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Coffee and Productivity: A Match Made in Heaven? Worldwide, coffee is among the most popular beverages. In fact, 167 million coffee bags were consumed worldwide from 2020 to 2021 alone. Does that really seem shocking to you? It...

By John Hall

This story originally appeared on Calendar

Worldwide, coffee is among the most popular beverages. In fact, 167 million coffee bags were consumed worldwide from 2020 to 2021 alone. Does that really seem shocking to you?

It is a delicious, versatile, affordable, and readily available beverage. Furthermore, it can boost your energy levels in the morning and throughout the day. But can coffee also boost your productivity?

Yes, but there are some caveats.

It has been demonstrated that caffeine, the main active ingredient in coffee, can enhance alertness, concentration, and reaction time. Additionally, it can enhance mood and cognitive function, all of which can increase productivity.

Caffeine may, however, lead to anxiety, jitteriness, and difficulty sleeping if consumed in excess. Caffeine can also affect some people more than others, so you should know your own individual sensitivity.

To celebrate International Coffee Day, let's take a look at the science of coffee and productivity, and we'll give you some tips on how to use coffee effectively.

How Coffee Can Increase Your Productivity

The energy boost that coffee provides is one of its best attributes. People feel energized after a cup of coffee in the morning. Caffeine is the main factor behind the boost. As a stimulant, caffeine increases brain activity. In addition to boosting energy levels, it also increases cortisol and adrenaline levels in the body.

Caffeine affects the body's neurological systems in the following ways:

Blocks adenosine.

There's a brain chemical called adenosine that makes us sleepy. Coffee blocks the body's adenosine production when it's absorbed. Rather than making the body tired, it makes it more alert and energetic.

This can help us shake off the last traces of fatigue as the work day winds down. Basically, a shot of caffeine might be all someone needs to get through the afternoon slump. As a result, you can maintain or even increase your productivity.

Boosts dopamine.

Dopamine, another brain chemical, contributes to your feeling of happiness. And, guess what? The caffeine in coffee boosts dopamine, so it makes you feel happier.

But, that's not all, This neurotransmitter does more than just make us feel good and even avoid pain. The brain can use dopamine for motivation, moving, thinking, learning, planning, and prioritizing.

Pumps adrenaline.

As a result of caffeine, the body releases adrenaline. The result is an increase in energy. Furthermore, adrenaline is also responsible for increasing the heart rate and increasing the flow of blood into the brain.

Adrenaline is also known to boost team productivity and performance in many different ways. It keeps your brain engaged and focused. As a result, it helps you do cognitive tasks faster — which is pretty handy when you need to meet a deadline.

Your blood pressure can also be raised by adrenaline, resulting in more alertness.

Improves memory.

There is evidence that caffeine consumption enhances memory function. Specifically, it sharpens the memory the next day and makes it easier to recall. It reduces the likelihood of people forgetting important details and facts from the previous day. Overall, it serves both short- and long-term benefits to enhance working memory with caffeine.

The ability to remember information is crucial for the majority of office jobs. Also, memory enhancement helps in achieving broader career goals. After all, throughout your career, you acquire new skills and facts. Regardless of whether you're a recent graduate or an experienced manager, it's always important to stay up-to-date on your subject matter.

Also, by improving memory, workers can learn new skills and information faster, improving their marketability.

It is also beneficial to have a better memory for the everyday tasks at work. You might be able to recall yesterday's meeting or a specific note you wanted to give your coworker if you had a cup of coffee. With enhanced cognitive performance, employees can concentrate fully on their tasks and do their best.

Strengthens your willpower.

As you make decisions throughout the day, your willpower depletes gradually. This may explain why Steve Jobs wore the same outfit every day. By not having to think about what to wear, he was able to save his willpower for more important things.

The caffeine in coffee can actually boost your self-control and willpower, especially when you are tired. When you're tired, you shouldn't make a big decision. In negotiations or taking on new projects at inappropriate times, you may compromise your values or succumb to pressures.

The consumption of coffee beforehand could assist you in making better decisions and standing your ground. Keeping this in mind will help you make important decisions after a hectic day.

Produces brain entropy.

When the brain is high in entropy, it indicates that it is functioning and processing well. Caffeine, according to studies, increases entropy levels. As a result of caffeine consumption, the brain processes information faster.

Gives you a much-needed break.

At work, coffee is also used by many people for socializing. In spite of the misconceptions, coffeee breaks are good for productivity.

People are more likely to enjoy coming to work and completing assignments when they form connections at work. The ability to form important bonds with coworkers can help you become more positive and productive at work.

It's also a great idea to brainstorm creative solutions while on coffee breaks. Coworkers are more likely to share a cup of coffee with each other when they have a cup of coffee together. As a result, ideas that might not appear normally could be bounced around.

Breaks also help employees return to work with a clearer head and more energy when they allow their brains to rest. By dividing the workday into breaks, the day passes faster and more efficiently.

How to Maximize Your Coffee Habit

It is important to keep in mind that while coffee has many productivity benefits, the effects vary depending on the individual. Every person's caffeine limit is different, so finding the right amount is key. When used correctly, the correct dosage might give an employee a boost. But too much could disrupt their sleep patterns or even make them feel anxious.

The tolerance of the body should also be taken into account. One cup of coffee might not give someone the best boost if they are a consistent coffee drinker. Those who drink their first cup of coffee might feel its effects for hours afterward. In the end, it all comes down to how the body processes caffeine as well as its tolerance level.

To get the most benefit from caffeine, you must consume it in a manner that provides maximum benefits. The following tips will help you drink coffee optimally:

As soon as you wake up, avoid drinking coffee.

On some mornings, you might not want to get out of bed unless you have a fresh cup of coffee. It is possible, however, for drinking coffee right after you wake up to blunt the natural energy levels in your body.

The science of timing and how it affects our productivity has been examined by management and behavioral science expert Daniel Pink. Research from a variety of studies indicates the best time to have your first cup of coffee is within 60-90 minutes of waking up, according to Pink in his book "When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing."

The reason? This is because caffeine interferes with cortisol production, the hormone that signals your body to be awake and alert. Researchers have found that cortisol levels peak around 8:30 in the morning.

"People are having a cup of coffee in the morning in almost a slavish, addictive way," states Pink. "But we're much better off letting our cortisol peak, naturally, then when it starts to decline, come in and hit it with a caffeine boost in coffee."

No caffeine after 2 p.m.

Caffeine is a stimulant, as you know. This is one of the main reasons why so many people love coffee. When you feel tired, it gives you energy and keeps you awake.

At the same time, drinking coffee late at night can disturb your sleep. It's no secret that sleep deprivation is linked to a number of health issues.

This is why it's not a good idea to drink coffee late in the afternoon or at night. If you must drink coffee, try decaf or tea instead, both of which contain much less caffeine.

The general rule of thumb is to refrain from drinking coffee after 2–3 p.m. However, not everyone is equally sensitive to caffeine, and some may sleep well even after drinking coffee late at night.

Drink coffee in moderation.

Consuming moderate amounts of coffee is healthy, but drinking too much can be harmful.

People's sensitivity to caffeine varies, so excessive caffeine intake may cause a variety of adverse side effects.

According to Health Canada, the daily maximum dose should not exceed 1.1 mg per pound (2.5 mg per kg) of body weight. For someone weighing 176 pounds (80 kg), an average cup of coffee contains about 95 mg of caffeine, which corresponds to two cups per day.

The majority of people do not experience any adverse side effects from drinking much higher amounts of caffeine (400-600 mg) per day (about 4–6 cups).

Keep add-ins to a minimum.

In the long run, too much creamer, sugar, or milk can degrade performance.

You should limit the toppings in your coffee if you want it to maximize productivity. In the long run, too much sugar could cause an energy crash. Don't get rid of all add-ins, but keep them to a minimum.

Enjoy a "nappucino."

In addition to being great on their own, coffee and naps can be an extremely powerful tool for maximizing alertness when combined. According to studies in England and Japan, drinking coffee just before sleeping and sleeping for 20 minutes or less can help you concentrate on work better than just drinking coffee and napping.

Coffee naps work by decreasing adenosine, a chemical in the brain and body that makes you tired. In about 20 minutes, caffeine starts blocking adenosine. When you nap for 20 minutes, you lower your body's concentration of adenosine, giving caffeine less to compete with, resulting in a more powerful effect.

Taking a nap during the afternoon is one of Pink's daily rituals and he recommends it between the hours of 2 to 4 p.m. when cortisol levels decline. "It's magic! When you wake up, you're immediately hit with that extra boost of caffeine," says Pink. "But it can also be a restorative ritual that you can look forward to after working for a few hours."


In terms of productivity, coffee can be a powerful tool. Nevertheless, you should drink coffee in moderation and choose the right kind for you. If you follow the tips above, you can increase your productivity with coffee.

In addition to using coffee as a productivity booster, here are some other tips:

  • Create a coffee routine. Spend some time each morning brewing the perfect cup of coffee and enjoying it in a relaxed manner. Getting into a productive mindset will help you start your day off on the right foot.
  • Use coffee to power through tough tasks. When you're feeling stuck on a task, take a break and drink some coffee. It can boost your focus and concentration so that you can power through the task.
  • Take breaks with coffee. No matter how productive you feel, you should take breaks throughout the day. Take a walk outside or get some fresh air by moving around. During your break, grab a cup of coffee to boost your energy.
  • Share coffee with colleagues. The best way to build relationships with your colleagues is over a cup of coffee. Consider inviting your colleagues for a cup of coffee if you're feeling up to it. It's a great way to connect with your colleagues, relax, and take a break.


Does coffee make you more productive?

Yes, in moderation.

Coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant that improves alertness, focus, and cognitive function. The result can be increased productivity, especially on tasks that require sustained attention.

Too much caffeine, however, can cause anxiety, jitters, and insomnia. As a result, productivity can be decreased as a result of these side effects.

How much coffee is too much?

The daily recommended caffeine intake for adults is 400 milligrams. In terms of coffee, this is about four cups. Some people, however, may be more sensitive to caffeine and may experience negative side effects, including anxiety and insomnia, even at lower doses.

The amount of coffee you need depends on your body, so listen to it.

What is the best time of day to drink coffee for productivity?

Drinking coffee in the morning after you have slept well is the best time to increase productivity. Within 30-60 minutes of consumption, caffeine levels peak in the blood and then slowly decline over the next several hours. When you drink coffee late at night, you may not be able to sleep well.

What are some other tips for using coffee to boost productivity?

The following tips will help you boost your productivity with coffee:

  • Drink it in moderation. It is possible to experience jitters, anxiety and decreased focus when you consume too much caffeine.
  • Drink it at the right time of day. To avoid disrupting sleep, drink coffee in the morning and stop consumption by early afternoon. Usually, your last cup should be about 3 p.m.
  • Pair it with a healthy snack. By eating a snack with coffee, caffeine absorption can be slowed down and a crash can be prevented.
  • Take breaks. Even short breaks throughout the day are important. Movement can improve circulation and reduce fatigue by getting up and moving around.
  • Listen to your body. Drink less coffee if you're feeling anxious or jittery.

Image Credit: Pixabay; Pexels; Thank you!

The post Coffee and Productivity: A Match Made in Heaven? appeared first on Calendar.

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