Caffeine is a magical thing. It provides you with an energy boost when you need it and can help you stay focused on your daily tasks.1 Plus, from coffee to energy drinks, it’s readily available in a variety of forms, so it’s not hard to see why it’s the most widely used stimulant in the world.2
But what happens after those four beautifully productive hours when your first dose of caffeine finally wears off? It’s 2 p.m., you’re working on an end-of-day deadline, and suddenly you’re exhausted. You can’t focus. You’re moody. You can hardly tell left from right.
A caffeine crash is likely to blame, and it sneaks in when you least expect it. Thankfully, there are strategies you can implement to nip it in the bud before it hits. Here, we discuss the symptoms of a caffeine crash, what causes it, and seven ways to avoid them in the future.
What Are Caffeine Crash Symptoms?
The symptoms of a caffeine crash are something that no one wants to experience, but many of us have had the displeasure of experiencing, nonetheless.
If you’ve ever encountered a sudden wave of fatigue in the middle of the day, or you’ve had any of the following symptoms approximately five hours after your last caffeinated drink, you might be experiencing a caffeine crash:3
- Difficulty concentrating
What Causes a Caffeine Crash?
A caffeine crash typically occurs after the stimulating effects of caffeine have worn off, usually about five or six hours after consumption.2 The cause of a caffeine crash is typically due to one of the following factors:
- Consuming too much caffeine – “Too much” caffeine is considered anything over 200 milligrams ingested in one sitting.4 That’s the equivalent of about two 8-ounce cups of coffee.
- Drinking caffeine when you’re already tired – When you’re sleepy, your adenosine levels increase. Adenosine is a molecule that promotes sleep. Ingesting caffeine in a tired state blocks adenosine from attaching to receptors in the brain, while they continue to accumulate. Once the caffeine’s effects wear off, the built-up adenosine floods the brain’s receptors like a dam bursting, giving you an intense feeling of exhaustion.4
So if you have been questioning, why do energy drinks make me tired, this could be the cause.
7 Strategies for Preventing Caffeine Crash
Thankfully, you can have your cake (ahem—caffeine) and eat it too. Try implementing some of these methods into your daily routine to avoid an uncomfortable caffeine crash later:
#1 Cut Back on Your Caffeine Intake
According to the Cleveland Clinic, having more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day (roughly four 8-ounce cups of coffee) is too much.5 If you’re too reliant on caffeine to complete your daily activities, your body might revolt in the form of a caffeine withdrawal if you miss a regularly scheduled caffeinated beverage.
To avoid this, you can slowly cut back on your overall caffeine intake. Instead of going cold turkey—which will likely end in splitting headaches and a very moody version of yourself— consider slowly decreasing your caffeine consumption over a period of weeks. This will help your body naturally adjust to the decrease in caffeine without the negative side effects of a full-on caffeine withdrawal.
Here’s a sample routine for someone who currently drinks five cups of coffee each day:
- Week 1 – Drink four cups a day.
- Week 2 – Drink three cups a day.
- Week 3 – Drink two cups a day.
By the time you’ve completed week three, you’ve cut back to approximately 200 milligrams each day and can perform your daily tasks effectively. An alternative to a caffeinated drink is opting for natural ingredients that’s much easier for our body to absorb. You can add a spoonful of Mineral Shilajit Resin Liquid Gold into your choice of hot tea, coffee, or any beverage for clean, gentle energy that lasts throughout the day.
#2 Add Exercise to Your Routine
Adding a little exercise to your routine may help to lessen the negative side effects of caffeine withdrawals, which include:6
- Decreased energy levels
A brisk 15-minute walk or a 10-minute jog may help to reduce your caffeine withdrawal symptoms. It also brings you one (or several thousand) steps closer to closing your rings and can increase your body’s endorphin levels,7 leaving you feeling naturally energized and ready to tackle the next hour of your day.
#3 Spread Out Your Caffeine Throughout the Day
Instead of having too much caffeine when you wake up in the morning, consider having a cup of coffee with breakfast and then waiting until its effects have worn off. After lunch when you begin to sense a lull in your day, grab that second cup to keep your energy levels up for a few more hours.
By the time you get home from work, the caffeine should be wearing off, leaving your body free to unwind and relax. If you feel any symptoms of a crash coming on, you can do a quick 15-minute workout to re-energize your mind and body, or have a healthy snack to fuel your body with sustained energy. Try taking a Vitamin D3 + K2 + CoQ10 supplement with your snack, because vitamin D3 supports mental clarity and a balanced mood.
#4 Receive an Adequate Amount of Sleep
While this may seem obvious, obtaining a solid amount of sleep each night is an essential—yet often overlooked—factor when combating caffeine crashes. If you get the appropriate seven to nine hours each night, you’re more likely to start your day with normal adenosine levels, which can help prevent a crash later on.
Here are some tips to help you get the optimum amount of sleep:8
- Stick to a nightly routine so that you’re in bed at the same time each night.
- Limit your food and drink intake before bed (this is especially important in regards to caffeine).
- Create a calming sleep environment by setting a comfortable temperature, eliminating distractions such as phone screens, and keeping your room dark.
Find time for exercise during the day. From lifting weights to yoga, exercise may increase adenosine levels,
helping you sleep more soundly at night.
- Limit the amount of time you sleep during the day. Power naps between 10 and 20 minutes can refresh your mind, whereas a two-hour nap may keep you up later when you’re trying to wind down.
#5 Keep Yourself Hydrated
Staying hydrated plays a major role in avoiding the symptoms of a caffeine crash. In fact, drinking enough water is a natural way to stay more focused and alert throughout the day.10
However, not drinking enough water can cause dehydration, and may result in headaches and fatigue, therefore exacerbating the severity of a caffeine crash.
So, what’s considered to be the appropriate amount of water to drink each day? 64 ounces (a half gallon) is ideal.11 That may seem overwhelming, but it equates to only eight cups a day, or roughly a cup an hour.
Consider investing in a half-gallon reusable bottle. If you fill it up in the morning and sip on it throughout the day, you’d be surprised how easy it is to finish it.
#6 Remember to Eat Throughout the Day
While consuming caffeine can give you a temporary pep in your step, fueling your body with nutrients from food provides natural energy to help you thrive throughout the day. Eating breakfast with your morning cup of joe is likely to keep you satiated and energized longer than if you were drinking coffee alone.
If you are wondering what food gives you energy, there are several healthy options to choose from. For example, if you are eating protein-packed foods daily you might be asking, does protein give you energy. Protein has several health benefits and providing energy can be one of them.
In addition, eating food throughout the day may help you avoid an uncomfortable headache in the afternoon if you begin to feel an oncoming caffeine crash. Here are a few suggestions to help you establish a healthy eating routine:
- Set aside time every three to four hours to eat.
- Put a reminder on your phone to ensure you take a quick snack break.
- Pack snacks to take to work each day like nuts, edamame, protein bars, and other foods that are high in proteins and healthy fats, keeping you full for longer.
#7 Set a Hard Limit on Your Last Cup of Coffee
Although you may feel the need to have one last cup of coffee after you get home from work, think about how it might affect your sleep later.
If you have coffee a few hours before bedtime, it might become more difficult for you to fall asleep. A poor night of sleep could disrupt your sleep routine and cause a caffeine crash the following day.
Instead, set yourself up for success by setting a hard limit on when you should stop drinking caffeine, preferably five to six hours before bedtime.
Energize Naturally with Cymbiotika
Keeping yourself energized throughout the day doesn’t have to be a struggle. Finding the supplements that work best for you may improve your energy levels as well as improve your quality of life.
Cymbiotika’s liquid energy supplements can provide you with the energy you need—without the crash that comes with caffeine. If you’re looking for the ultimate everyday energy supplement, our Vitamin B12 + B6 may improve your energy, mood, and heart health. If you need an extra boost when you’re exercising, the Longevity Mushrooms could enhance your performance and speed up your recovery time by decreasing lactic acid buildup.
Take back control of your life. Fuel it with Cymbiotika and experience sustainable energy levels all day long.
- Healthline. How Does Caffeine Affect ADHD? https://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/caffeine
- Healthline. What is a Caffeine Crash? Plus 4 Tips for How to Avoid It. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/caffeine-crash
- National Library of Medicine. The Safety of Ingested Caffeine: A Comprehensive Review https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5445139/
- Caffeine Informer. Caffeine Hangover and Crash: What It Is and How to Avoid It. https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-hangover-caffeine-crash
- Cleveland Clinic. Can You Really Have Too Much Caffeine? https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-much-caffeine-is-too-much/
- National Library of Medicine. Caffeine Withdrawal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430790/
- Everyday Health. Why Exercise Boosts Mood and Energy. https://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness/workouts/boost-your-energy-level-with-exercise.aspx
- Mayo Clinic. Sleep Tips: 6 Tips to Better Sleep. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep/art-20048379
- National Library of Medicine. Intense exercise increases adenosine concentrations in rat brain: implications for a homeostatic sleep drive. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18031936/
- Neuroscience Program. Water helps kids focus, improves ability to multitask: study. https://neuroscience.illinois.edu/news/2019-11-14/water-helps-kids-focus-improves-ability-multitask-study
- Healthline. How Much Water Should You Drink Per Day? https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-water-should-you-drink-per-day#how-much-you-need