FEELING GREAT: Are you drinking too much coffee

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The golden hour in most people’s lives is that very first period of time on a morning when they just get out of bed.

That period of time where the kids are possibly still asleep, the house is quiet and the hassles that await at work are still off in the distance.

And it’s at this time that many people savor their first cup of coffee.

They say that your first cup is always the best. And unbeknown to many, it’s not just because that first cup is often enjoyed in peace, sipping it as you begin to compose your thoughts for a great day ahead, coffee does have a genuine calming effect.

And with just the right amount of caffeine coffee contains, your body reacts by tightening up the blood vessels which are tying to rush the blood to your brain when you first get up – it’s the reason you may feel a little light headed or disoriented until you’ve had one.

A lovely cup of coffee is a huge part of my day.

I often like to write my health articles or do my most important work of the day with a fresh cup in hand.

And if I can sit down Hartlepool’s Marina, with a good book in one hand and a strong latte in the other, I find it to be one of the most positive and stimulating situations I can put myself in.

To make the most of it, try to pay attention to exactly when you want that great first caffeine effect to hit you – and then enjoy it.

But now think about your second cup.

Possibly drunk after a stressful commute to work, having read and replied to a dozen unnecessary emails and even taken less than complimentary orders from your boss. The caffeine hit second time round just isn’t quite the same?

But here’s the other problem with excessive coffee. It’s very easy to confuse exactly what it does.

Sure, it will give you a slight boost or lift due to the caffeine, but an excess of caffeine and the reverse is in play.

Too much too soon and you will drain your body of adrenaline. And without adrenaline you are going to feel very tired.

It’s the type of feeling that happens to runners involved in a big race such as the Great North Run. They’re often so excited that they drain adrenaline, and 20 minutes into the run they struggle to understand why they feel exhausted.

Think about that two o’clock lull, that time of the day when you’re a little tired and you think that a nice cup of coffee is just the stimulant you need to keep you alert.

One cup is OK, but anything more and you will actually feel even more tired. And as you feel more tired, it’s a constant temptation to keep downing the coffee thinking that it’s supposed to make you alert. It’s a common miss conception to think that it will, and maybe the reason you feel worse not long after you’ve finished it.

Look around your office today, or even think about your own routine, how many cups of coffee are you drinking? If its more than two, maximum three, the effect that it’s having may not be the one you’re intending.