#Note/Hub #Nutrition/Caffeine/Tools #Productivity #Health/Sleep #CognitiveEnhancement ## Overview Recently, I've been adhering to a 6 AM wake-up and 10 PM sleep routine. But I've noticed afternoon crashes and a dependence on coffee to stay awake. This reliance puzzled me since I never needed caffeine during my school years to **only** keep me awake. The concept of "cycling caffeine off," suggested by my friend [alexrad](https://twitter.com/defendtheworld), intrigued me. It led me to delve deeper into how caffeine works and to rethink my intake strategy. ![[keepitgoing.png]] credit: [margotfield](https://society6.com/margotfield) ## The Problem My caffeine routine typically involved a morning coffee around 9 AM and another in the afternoon to combat the 'afternoon crash.' This diagram illustrates the issues with my previous caffeine habits: ```mermaid graph TD A[Caffeine for Wakefulness and Performance Enhancement] -->|Leads to| B[Tolerance Build-Up] B -->|Results in| C[Increased Daily Caffeine Intake] B -->|Also results in| E[Late Caffeine Intake] C -->|Contributes to| D[Impaired Sleep Quality] E -->|Also contributes to| D D -->|Leads to more| A ``` ## Avoid Late Caffeine Intake Delving into Andrew Huberman's [podcast about caffeine](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iw97uvIge7c), I gained insights into mitigating late caffeine intake. ![[Caffeine Ingestion Timing Optimization]] ## Don't Intake Too Much Caffeine Excessive caffeine can linger in our system at bedtime. Reducing each caffeine intake session's amount is the first step to mitigate this. ![[Caffeine Dosage Guidelines]] ## Intake Even Less Caffeine Understanding and managing caffeine tolerance is crucial for sustaining its benefits without increasing intake. Let's explore how caffeine tolerance develops and assess its impacts. ![[Exploring Caffeine Tolerance - Impacts and Mechanisms]] Even with built-up tolerance, caffeine can still offer modest inherent benefits. However, I prefer minimizing my overall caffeine consumption by periodically or occasionally abstaining from it. This approach not only keeps my tolerance low but also ensures that on days when I can't access caffeine, I don't experience severe withdrawal symptoms. ![[Understanding Caffeine Withdrawal]] ## More Effective from Less Caffeine Enhancing caffeine's effectiveness, I now take it on an [empty stomach](https://youtu.be/iw97uvIge7c?t=4078) and combine it with L-Theanine. This combination amplifies the mood and cognitive benefits while reducing negative side effects. ![[Synergistic Effects of L-Theanine and Caffeine - Cognitive Enhancement and Side Effect Mitigation]] ## Conclusion My revised caffeine strategy is to use it selectively, mainly on need-to-be-productive days. During vacations or relaxing weekends, I avoid caffeine to prevent tolerance build-up. When I do consume caffeine, I take it on an empty stomach right before lunch, combined with L-Theanine, to boost mood and cognitive enhancement while minimizing side effects. --- Hacker News Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=38597915