Originally published on The Huffington Post
Shhhhh. I am about to share something with you that is a very big secret.
It has taken me five years to discover this. I have researched, tested, and I have found that it is real.
I am so convinced of the benefits of this because it has made a huge difference in my life. When I was in college, I suffered from exhaustion and fatigue due to my coffee addiction. Since then, I have been on a mission to find balance between my love of java and passion for health.
Coffee has caffeine, and caffeine eventually crashes.
When you are dehydrated, you often experience low energy levels and fatigue. Your blood becomes thicker (due to the lower water content) causing your heart to have to work harder and use more energy.
Add caffeine crash + dehydration = double crash!!!
This often causes us to reach for that 2nd (or 5th) cup for the day. Usually this happens to be late in the afternoon which ends up disrupting our sleep cycles--causing even more fatigue.
Here is the secret: To avoid the afternoon slump and stay productive in whatever you do, be sure to hydrate when you caffeinate.
Next time you drink a cup of java, match it with a cup of water. Bonus points if you drink two.
Triple bonus round: drink spring water. You can find a local spring here.
Caution: it is surprisingly easy to forget to do this and drink a cup of water every time you drink your coffee. Drinking a full cup of java tends to causes the body to feel full, which decreases your desire for water.
One trick that helps me with this is to always fill up a cup of water at the same time I fill up my mug or thermos.
Ironically, I did not listen to my own advice here as I wrote this article. Here is where I went wrong and what I learned:
A good cup of java will put you a productive ‘flow’ state where an hour might pass before you even realized that you finished your mug. Even when you do notice that an hour has passed, you are still in the zone and would not dare interrupt your productivity to get up for glass of water just because some guy on the internet told you to.
The first time that I travelled to Europe, I noticed a huge difference in the cafe culture compared to the United States. Every espresso, latte, etc. that I ordered came with a glass of water (hold the ice). In Greece, I did notice that I would feel better after drinking my ‘kafe sketo’ (translate: black coffee) with a side of water.
Having the cup of water already in front of you when you finish your coffee makes it a lot easier to hydrate when you caffeinate!
Let’s try this:
I say caffeinate, you say hydrate!
Thank you for taking the time to read this and invest in your health. Share this article with a friend who drinks coffee or water and they will be grateful for years to come.
Do you have any other healthy coffee drinking tips? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.