Why Does Coffee Make Me Tired? Science Behind Caffeine

The effect of coffee on our bodies can be curious and mysterious. We’ve all experienced the immediate, jolting pick-me-up that caffeine gives us – a seemingly miraculous cure for sleepiness and exhaustion. But have you ever wondered why it works? Or why does coffee make me tired, after drinking too much coffee (or multiple cups throughout the day) we can feel more tired than before? This blog will explore what happens when we ingest this magical stimulant and uncover some insight into why for some people, it has an opposite effect: making them feel tired rather than energized.

What Is Coffee?

Coffee, as we often think of it, is the roasted bean from a coffee plant. But what makes up this black bean? When we consume coffee its main ingredient is caffeine – an active compound that stimulates our central nervous system and gives us energy. Caffeine binds to receptors in the brain which can increase alertness and speed up our thinking and reaction time.

What Is Coffee?
What Is Coffee?

Different Types of Coffee 

Not all coffee is equal – there are different types of beans, roasting techniques and brewing methods that can affect how it tastes and its caffeine content. Arabica beans have the highest caffeine levels while Robusta beans are more bitter and contain twice as much caffeine as Arabica. Furthermore, light-roast coffees generally contain more caffeine than dark-roast.

How Coffee Affects Your Body?

Coffee stimulates different parts of the body, including adrenaline production which gives us a jolt of energy, increased heart rate and heightened alertness. But these effects usually don’t last very long and are quickly replaced by feelings of sleepiness or fatigue. This is because caffeine has a half-life of about five hours. That means it takes this amount of time for the body to break down and excrete half of the caffeine you ingested. As your body metabolizes the remaining caffeine, its level in your bloodstream decreases and so does its stimulating effect.

Why Does Coffee Make Me Tired?

Why does coffee make me tired? Various factors such as lack of sleep, high caffeine intake, dehydration, fluctuating blood sugar, adenosine levels, or differences in caffeine metabolism can all contribute to feeling fatigued after consuming coffee.

Sleep Deprivation

Over 33% of Americans are not getting the recommended seven hours of sleep each night, leading to sleep deprivation. While coffee can provide a quick energy boost, it is not a sufficient substitute for proper rest. Lack of sleep can decrease alertness and cognitive function. Moreover, regular caffeine consumption can lead to tolerance, reducing its positive effects and potentially causing negative consequences when consumed in excess. Don’t rely on coffee to make up for lost sleep – prioritize getting proper rest for optimal health and performance.

Caffeine Tolerance

The stimulating effects of caffeine are often diminished when consumed regularly, leading to increased tolerance and the need for more coffee to feel its energizing effects. If you’ve been drinking multiple cups throughout the day (or only moderate amounts over a longer period) it is likely that your body has built up a resistance to caffeine’s energizing properties – diminishing its effects and leaving you feeling tired.


Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it increases your bodys production of urine and can lead to dehydration if not accompanied by adequate water intake. Dehydration can cause fatigue and headaches. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day (not just coffee) when consuming caffeinated beverages to help reduce dehydration-related fatigue.

Fluctuating Blood Sugar Levels

Drinking too much caffeine can cause jitters, headaches, and feelings of tiredness as it works to increase your blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar has been linked to tiredness, so if you are consuming coffee on an empty stomach or having more than two cups a day you may experience fatigue.

Adenosine Levels

Caffeine is an adenosine antagonist, meaning it blocks the receptors in the brain that bind to adenosine – a hormone responsible for regulating sleep and wake cycles. The body naturally produces more of this hormone throughout the day, helping us to feel tired at night and alert during the day. When caffeine is consumed, it blocks these receptors, making it harder for adenosine to do its job. Since adenosine gradually builds up throughout the day, it’s no wonder why those late afternoon coffees can make us feel tired when they wear off.

How To Minimize Tired Effects Of Coffee?

After knowing why does coffee make me tired? The best way to avoid the crash after drinking coffee is to keep your intake moderate and to understand the factors that can lead to fatigue. Try not to consume more than two cups a day, avoid drinking on an empty stomach, and make sure to get enough rest and hydration. Pay attention to how different types of beans, roasting techniques, and brewing methods affect you, as some may result in more caffeine or cause other digestive issues. Lastly, be mindful of the time of day you are drinking coffee and make sure it fits into your sleep schedule.

How To Minimize These Effects Of Coffee?
How To Minimize These Effects Of Coffee?

Strategies to Avoid Feeling Tired After Drinking Coffee

– Get proper sleep – prioritize getting seven to eight hours of restful sleep each night.

– Stay hydrated – make sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day and not just coffee.

– Limit caffeine intake – try not to have more than two cups a day and avoid drinking on an empty stomach.

– Recognize the effects of different types of coffee – pay attention to how different beans, roasting techniques, and brewing methods affect you.

– Be mindful of when you are drinking – avoid drinking late in the day or close to bedtime.

You will also love the following: the best coffee beans in the world

Health Benefits of Coffee vs Negative Effects of Coffee

Coffee does have some health benefits, including increasing alertness and providing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. However, the negative effects of caffeine such as increased heart rate, jitters, insomnia, dehydration, and fatigue can occur if consumed in excessive amounts. To reduce the likelihood of experiencing these side effects it is important to consume coffee moderately and be aware of your individual sensitivity to caffeine.

Health Benefits of Coffee vs Negative Effects of Coffee
Health Benefits of Coffee vs Negative Effects of Coffee

Reasons Why You May Be More Sensitive to the Effects of Coffee

– Recent changes in your daily routine or sleep schedule

– Dehydration

– Low blood sugar levels

– Over consumption of coffee

– Caffeine tolerance

Alternatives to Coffee that Can Help You Stay Alert and Awake

– Teas

– Matcha

– Chai lattes

– Yerba mate

– Energy drinks (in moderation)

– Fruit and veggie juices

– Exercise

Conclusion: why does coffee make me tired

Why does coffee make me tired? Coffee can make you tired by blocking the receptors in your brain that bind to adenosine, a hormone responsible for regulating sleep and wake cycles. Additionally, drinking coffee on an empty stomach or having too much of it during the day can cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels which can also lead to fatigue. To avoid feeling tired after drinking coffee, it is important to keep your intake moderate and be mindful of the time of day you are consuming it. It is also helpful to recognize factors that may make you more sensitive to the effects of coffee such as dehydration, low blood sugar levels, or recent changes in routine. Lastly, there are alternative beverages which can help to keep you alert and awake during the day.

FAQs: drinking coffee

Is it bad if you feel sleepy after drinking coffee?

It is not necessarily bad to feel sleepy after drinking coffee, depending on the amount and time of day that you consumed it. If you are consuming too much or drinking late in the day, this could lead to feeling tired afterwards.

Does drinking coffee make you sleepy if you have ADHD?

Drinking coffee does not necessarily make you sleepy if you have ADHD. However, it is important to pay attention to your individual sensitivity and be aware of the effects that caffeine has on your body. Additionally, staying hydrated and getting enough sleep are essential for managing symptoms of ADHD.

Why does drinking coffee make me sleepy instead of awake?

Caffeine can interfere with adenosine, the chemical responsible for keeping you alert after your coffee intake. But after its effects wear off, your body may accumulate adenosine, leading to sudden exhaustion. This explains why coffee can make you feel worn out even though it initially perks you up.

How do I stop feeling tired after drinking coffee?

To reduce exhaustion, steer clear of sugary syrups and creams in coffee-based drinks. Minimize your consumption of added sweeteners as well. Drink one cup of water for every cup of coffee as an alternate approach. Consider switching to decaf coffee or tea after lunch if you frequently feel sluggish in the afternoon.

Does drinking coffee make you more tired or awake?

Coffee can make you either more tired or more awake, depending on the amount and time of day that it is consumed. In general, drinking coffee can increase alertness and energy levels if done in moderation. However, drinking too much or late in the day can lead to fatigue.

What happens if you sleep after drinking coffee?

If you sleep after drinking coffee, it can make it harder to fall asleep due to the effects of caffeine. Additionally, the changes in your blood sugar levels caused by the coffee could disrupt your natural circadian rhythm and lead to insomnia.

Should I drinking coffee or take a nap?

Taking a nap or consuming caffeine can boost your focus and wakefulness. Yet, napping surpasses caffeine in improving memory retention, and it doesn’t cost anything. The optimal window for napping is in the early afternoon when the circadian rhythm usually slows down, and a 10 to 30-minute rest can yield the greatest benefits.

Is drinking coffee good for health daily?

Although moderate consumption of coffee can have some health benefits, such as improved cognitive function and a lower risk of diabetes, too much caffeine can lead to negative side effects. It is important to keep your intake in moderation and note any changes that you may feel after drinking it.

Is drinking coffee good for the skin?

Coffee can act as an antioxidant and helps to reduce inflammation, so drinking coffee in moderation may help with skin health. However, too much caffeine can lead to dehydration and make your skin look dull. Additionally, for those with sensitive skin, coffee may cause irritation or rashes.

Why drinking coffee doesn’t keep me awake?

It is possible that your body has built up tolerance to caffeine or you are consuming too much of it. Additionally, drinking coffee late in the day can also interfere with sleep patterns and increase fatigue. If you are feeling sleepy after drinking coffee, consider moderating your intake and avoiding caffeine later in the day.

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