We all know that overconsumption of caffeine and alcohol isn’t good for you. For most of us, the occasional morning coffee or weekend cocktail is just a part of life. However, too much of a good thing can go bad and leave you feeling a little worse for wear.
Here are 4 reasons to ease up on your caffeine and alcohol intake and some of our tips to cut the sh*t.
BALANCE YOUR BRAIN CHEMISTRY
Coffee and alcohol can drastically impact your mood. There's a reason those “don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee” people are grumpy before their morning hit. Caffeine can alter your mood as much as any other drug, and some studies have suggested that caffeine can affect your brain as much as cocaine does.
Yes, coffee makes us perky, but it's because we’re satiating withdrawal symptoms The brain fog, fatigue and irritability you experience before your morning coffee goes away after your oat flat white because you’re having a hit of the drug you’re withdrawing from.
Our tip you ask? We’re all creatures of habit, so swap out that morning coffee for decaf, or try and stick just one cup. Failing that, crack open a Peak in the morning to get that hit of wakefulness. I’m not saying you should go caffeine cold turkey, but let's learn some moderation.
Caffeine and alcohol can seriously mess with your sleep. When you drink alcohol you fall into a deep sleep, missing the all-important rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. When you’ve had a little too much to drink, you only get one or two REM sleep cycles compared to your normal sober six or seven cycles of REM in a night.
Coffee isn’t great either, as several studies show that your coffee intake can cause bouts of fatigue during the day and an interrupted sleep cycle, especially if you’re consuming caffeine less than six hours before you go to sleep.
Our hot tip: if your morning coffee is as essential as it is for many of us, keep it strictly before noon. If you’re caffeinating, keep it in the morning hours. If you’re drinking alcohol, keep it sporadic to make sure you’re staying REM’d up.
DECREASED ANXIETY (AND HANXIETY)
Over caffeinating and overindulging in alcohol can cause a spike in your anxiety. We all know that coffee gives you a shot of energy, but it comes at a price. Shakiness, heart palpitations and nervousness can follow. Coffee stimulates your fight or flight response, which can lead to a panic attack.
Alcohol-induced anxiety, or hangxiety as the kids are calling it, is a brutal side effect of a hangover. Headaches aside, we’re voting for hangxiety as the worst side effect of a rough hangover. It sneaks up on you. First, it's just a sore head, then you’re a little queasy, and before you know it you’re texting everyone you know asking if you’re still friends or whether you did anything weird last night. I for one am no stranger to the hangxiety blanket apology:
“Hey mate, I remember seeing you last night. So sorry if I did anything weird. Do you hate me?”
Our hangxiety hack: swap your coffee for a green tea, which is packed with antioxidants to keep your head held high, or better yet a Peak which has seven times the antioxidants of green tea.
You probably know from the morning-after headache, that alcohol dehydrates the crap outta ya. When you’re on the sauce, you lose around four times as much liquid as you consumed, leaving you in a sort of liquid debt.
This debt alongside lowered levels of salt and potassium can leave you with massive headaches, fatigue and major nausea. So basically, that last pint and the pub last Friday is starving your brain of hydration.
Our life hack: if you simply must drink, Going one for one is the best method of prevention. Drink a pint? Sink the same volume of water. You’ll thank yourself tomorrow. Better yet, lay off the pints and stick to drinking Peak. It’ll boost your mood and keep you social without the downsides of alcohol.