Caffeine crash

Caffeine Crash, ARGH! What It Is & How to Avoid It

September 07, 2020

Ugh, ‘caffeine crash’: a true horror tale for java drinkers! Don’t be too harsh on yourself if you’re currently dealing with a headache and regretting all your life choices. Caffeine crashes happened to the best of us.

Still, given our experience—which is a fancy word for ‘being used to relying on coffee since we’re firefighters and must always be awake at crazy o’clock’—we have a few tips on how to avoid them.

What is a caffeine crash?

What is a caffeine crash

A caffeine crash is an unpleasant state of fatigue, irritability and inability to concentrate often accompanied by a headache, and it can occur after an overconsumption of caffeine.

Why? Basically, caffeine is a stimulant with a structure that’s very similar to adenosine, a chemical that promotes sleep and slows down our nerve activity. Because of this similarity, adenosine receptors bind to caffeine instead… which has the opposite effect. 

This c̶a̶f̶f̶e̶i̶n̶e̶ ̶m̶a̶g̶i̶c̶ increase in brain activity usually happens within an hour after consumption and can last for around five.

And then? The coach turns back into a pumpkin. Caffeine’s stimulating effect wears off and we experience the opposite feeling (check out our article to find out more about how caffeine works).

However, a caffeine crash usually happens in specific situations. By avoiding them, you’re much more likely to give this unpleasant feeling a miss.

5 firefighter-approved tips on how to avoid a caffeine crash: 

How to avoid a caffeine crash

1. Don’t drink coffee on an empty stomach

Grandma is right: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. While it’s tempting to save time by drinking a cup of joe on your way to work, eating something with it can really make a difference. 

You need actual calories to sustain you throughout the day. Without them? That’s a safe ticket to Caffeine Crash town!

2. Prioritize sleep

Sometimes, a large coffee (or four) is your only hope to make it through the day without murdering someone. Trust us: we know! 

However, you shouldn’t always rely on caffeine’s magic thinking that it can literally replace sleep. 

Do your best to rest for enough hours regularly so that caffeine can become a healthy pick-me-up rather than a drastic solution.

3. Don’t drink coffee right before bedtime

Some people can drink coffee at midnight and be asleep by 00:15. If you’re not part of that squad, try and resist the temptation of a hot cup right before bedtime. 

Not sleeping well will only lead to a stronger cup of coffee in the morning. And, because you’re so sleepy, you’ll realize that you’re late for work and haven’t got time for breakfast, so you’ll just drink a strong coffee on your way to work. On an empty stomach. 

You can see the pattern, right?

4. Stay hydrated

Us firefighters know a thing or two about the importance of water! As well as saving burning buildings, it’s the secret ingredient to stop you from experiencing a dreadful caffeine crash and, especially, its signature headache.

Drinking plenty of water improves concentration and keeps us more alert, so we won’t feel so tired after the effects of our cups of joe start to wear off.  

5. Spread out your cups of coffee throughout the day

Finally, if you need gallons of coffee to function, we don’t judge you. If anything, we understand. Just make sure you don’t drink all of them in one go. 

Spreading them out throughout the day avoids high concentrations of caffeine in one go.

Best coffee

Now that you know how to avoid a caffeine crash, you can go back to enjoying coffee without having to worry about it. Don’t forget that Fire Dept. Coffee specializes in creating the right blends for hardworking people like you. Find your new favorite coffee!

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