STAY ALL-DAY SHARP
Tips on getting the most from caffiene
If a jolt of java is your antidote to a sleepless night, pour yourself a mini—not a mega—mug.
A recent study suggests that small, frequent cups of coffee over the course of the day—about a quarter-cup every hour—can build up blood levels of caffeine enough to counteract the increasing drowsiness you naturally experience as the day wears on. However, if you down a few cups of coffee in the morning, as most of us do, your caffeine levels will drop by the latter half of the day, when you feel sleepiest.
The small-dose strategy helped sleep-deprived subjects stay wide-eyed and perform better on cognitive and reaction-time tests than a caffeine-deprived control group.
But get your caffeine charge up from coffee or tea, not soda. The initial sugar rush from a caffeinated soft or energy drink can ultimately work against you, making you more tired and less alert, finds a recent British study. Subjects exhibited more sleepiness, slower reaction times and a greater number of lapses in attention an hour after consuming a drink with eight tablespoons of sugar and 30 milligrams of caffeine, compared to days when they drank a beverage free of sugar and caffeine.