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Last Updated on August 12, 2021

Why Doesn’t Coffee Work For Me? Science Says You Should Try Coffee Nap Too

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Why Doesn’t Coffee Work For Me? Science Says You Should Try Coffee Nap Too

I don’t know about you, but coffee has pretty much become a staple in my diet. I usually start my day off with two cups (at the least), and go through several more as the hours pass by. If I’m lucky, I’ll even top it off with a triple latte or something crazy like that.

Thanks to my (minor) addiction, I’m always looking for new ways to prove that coffee (or more generally speaking, caffeine) is in some way beneficial to your health. In this article I’ll explore one of the more unbelievable positive aspects of coffee: that it’ll make your naps more effective! If that sounds counter-intuitive, I understand. I was a bit bamboozled too before I did some more research into the subject.

Anyways, read on to find out why taking these so-called “coffee naps” (literally the act of taking a nap right after drinking a cup of coffee) will lead to a more energetic you…

How exactly does a coffee nap work?

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no scientist. That being said, I did well enough in my chemistry classes to be able to give you a basic rundown of how this works from a scientific perspective.

First things first, I’ll go over this thing called adenosine. Basically, it’s a substance that builds up in your brain while you’re awake. Once it surpasses a certain threshold, you become drowsy, and that feeling will get progressively more intense until you feel absolutely obligated to rest your head on your keyboard and fall asleep.

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Coffee is effective at keeping drowsiness at bay because it’s able to combat the effects of adenosine. Of course, there’s no better alternative to eliminating tiredness than a full night of sleep, where adenosine is essentially flushed out of your brain (more on that in a bit).

Knowing this, it becomes easier to see why a coffee nap is more effective at defeating the stereotypical 2pm crash than either coffee or naps alone. By itself, coffee will work to block adenosine from connecting to your brain, but if you’re already drowsy it will have to work hard to compete against all of the chemical buildup in your head. If you only take a nap, you’ll get rid of a lot of adenosine, but simultaneously you’re leaving your brain receptors wide open for more to return as soon as you wake up.

Here’s the key: it takes about twenty minutes for caffeine to take effect. This means that in order to perform a coffee nap, you have to slurp down your cup of java and quickly find a place to rest. This will give you a little under twenty minutes for a nap, which is good, as napping for any longer than that can lead to sleep inertia (basically you want to keep your naps short or you’ll enter deep sleep, which is harder to wake up from).

If your timing is on track, the caffeine will hit your brain as soon as you wake up from your short nap. Your brief respite will have cleared the adenosine from your brain, and the caffeine will block any more from entering for a period of time.

Research proving the coffee nap’s effectiveness.

Conceptually speaking, it’s no wonder why a coffee nap is superior to just drinking coffee or taking a nap. You get the best of both worlds. Still, it can’t hurt to look at some of the research proving this point definitively.

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First, let’s look at coffee itself. We know about its anti-drowsy effects, and I’ve talked already about what it does to adenosine. In addition to that, its been known to boost people’s focus and ability to come up with imaginative ideas. Indeed, according to author Mason Currey, “Beethoven and Proust, Glenn Gould and Francis Bacon, and Jean-Paul Sartre and Gustav Mahler” all benefited from the brain-boosting effects of coffee.

Not only that, but coffee is a known stress-reliever, so much so that Navy (freaking) Seals have been known to use the stuff to help them deal with stressful situations. Pretty cool, huh?

And if stress-relief and mind-enhancing properties weren’t enough, coffee also fortifies your body for intense workouts, meaning you’ll be able to run faster and push yourself harder for a longer period of time. With how awesome coffee is, is it any wonder that combining it with naps has an extremely beneficial effect? Let’s look at the evidence:

One study from Japan gave memory tests both to subjects who had taken coffee naps, and those who had taken regular naps. The results were clear: those who had done the former fared better than their counterparts.

Folks in England tested this theory as well, evaluating the driving abilities of those who either took a coffee nap, drank coffee, drank a placebo (decaf), or just napped for fifteen minutes. Those who coffee napped were the clear victors.

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In yet another study, researchers wanted to see whether or not coffee naps could sustain a person throughout a 24 hour period of no-sleep. They used two groups, each of which were allowed to take naps throughout the day instead of sleeping the usual 8 hours. One was given coffee before naps, the other a placebo. As the day dragged on, the placebo group received markedly lower scores on cognition tests than their caffeinated brethren.

Evidently, attacking adenosine in two ways rather than one does lead to more alert individuals. While it might be difficult to time a coffee nap properly, there’s no question that there are benefits to giving it a try.

So, how do I take a coffee nap?

As I’ve hinted at earlier, it’s all about the timing. Even if caffeine makes you jittery and you’re leery of being able to nap at all after ingesting it, science has proven that coffee naps work when done correctly. You’ve got a decent fifteen to twenty minute window to work with here, and on top of that, you don’t even have to nap well for it to work. In one of the studies I cited earlier, coffee nap subjects who “half-slept” after drinking their coffee still received the same benefits as those who dozed off completely.

Anyways, the directions for taking a coffee nap are pretty simple. For one, it doesn’t have to be coffee; anything with caffeine will do. Though in my opinion, coffee is superior to tea, soda, and energy drinks, and it contains way more caffeine to boot.

Next is probably the most important step: you need to drink it fast. This is a problem for me since I usually dawdle and take my time daintily sipping my coffee in the morning. For a coffee nap, you have to mean business. That means chugging the contents of your mug in a minute, maybe less.

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Once you’ve got it all down, the clock is ticking. You now have approximately twenty minutes to find a comfortable position and try your darnedest to fall into a nice state of nap-sleep. Remember to set an alarm or something, because dozing off for too long will ruin everything.

After your alarm goes off (or your co-worker slaps you awake), you should be good to go. Your brain will be prepped and ready to deal with the next several hours of drudgery! Huzzah!

Happy coffee napping. Let me know how this worked for you in the comments below!

Featured photo credit: Coffee_Grains_8314 (3).JPG/ MorgueFile via mrg.bz

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Last Updated on August 12, 2021

20 Delightful Tea And Coffee Recipes You Should Try At Least Once

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20 Delightful Tea And Coffee Recipes You Should Try At Least Once

It’s likely that you drink a fair amount of tea or coffee every day. Even if you don’t drink them daily, you probably don’t stay away from occasionally sipping a cup of tea or coffee, as you fancy. Be it a cold winter day or a hot summer afternoon, these caffeine packed beverages are a popular choice. With the extra touch of additional ingredients for taste and health, your caffeine beverage now comes in a variety of creative recipes. Here, below, are 20 delightful tea and coffee recipes to jazz up your regular caffeine dosage and shake you free from your thirst.

1. Easy Chai Tea

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    Easy chai tea is a “throw-in-what-you’ve-got” tea that you can literally spice up with exotic spices to keep you warm through a cold winter. Although winter is almost over, you can’t go wrong trying out this simple recipe. It could even replace your morning and evening beverage—who knows?—since it’s so very simple to prepare. (Click here for the recipe)

    2. Hot and Spicy Himalayan Tea

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      A nice infusion of a whole lot of spices and Darjeeling tea, this hot and spicy Himalayan tea is what has been keeping the people high in the Himalayan mountains warm for ages. Get the taste of Himalaya in a cup with this recipe. (Click here for the recipe)

      3. Hot Cranberry Tea

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        “A cup of tea can solve anything.” When the cup of tea is as good as hot cranberry tea, you don’t worry about having to solve anything. The hot cranberry tea smells just as good as it tastes. You can get inventive making it with the spices that are readily available in your cupboard. (Click here for the recipe)

        4. Hibiscus Lemongrass Tea

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          Hibiscus is slowly gaining popularity in the beverage industry for the health benefits it brings, along with its authentic color and taste. Try hibiscus lemongrass for once instead of lemon in your tea and see. It is just as good iced as it is hot and is easy to prepare. (Click here for the recipe)

          5. Matcha Tea

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            Matcha tea comes with plenty of health benefits. You can prepare matcha tea at home in several ways. In the simplest version, all you have to do is measure the required amount of matcha tea powder and mix it with a small amount of boiling water. Then, you add additional water as necessary. (Click here for the recipe)

            6. Perfect Vanilla Tea

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              Vanilla comes second in the list of the most expensive spices in the world. Its elegant flavor explains why vanilla is loved so much in a wide variety of pastries and beverages. Perfect vanilla tea is a perfect blend of plain tea and exotic spices to create a perfect mug any time of day. (Click here for the recipe)

              7. Lemon Spiced Wellness Tea

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                Feel a bit under the weather? Tea. Even better: lemon spiced wellness tea. It contains no sugar but you can sweeten it as you like. This is your road to wellness. (Click here for the recipe)

                8. Chocolate Mint Cappuccino

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                  Most of us start our day with a big cup of coffee. Hot chocolate mint cappuccino coffee to start a cold winter day- nothing is more soul-warming than that. The invigorating flavor of mint and the richness of chocolate in this cappuccino will take your coffee experience up a notch. (Click here for the recipe)

                  9. Italian Cappuccino

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                    In Italian, cappuccino literally means “little cap”. The frothy, foamy little cap of milk and cream on top of the espresso base has won millions of hearts around the world, making coffee the most popular beverage. It’s best when you use fresh coffee to prepare this drink. This Italian cappuccino would be a nice start to the day during a cold winter or any time of year. (Click here for the recipe)

                    10. Caramel Macchiato

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                      Caramel always leaves its mark when used in any kind of food or beverage. This delicious cup of caramel macchiato is sure to leave you wishing for more. You can try it with different kinds of flavored syrups as substitutes to caramel. Try a cup of warm caramel macchiato with some cookies for a perfect snack. (Click here for the recipe)

                      11. Coffee Frappe

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                        You don’t always have to take your coffee hot; try a frappe. If you like blended coffee drinks, blend vanilla ice cream, vanilla extract, coffee, milk, ice, and simple syrup in a blender until smooth; pour it in a tall glass; top it up with whipped cream and sprinkle the cocoa powder. Enjoy! You can prepare it in an instant. (Click here for the recipe)

                        12. Walnut Coffee Frappe

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                          Blend in some walnut with your coffee frappe and there you have your walnut coffee frappe! This delicious coffee shake will shake you up with its rich texture and taste. There isn’t any better way to enjoy the taste of walnut in a beverage. Treat your family to this delightful frappe to win them over. (Click here for the recipe)

                          13. Easy Peppermint Mocha

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                            If you love the peppermint flavor, you will love this even more: mocha and peppermint. They blend perfectly together. This simple peppermint mocha is easy to make with easily available ingredients and the taste will stimulate your taste buds. The crushed peppermint candy cane topping makes it delightfully minty. (Click here for the recipe)

                            14. Cinnamon Dolce Latte

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                              The simple cinnamon syrup is the secret to this wonderful coffee treat. After all, it’s a cinnamon dolce latte. The heartwarming taste of butter and brown sugar also mix together beautifully in this latte. You can leave out the butter and this drink still stands out for its delightful taste. Give it a try at home and save yourself a trip to Starbucks. (Click here for the recipe)

                              15. Skinny Caramel Frappuccino

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                                This Starbucks-style Frappuccino is cold, creamy rich and truly satisfying. You might be wondering why they call it “Skinny” Caramel Frappuccino. Every ingredient, including the sweetener in this beverage is sugar-free and fat-free to make sure that you stay “skinny” like you want, and there’s guaranteed satisfaction. The recipe claims to have only 50 calories per serving. (Click here for the recipe)

                                16. Chocolate Cherry Jubilee Frappe

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                                  There is no wrong time for a frappe, so here’s another frappe with creative flavors. Mix in a cherry flavor to your coffee frappe to add a new taste twist. This drink is chocolaty and the cherry flavor blends really well with it. I’m sure you will love this chocolate, coffee and cherry combo. (Click here for the recipe)

                                  17. Lemonade Sweet Tea

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                                    Lemon goes very well with any kind of tea, hot or iced. A tall glass of hot lemon tea early in the morning helps cleanse your digestive system, experts say. This tall glass of cold lemon tea is equally revitalizing and thirst quenching. (Click here for the recipe)

                                    18. Ginger-and-Honey Sweet Tea

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                                      Tea is known to have antioxidants that help you fight aging. Add ginger and honey to it and get a healthy and delightful iced tea. Sip and savor this iced drink on a summer day to beat the heat. (Click here for the recipe)

                                      19. Minty Iced Green Tea

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                                        People love green tea for the health benefits they believe it has. Studies show that drinking green tea helps fight cancer and heart diseases. Mint leaves add a cool, refreshing flavor to this simple green tea. This makes a healthy beverage perfect for quenching your thirst any time and in any season.  (Click here for the recipe)

                                        20. Nutella Blended Coffee Drink

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                                          The infusion of the flavors in this blended coffee is over the top. Chocolate, coffee, Nutella; people love them already for what they are individually. The combo of these three is a unique flavor that you will love even more. (Click here for the recipe)

                                          Featured photo credit: Pexels via static.pexels.com

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