While most of us know that coffee can help keep us awake, there’s something about drinking it after dinner that doesn’t make sense to many people. After all, the whole point of consuming caffeine, aside from increased alertness, is to keep you awake and alert during the day. When it comes to the end of the day, wouldn’t you want to relax and go to sleep as soon as possible? A new study says that there are several possible reasons why people drink coffee after dinner… if they do at all!
To stay awake
If you’re having trouble falling asleep, drinking coffee after dinner can actually help you. A study from Lund University in Sweden found that people who took 100mg of caffeine one hour before bed experienced a 36 percent improvement in sleep quality over three months. Many doctors recommend taking at least 100mg of caffeine an hour before your desired bedtime for optimal results. In addition to helping you fall asleep faster, coffee can also reduce stress levels and improve overall mood, both of which are important for restful sleep. Make sure to drink enough water to avoid dehydration during your nighttime routine and remember not to reach for another cup if you wake up during the night; it’s best to wait until morning for a refill!
Although some nutritionists suggest waiting two hours between dinner and your first caffeinated beverage, there is no evidence suggesting that you should space out your caffeine consumption throughout the day or have a certain time frame between servings. You may have heard conflicting information about how much caffeine is too much – some sources say 400 mg while others say 300 mg – but there is consensus on one thing: Too much caffeine (more than 500-600 mg) causes symptoms like headaches, irritability, irregular heartbeat and other undesirable side effects.
To suppress cravings
The caffeine in coffee is a stimulant that helps suppress appetite. In fact, people who are regular coffee drinkers have a lower risk of being overweight or obese than non-coffee drinkers. When researchers at Harvard University studied data from more than 111,000 people (young and old), they found that those who drank caffeinated coffee had significantly lower body mass indexes (BMIs) than non-drinkers. They also concluded that the decrease in BMI was roughly equal to what would be expected if those same individuals were to drink 11⁄2 fewer sodas per week. So, if you’re trying to cut back on calories and avoid gaining weight after dinner, reach for your cup of Joe before you dig into your main course.
To digest food better
Caffeine is a natural digestive aid and can help you break down your food more quickly. When taken with food, caffeine may slow down how fast you digest your meal and how quickly it moves through your gastrointestinal tract. If you consume caffeine at least two hours before bedtime, it may also prevent nighttime heartburn caused by eating just before bed. However, too much caffeine can upset your stomach, so stick to one cup of coffee after dinner for optimal digestion. Also keep in mind that coffee contains many antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients that can improve your health when consumed in moderation. (source: Medical News Today)
To keep our minds awake
It’s common for people to enjoy a cup of coffee after dinner to help keep their minds awake. Coffee stimulates our brains to think and process, whereas activities like reading or TV-watching are passive, calming experiences. So when we finish dinner we want something that gives us a kick—but not too much of one! This is where coffee comes in as an ideal solution; it helps us digest food and feel full but won’t necessarily put us to sleep. All in all, coffee can be considered a well-rounded drink because it has health benefits (it’s good for our brains) and flavor (it tastes delicious). But if you do have trouble sleeping after drinking coffee, try limiting your intake to just one cup per day or stick with decaf versions.
Have you ever noticed that no matter what time of day, there’s always someone brewing a pot and having their morning cup of joe? Whether it be your neighbor or your boss, coffee is something that many people turn to not only as a pick-me-up, but also to add a little pep in their step! But even with all its wonderful qualities, after dinner is a bit late to be having our morning cup of joe. So why do people drink coffee after dinner? Let’s find out!#5 Your diet requires it: If you’re watching your diet and counting calories religiously, then perhaps drinking one last cup before bedtime makes perfect sense! In fact, some nutritionists say that if you want to lose weight, adding an extra cup of coffee (black) can help speed up your metabolism for better fat burning.#4 You need a nightcap: While we don’t necessarily recommend mixing alcohol and caffeine together (especially if you’re driving), if you enjoy sipping on an evening cocktail after dinner, then maybe adding a splash of java into your evening libation isn’t such a bad idea!