To caffeine or not to caffeine?

Plus: More delicious recipes to keep you warm!

Together with

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving."

– Albert Einstein

Tuesday. We made it. We made it through the awkward family conversations at Thanksgiving dinner and the barrage of sales emails and “last chance” discounts for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Hopefully, you only bought things you needed, like some of our favorite products we shared in our Gift Guide HERE. The cooking oil? Chef’s kiss. And the mattress? It’s an absolute game-changer. And if you are really looking to splurge on your health (worth every dollar), the deal on the infrared sauna is too good to pass up.

Now, let’s get back to business. What are the pros and cons of caffeine? Let’s dive in.

Together with Inside Hotels

Hotels We Love: Bluebird Sunapee

Lake Sunapee may not be topping the most-exotic destination list, but in an era where exotic destinations are overflowing with tourists, there are benefits to that.

Bluebird Sunapee is a lovely hotel with cabin-inspired decor, meaning it’s exactly where you want to stay when it’s time to get back to nature. Head out to the local trails to get some major scenic views, or hit the slopes with the family. When it’s all said and done, gather to face off in the game room or splash around at the indoor pool. This rustic retreat has all the bells and whistles to ensure you have an elevated stay, up in the mountains.

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Caffeine Pros and Cons

If you’re like most people, the first thing you do when you wake up is reach for a steaming cup of coffee. It’s almost a morning ritual, right? But what if we told you there’s something else you should be grabbing first thing in the morning?

Now, don’t get us wrong. I’m not suggesting you ditch your beloved coffee. I love coffee as much as the next person, and I am not ready to cut that out of my life. After all, coffee, with its caffeine kick, can be a great way to start your day, boosting productivity and focus. 

However, it’s important to balance our love for that delicious black nectar with hydration, especially early in the morning and later in the day. So, let’s break down the pros and cons of your morning caffeine routine and why you might want to consider delaying that first sip of Joe.

For starters, caffeine works by blocking adenosine, a chemical in your brain that makes you feel tired. As the day progresses, adenosine levels build up, leading to sleepiness at night. But, if you consume caffeine too late in the day, it can mess with your sleep cycle. And here’s the kicker—everyone metabolizes caffeine differently. For some, a cup of coffee in the morning can affect their sleep at night, while others can sip an espresso after dinner and sleep like a baby.

The trick is to figure out your caffeine cut-off time. To figure this out, you can try this experiment: drink a cup of coffee daily but delay it by an hour each day. Note how it affects your sleep. This will help you find the sweet spot for your caffeine consumption.

Though caffeine has its benefits, there can also be some serious drawbacks. Too much caffeine can lead to sleep disturbances, anxiety, and jitters. In fact, it can create a vicious cycle of needing more caffeine to stay awake because it’s disrupting your sleep. Some experts suggest waiting 90 minutes after waking up before having your coffee. This allows the built-up adenosine to work first, possibly preventing a mid-day crash.

It’s not all bad news for coffee, though. Caffeine is known for enhancing physical performance and focus. It has been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases and even depression. However, remember that correlation isn’t causation. It could be the antioxidants in coffee, not caffeine, that are beneficial. So, if sleep disturbance is an issue, consider switching to decaf or herbal tea. At the end of the day, good sleep is the most important thing for your health. 

All that being said, hydration should be your first priority in the morning. You lose a lot of fluids overnight through sweat and respiration. Rehydrating with water and electrolytes, especially sodium, can kickstart your brain and energy levels and should happen before you start making any sort of caffeinated drink. 

So, what is the optimal way to start and end your day?

Consider adjusting your morning routine to include hydration first and wait a bit after waking up before diving into your coffee. This can help you avoid mid-day crashes and improve your overall energy levels. As for the evening, focus on hydration that won’t disrupt your sleep, like decaf tea or herbal drinks.

The key takeaway? Balancing your caffeine intake with proper hydration can be a game-changer, and it means you don’t have to necessarily cut out something you enjoy. Although, if your morning coffee is full of sugar and cream, that might also be an opportunity for improvement. 

So, tomorrow morning, before you reach for your coffee, grab a tall glass of water first. Then, do some light movement or journaling and wait 90 minutes or so before getting any caffeine into your system. Your body (and your sleep cycle) will thank you! 

Tonic Shots

1. Blue Corn Waffles Rancheros?! YES!

This is more of a summer brunch, but it is probably just as good in the winter months! I love this recipe! Enjoy.

2. A Different Type Of Latte

A little turmeric makes this a delicious latte that also has some anti-inflammatory properties. Enjoy!

3. Is It Still Ok To Share Pumpkin Recipes?

This pumpkin chili is just so good! Add some meat to pack this with protein. Enjoy!

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