Sorry, But Coffee Might Not Make You As Productive As You Think

Photo by Daria Kobayashi Ritch

Photo by Daria Kobayashi Ritch

The sad (but true) way that your coffee might be tricking you into drinking more.

You know how it goes. You get out of bed, stumble to the kitchen and pour yourself a cup of ambition. Well, sorry to burst your morning routine bubble, but it seems a cup of the sweet brown stuff might do more harm than good. At least, when you’re doing it wrong.

Coffee may be one of life’s simple pleasures but plenty of us are screwing ourselves by relying on it too heavily. The good news? You can have your coffee and drink it too. Just hear us out. Research from John Hopkins Medical School suggests that the world’s most widely used drug is tricking you into living in an over-stimulated limbo of your own creation.

Their studies propose that caffeine-related performance improvement doesn’t exist without caffeine withdrawal. The ritual goes something like this: You skip a couple of coffees at work and suddenly, your productivity is shot and your mood could best be described as “angry sea witch.” The quickest and easiest way to get your energy back? Grabbing a coffee. Ahh, that’s better. Feel that delicious surge of adrenaline.

But your energy levels weren’t just taken to new heights. All you did was bring yourself back up to “normal” for a period. And it’s coffee’s fault you were down there to begin with. And that’s not to mention the REM-reducing effect caffeine has on sleep and the connection it has to emotional responses like anxiety. Why, cruel bean?!

If all this makes you want to give up all coffee forever more, good for you, and please, please consult a qualified medical professional. For the rest of us coffee loyalists, the thought of withdrawal symptoms like headaches, fatigue and a general lack of focus can feel too intimidating to deal with.

But keep calm, monitor your cups and you’ll be sweet. Even trying for two cups a day instead of your usual three is bound to help. Go slow. Try swapping out a cup of coffee for a green tea. Your body will thank you.

And if you love coffee too much to even care? Hey, whatever gets you out of bed in the morning.

[h/t Huffington Post]

-Jerico Mandybur