs.

Conclusion

We hope that you found this list helpful, and you may have even recognized some of the symptoms we’ve talked about. It’s important to take care of your body—you’ve got it for the long haul. So many of us have become reliant on caffeine to function, to the detriment of our own health and ironically, our ability to function sometimes. We’ve done plenty of talking, now we want to know what you think. Please share a comment below or share this article with someone who might benefit.

Top Coffee overdose symptoms you need to know

coffee

Maybe you can’t start your day without it. Maybe you need it to get you through the afternoon slump. Or maybe it’s saved you during many nights of studying or working (or partying). So many of us rely on a little caffeine kick to get started or keep us going throughout the day.  But when does a good thing become a bad thing? It’s important to listen the warning signs your body gives you that let you know when something good for you becomes unhealthy. If you are showing several of the following symptoms at once, you may have had too much caffeine.

Jitters and Restlessness

You, like many of us, might find caffeinated drinks to be an awesomely delicious way to get some extra energy, and that boost can feel great. Yet too much caffeine can put your body over the edge so to speak. That stimulation from caffeine gets hormones like adrenaline to pump out more into your body, and too much adrenaline can make you start to get jittery or shake. Think of it as a similar effect to when you are frightened—you get an extra shot of adrenaline and you might shake or feel jittery from the “nerves”. The caffeine also quickly gives your body an overabundance of energy that it can’t use, causing you to feel “buzzy” with energy. Pretty impossible to get into a restful state under those circumstances, instead you can become restless or even hyperactive from the caffeine. This heightened and extended state can put a strain on your nervous system, especially your adrenals, causing them to become fatigued.

Anxiety

That caffeinated coffee or tea can be soothing, and so some people drink them to help cope with stress. However, an overdose of caffeine can have the opposite effect. We’ve already discussed how it can get your central nervous system in a bit of a tizzy, and that extra adrenaline puts your body into a “fight or flight” mode—like when your scared, it’s the thing that instinctively makes you either flee from danger or fight for your life. It’s a heightened state of anxiety. The caffeine also affects your body’s release of dopamine, the hormone in your brain that gives you happy feelings and helps to regulate anxiety and inhibits the flow of the neurotransmitter GABA which helps to keep your brain calm. As you might expect, the anxiety levels found in men and women due to a caffeine overdose differ, and a small study found that an uptick in anxiety was more often seen in men.

 

Mental Confusion

Isn’t caffeine supposed to make you more alert and sharpen your thinking? For many it does, and often people feel that their brain is muddled when they don’t have their coffee. But having an overabundance of caffeine can have the opposite of the desired effect. Caffeine is considered to be a psychoactive substance which means that it affects the thinking part of your brain, altering your thoughts and mood. Instead of making your brain clear, too much caffeine can cause your thoughts and speech to ramble (similar to drinking a bit too much alcohol) or cause you to feel depressed.

In fact, the American Psychiatric Association has labeled this effect as one of four caffeine-related disorders. These symptoms including the anxiety we mentioned in the previous point, can be easily confused for a mental disorder, so it’s important to look at or let your doctor know any other symptoms you might experience in order to determine whether these are related to caffeine toxicity.

 

Hallucinations

Being that caffeine is mind-altering as we just talked about, an overabundance can cause your brain to have trouble distinguishing reality, possibly causing you to see and hear things that aren’t real. In study of what happens to your brain on excessive caffeine, people were exposed to the sound of white noise (that static-y sound on old radios and TVs) but claimed that they heard the song “White Christmas” playing. It’s thought that this symptom could be caused by a lot of caffeine boosting your body’s stress hormone, cortisol, and these high-stress levels can cause visual or audio hallucinations. As much as this might be somewhat unnerving if you’re experiencing it, this isn’t usually considered to be serious unless it interferes with your daily life. It is worth mentioning though that long-term stress has some serious impacts on your body, even if those stress spikes are from too much caffeine.

 

Insomnia

Besides increasing the flow of adrenaline which keeps your body and mind from being in a restful state, caffeine messes with the brain chemicals (melatonin and adenosine) that let your body know when it’s time to go to sleep, so it tricks you into staying awake instead of letting you feel sleepy, kind of like leaving the light switch in your brain stuck in the “on” position. Many of us might cut ourselves off from the caffeine earlier in the day, having too much caffeine, even in late afternoon or early evening can still be affecting your ability to fall into a nice restful sleep, or even sleep at all. Research shows that it can take a normal amount of caffeine 6 hours to leave the body, though some studies show that it can keep your brain awake for up to 9 hours, which is more likely the effect you’ll get with an overdose. It’s easy to underestimate just how much caffeine you’ve had, or how late you can keep drinking without it affecting your sleep. Try cutting out the caffeine earlier in the day to help your body get sleepy when it needs to.

The coffee shop vs Coworking spaces: Which is better?

The coffee shop – pros and cons

It’s become something of a cliché, the freelancer who sets up a laptop in a coffee shop and spends the day nursing a coffee while making use of the free Wi-Fi. This certainly has a couple of advantages over working from home, but there are also some significant inconveniences.

In a coffee shop, there is the obvious benefit of human contact and interaction, even if it’s just ordering a drink or asking for the barista’s expertise as a coffee guide when deciding what to order next.

Coffee shops also offer a neutral space to meet clients. An informal discussion in these comfortable and laid-back surroundings can be highly productive; however, for more formal meetings or presentations, this kind of setting may be inappropriate.

Then there is the issue of facilities. While coffee shops generally offer Wi-Fi, they are usually notoriously bad. For someone who needs fast and reliable internet, the connection in a local Starbucks is likely to become a source of frustration very quickly.

While there is certainly a role in the freelancer’s world for this kind of location – and many make do by switching between working from home and heading to a coffee shop – most will find it impractical as a permanent solution.

Coworking spaces

For many freelancers, the discovery of coworking spaces comes as something of a revelation; these dedicated working environments designed with their needs in mind offer most of the conveniences of working from home or working in a coffee shop without many of the disadvantages.

Much-needed structure

Freelancers usually value their freedom, but as we mentioned before, the lack of routine can prove highly detrimental to productivity and creativity.

Coworking spaces provide an ideal compromise. Many freelancers feel the act of leaving the house and “going to work” gives much-needed structure to their day. This leaves you free to manage your own time but encourages you to stick to a routine, offering the best of both worlds.

Motivating environment – and perfect for networking

Coworking spaces are often populated by other hardworking and driven freelancers employed in a wide range of different fields. For many, this kind of atmosphere can be highly motivating, especially after coming from the experience of working at home.

In many ways, this kind of situation can be far more positive than sharing an office space with co-workers from the same company since the element of office politics this often engenders is absent in a coworking space.

Working in a coworking space is also the perfect environment for networking, as professionals from across the spectrum are brought together.

You may discover new ideas from people with different skill sets, or you may find the person sitting at the desk across from you is looking for the services you provide.

Inexpensive, flexible, convenient, professional

The great advantage of renting a coworking space is that it is extremely flexible. Most places rent desks by the week or even by the day.

You will usually find the full suite of facilities like phone lines and internet access included in the price, and there is no long-term commitment – factors that make setting up in a traditional office prohibitively expensive.

Often, there will also be meetings rooms at your disposal for when you need to meet with clients in a more professional setting – which will help create a far better impression than you could in a coffee shop.

Finding the right mix

Setting up as a freelancer can be a daunting prospect and a significant challenge. Without the reassurance of working for an established company, you need to think about finding new customers, managing relationships and developing your business by yourself.

However, for many, the biggest problems come from a lack of productivity when working alone. Every freelancer is different, and the key to being creative and productive is probably finding the right mix of working from home and using public spaces like coffee shops.

However, as more and more are coming to realize, incorporating coworking spaces into this blend can prove to be a very positive step in becoming a successful freelance designer.

What’s the benefits of Working from home?

For those who have never tried it, the life of a freelancer might seem like a dream job. You work when you want and where you want, you don’t need to turn up at the office on time and you have no boss to answer to.

However, that’s not quite the reality, and many freelancers struggle to find the ideal setup that maximizes productivity. Here, we look at three of the most common solutions for freelance designers and their relative merits.

1. Working from home

Many, perhaps the majority, of those taking their first steps into the world of freelancing start off working from home – and for good reason. There are many clear advantages associated with this obvious option. 

Inexpensive and flexible

First, there is the flexibility – it’s hard to imagine anywhere more flexible than your own home. You can work the hours that suit you best, at the times when you feel most creative, and you don’t have to follow anybody else’s timetable.

It’s cheap, too. There are no extra expenses (except perhaps installing a proper work desk in an office, but even this isn’t necessary), and most people will usually have a telephone line, an internet connection and everything else already available.

However, most people who try this soon realize that working from home is not the ideal situation they first imagined.

No routine, no social contact

One of the biggest problems freelancers who work from home report is the lack of a fixed routine. Without someone keeping an eye on whether they are at their desk on time in the morning, many find it difficult to stick to a strict schedule.

Then there is the problem of distractions. At home, it takes a strong will and exceptional self-discipline to avoid being side-tracked into doing a million things – other than work.

Another major issue is the problem of loneliness.

Of course, the simple fact of sitting at home all day working alone can certainly affect your mood, but the lack of day-to-day contact with co-workers can also have a big impact on creativity and productivity in the long term. Many freelancers notice their work output dropping as a result.

Finally, there is the issue of meeting clients. Even if designers spend the majority of their time working on projects, a certain amount of contact time with clients is also required. For most, inviting clients to their home for meetings lacks the required level of professionalism.