Why am I always so tired? This is one of the most common questions we get asked! We’re an overstimulated society, battling with stress and relying on stimulants to get through the day. We get stuck in a loop that reinforces our need for another cup of coffee and leads to poorer and poorer sleep quality.
There are ways to stop the cycle and we've outlined them in this blog series: 5 reasons why you’re feeling so tired all the time. Find out ways to win the fatigue fight and achieve a more balanced energy everyday.
The infographic below gives you an overview. This post dives deeper into reason #1: you're drinking too much caffeine! Scroll down to find out why caffeine is making you tired all the time, learn about alternatives to coffee, and how to do a caffeine cleanse that won't make you miserable!
This post is intended for informational purposes only. Consult a medical professional if you feel like you may have a deficiency or disease like hypothyroid, anemia, sleep apnea and the like.
How Caffeine Works
As your day goes on, a
denosine is created in your brain and binds to receptors, telling you to relax and get sleepy. Caffeine comes in and tricks those receptors into thinking it’s adenosine, but instead sends the opposite signals - telling your brain that you're alert and energized.
Caffeine isn’t actually creating more energy, it’s just making you think that you’re not sleepy.
The problem is that the blocked adenosine doesn’t disappear, it just accumulates in your brain. When the caffeine is gone, the adenosine floods the receptors causing you to feel the sleepiness that you felt before PLUS even more! Hence the bigger dip in your energy levels as that cup of coffee or energy drink wears off and the potential to get dependent on more and more caffeine to make it through your day.
How Caffeine is contributing to your fatigue
A cup of coffee in the morning isn't a bad thing. It’s coffee number 3, 4, 5 or the afternoon energy drink that becomes an issue. Drinking caffeine late into the day can start to interfere with your sleep, making you more tired the next morning. And the cycle continues!
Ways caffeine can wreak havoc on energy levels:
- Dependency! You're avoiding that next crash by drinking more coffee. You won't win the fight against that inevitable flood of adenosine!
- Bigger dips and crashes (Again... flood of adenosine).
- Even if you can fall asleep right after having caffeine, it still may be interfering with deep sleep, the restorative part of your sleep.
- Caffeine takes 5-7 hours for half the caffeine to leave your brain. You may not realize how long this removal process takes and may not even link your inability to sleep with the caffeine you had 5, 6, 7 hours ago.
- Daily, habitual coffee consumption can actually physically lower your baseline energy level.
Alternative Energy Sources
Trying to lay off the coffee and red bull? Our go-to alternatives are matcha, energizing adaptogenic herbs and cordyceps mushroom.
Matcha vs. coffee
- Let's set the record straight! Matcha has less caffeine than coffee! Less than a third when you compare it cup for cup with coffee.
- The caffeine in matcha is released into the body slower.
- The caffeine interacts with the amino acid, l-theanine, which reduces some of the negative effects of caffeine, while increasing cognitive performance and mental alertness.
- L-theanine is the reason why the caffeine in matcha doesn’t stimulate your adrenal and nervous systems negatively like coffee can (no increase in anxiety, blood pressure, jitters, etc.)
- L-theanine also boosts your mood! (So can coffee, but it is easily over-consumed and can then negatively affect mood)
Matcha doesn't spike your energy level the way coffee and red bull do. If you're looking to get more immediate increase, you can try adding energizing adaptogenic herbs like siberian ginseng or rhodiola. You can find those combinations in Matcha Activate and Brainiac Chai.
Cordyceps vs. caffeine
- Cordyceps mushroom actually helps your body produce more energy at a cellular level by increasing ATP production.
- Fuelling with cordyceps is a caffeine-free option.
- Cordyceps can boost endurance and stamina, making it great as a pre-workout. You can try our Matcha Fuel to boost your workout!
How to kick coffee and caffeine without misery
Slowly reduce the number of cups of coffee or high caffeine drinks you have in your day.
- Having trouble with #1? Swap out high caffeine drinks with matcha and then slowly eliminate until you're down to one coffee in the morning and one matcha after that.
- Swap out cup number one of coffee for matcha and/or energizing adaptogens.
- Switch to Brainiac Chai as a caffeine free energy source.
- Try to eliminate chocolate and soda.
- Now go 3-6 weeks without the caffeine!
- Reintroduce caffeine, but cycle going off of it so you don't get back to dependancy.
- Keep a journal! Write down how you feel through this process, how your sleep is and how your energy levels are during the day.
Products to support your goal of less caffeine
Remember when reviewing the caffeine levels below, that you have the positive benefits of the l-theanine as well.