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Why Is Coffee Not Working For You?

An insight into the reasons why the effects of caffeine can switch off in an instant, and an example of a regime that will allow you to get the most out of your mornings.

The world’s, and my favourite stimulant provides amazing punch in a soul-sapping fitness regime, but you can’t get too reliant on it. That’s because once you pass over a certain threshold it will cease to do anything besides sparking withdrawal symptoms. While other stimulants simply require you to take a larger dose to get an effect, caffeine just slams the door in your face. I’ll describe the why.

Adenosine is something that builds up in the brain over the course the day, by binding to its specific receptors. It essentially gets you tired. Caffeine jumps ahead and attaches to the same receptors, and does nothing with them, thereby preventing the brain from receiving the tiring effects of adenosine.

And that’s the stimulating mechanism of your morning brew, and most pre-workouts that don’t use amphetamines. It works perfectly to mask the weariness in the body and enables you to go a few extra steps without collapsing.

tired from caffeine withdrawals

Why does excessive consumption screw you over? That’s because the brain responds to the invasive caffeine signals by simply increasing the receptors, and eventually they proliferate to a level where caffeine can no longer block the effects of adenosine.

This will have now created an imbalance where an excessive amount of tired signals are being sent to the brain. At this point it will be unable to cope, and settle for giving you a splitting headache instead.

The best course from here would be to somehow wait out and endure the withdrawal symptoms. Once you’re in the clear, cycling coffee on and off through the week will allow you to still get the best out of the stimulant. Any increases in receptors will be balanced out by reductions during off days.

Here’s an example of a coffee regime that can power you through a heavy-hitting diet.

Monday – Low Carb Fasting – Coffee at 6AM & Noon

Tuesday – Low Carb Fasting – Coffee at 6AM & Noon

Wednesday – Low Carb Fasting – Coffee at 6AM & Noon

Thursday – Fasting – Coffee at 6AM

Friday – Fasting – Coffee at 6AM

Saturday – Maintenance – No Coffee

Sunday – Maintenance – No Coffee

The caffeine adds an important kick to get you through the more intense days of caloric restriction, and carbs are raised towards the end as you gradually wean off. By next Monday, you’ll be ready to get charged by the full effect once again.

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