The Benefits of Taking a Coffee Break on Weekends
Most of us rely on coffee to wake up, focus and energize during the work day, so it might make sense to give our body a little break on the weekends.
Caffeine and its Effects on the Body
Dr Corinna Chidley, Head of the BA in Physical Activity, Nutrition and Health at the University of Derby, explains: “Coffee contains caffeine, which stimulates the brain and central nervous system. We all have adenosine receptors in our brains that stimulate sleep. Adenosine receptors.” is a chemical that builds up throughout the day and promotes sleep. “Feeling tired and exhausted. Caffeine works by blocking the receptor sites that make us feel alert.”
She continued: “However, our bodies adapt. If we consume caffeine regularly, our bodies produce more and more adenosine receptors, so more caffeine is needed to help us feel alert. If we get used to consuming caffeine, then drastically reduce our intake of caffeine.” (or stop) “We still have more adenosine receptors, but less caffeine that binds to these sites. This often leads to caffeine withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, anxiety, and irritability.”
Dr. Coreana notes that if you were drinking two cups a day during the work week, it’s a good idea to keep drinking on the weekends to avoid withdrawal symptoms, otherwise it could “restrict your activity.”
Individual Differences in Caffeine Response
But Dr. Jeremy Harris, principal partner at The Private GP Group, emphasizes that not everyone perceives caffeine in the same way.
He adds: “It’s important to note that caffeine affects people differently, and moderate consumption is generally considered safe for most healthy adults. It’s always a good idea to listen to your body, consider your caffeine intake, and make informed decisions based on your tolerance and sensitivity.”
Thus, for some people, a weekend can be beneficial. “A caffeine break can help reduce addiction, improve sleep quality, and ease any tolerance that may build up over time,” he adds.
The Importance of Resting the Nervous System
Psychologist Sarah Davis says that if you’re feeling stressed or anxious, it’s a good idea to take a coffee break not just on weekends, but even on weekdays.
She explains that our hectic lives usually already overburden our sympathetic nervous system, and that caffeine consumption only exacerbates this.
“It is important to give our bodies and minds the opportunity to properly rest, and our nervous system to rest. And that’s where a coffee break can help.”