Tired, despite lots of coffee? Pay attention to the timing of your first cup

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Many of us can’t do without our morning coffee, but the timing of that first cup can be counterproductive to getting the desired energy boost. If you’re feeling tired despite having just started the day, with heavy lids and dark circles under your eyes, your first instinct on waking might be to make a strong coffee to kick-start your day. But that morning caffeine boost may not be enough to restore your energy and leave you feeling like a zombie.

The problem could be that you’re drinking your coffee at the wrong time of day. On Instagram, numerous wellness accounts, including those of naturopaths, nutritionists, and hormone balance coaches, are posting about the harmful effects of high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and the misguided idea of drinking coffee after waking up and on an empty stomach.
Among these wellness influencers, @healthwithholland, a UK-based hormone balance consultant with nearly 775,000 followers, describes the signs of high cortisol levels: “waking up at night, stubborn belly fat, cravings for salty foods, feeling like a wreck in the morning and not being able to sleep at night, and loss of appetite on waking but an irresistible craving for coffee.” This could be an eye-opener about your own condition.

The wrong mix of cortisol and coffee
But how can a simple morning coffee do so much damage? “When you’re sober, coffee first affects digestion; it’s a pretty aggressive and acidic drink for the stomach, which can lead to gastric reflux and digestive discomfort,” explains Raphaël Gruman, a nutritionist, according to 20 Minutes.

“Then, coffee acts on the liver by slowing down hepatic metabolism and excretory abilities, causing additional fatigue; the liver is an organ that already uses a lot of energy, so when it’s overloaded, it tyres the body even more and creates the opposite of the desired energy boost.”

The harmful effects of caffeine on an empty stomach continue: “One of the problems with caffeine on an empty stomach is that no food slows down its stimulating effect during digestion. So it enters the bloodstream quickly, which can cause an acceleration of the heartbeat with palpitations,” he continues. “This leads to an overload of the brain; the synapses—the neuronal connections—get out of control, which leads to brain fatigue and then general tiredness of the organism. The excitement generated by caffeine temporarily masks the tiredness, then comes the second effect, where you are even more tired.”

Stress spikes, sleep disorders and weight gain
What about the effect of caffeine on the famous cortisol levels? And what does it have to do with our weight? Cortisol, naturally produced by the body, is the stress hormone and the wake-up hormone. Together with melatonin, which the body releases to promote sleep, cortisol forms the duo of hormones that regulate our internal clock and the alternation between sleep and wakefulness. And it is in the morning, between 6 and 9 am, that cortisol levels reach their peak.

  • source: dagens.de/picture: pixabay.com
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