Coffee is one of the most widely consumed stimulants in the world, next to herbal teas. People turn to the drink for increased alertness, energy, and focus. However, in some cases, it can have the opposite effect and make you feel tired instead.
Caffeine is a drug too. It’s the world’s most psychoactive drug. But just as with all other drugs, not everyone reacts to caffeine in quite the same way.
How can caffeine make you tired? Isn’t it a stimulant that promotes wakefulness?
Yes, it is. But other factors could be at play. Let’s take a look.
5 Reasons Caffeine Might Be Making You Tired
1. CAFFEINE IS A DIURETIC
Have you ever felt like you need to use the bathroom more often after drinking caffeine? That’s likely because caffeine can be a diuretic, meaning it can help get rid of water and salt in your body.
To help prevent dehydration, make sure you’re drinking an adequate amount of water with your morning coffee. Adults should be drinking between 2 and 3 liters of water per day to stay properly hydrated.
2. EXCESS CAFFEINE BLOCKS ADENOSINE RECEPTORS
Adenosine is a molecule that’s naturally produced by your body and can make you feel sleepy. When you drink coffee, your body absorbs the caffeine in it, and when this caffeine reaches your brain, it sticks to your adenosine receptors.
Caffeine can block the effects of adenosine, which is what makes you feel alert after your morning cup of coffee. However, once the caffeine wears off, your body may experience a buildup of adenosine that hits you all at once, which is why coffee can make you feel tired.
3. THE SUGAR YOU ADD IS THE REAL CULPRIT
If you’re drinking coffee with added sweeteners, you might want to look at those as a potential culprit. Sweeteners like sugar, syrup, or honey might be causing a sugar crash – not a caffeine crash.
If you’re struggling to stay awake after your morning cup of coffee, you may want to try removing the added sweeteners from your drink to see if sugar is the real culprit.
4. IT COULD BE MOLD
Beyond the grossness factor of mold in your coffee, the contamination resulting from mold could be why you’re struggling to stay awake. This is because some coffee beans have been shown to contain mycotoxins, a type of mold that’s been linked to chronic fatigue.
5. YOU’VE DEVELOPED A CAFFEINE TOLERANCE
If you regularly consume coffee or another form of caffeine, you may build up a tolerance over time. Since caffeine works by blocking the effects of adenosine, your body may begin to produce more adenosine receptors as a response.