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How many cups of tea or coffee have you had today? Have you ever thought about cutting down or is that unthinkable?

Many people rely on a cup in the morning to wake themselves up. This quickly turns into another several cups over the course of a day, particularly office workers.

Going for coffee is a way to break up the day. It gets you away from your desk for a couple of minutes, letting you stretch your legs or have a chat on the way.

 

The benefits

Beating fatigue

The main reason why people reach for the caffeine is to wake themselves up. Being too tired means that you’re less likely to be able to concentrate and take in information. It will help you focus and remember things better. This can then have a positive effect on you productivity levels.

Memory

Caffeine is also thought to improve memory. This could be due to fact that it can make us feel more alert and therefore it’s easier to take in information and retain it.

Health benefits

Coffee has been associated with lower risks of certain cancers, developing type 2 diabetes and strokes. While chugging it all day isn’t going to banish all potential health problems, one or two a day could end up doing you some good in the long run.

 

The downsides

Sleep

Obviously the main downside to consuming something to keep yourself awake is that you might struggle to get to sleep at night. This then leads to fatigue during the day which you respond to with more caffeine, thus making the cycle ongoing.

Restlessness

Caffeine is known to give people the jitters occasionally. For some people, this can go one step further and lead to increases in anxiety and stress. Caffeine increases the production of adrenaline which is a key component in the body’s response to stress.

Dependency

A regular intake of caffeine can lead to you forming a dependency on it. The more you consume, the less effective it is. So if you aren’t ready to give it up completely, you might want to reset your body by cutting it out for a short while and then eventually having small amounts of it only when you need it.

However, if you suddenly stop drinking it, you could end up with headaches, irritability and a reduced ability to concentrate. This can lead to a temporary drop in performance levels.

The expense

If you’re not into instant coffee and live or work close to a coffee shop you could end up spending a lot of money over the years. Coffee franchises aren’t cheap and their coffees are often packed with sugar as well as caffeine, making them one of the least healthy options for you.

If you need proper coffee consider getting a machine in work or making some at home and bringing it in the morning.

 

Alternatives

For those who like the social aspect or simply having a hot drink, why not try swapping one or two of your daily coffees for some herbal tea? If you’re a big tea drinker, try green tea as a healthy, less caffeinated alternative.

If you’re often fatigued, the chances are you’re simply not getting enough sleep. Other ways you can reduce fatigue include cutting down on alcohol which can interfere with sleep and getting enough exercise.

 

What are your thoughts on caffeine? Has it had a positive or negative effect on your productivity levels? Let us know what you think!

About The Author

Kara Copple

An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.

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