Why Doesn’t Coffee Wake Me Up?

By Robert Parsons April 9, 2021

There is nothing worse than your eyelids closing in the middle of a study session or late-night shift. When coffee fails to give you that boost of energy you need, you are left feeling confused and disappointed.

Why doesn’t coffee wake me up anymore? Why is it making me feel more tired? 

If you find yourself asking yourself these questions, we understand. The good news is there is always an answer (and solution) to coffee not doing its job, and we’ll cover it with you in this guide.

5 Reasons Coffee Is Not Energizing You 

There are a few reasons your cup of joe is betraying you – or it feels like this at least. However, before you give up on coffee altogether, you need to understand why this is happening. 

Here are 5 very common reasons coffee is failing to energize you:

1. High Caffeine Tolerance 

Caffeine is the active ingredient in coffee that wakes you up. This ingredient fights adenosine receptors – the neurotransmitter that suppresses arousal, making us feel tired or sleepy. 

With time, we will build a caffeine tolerance. This happens when we drink coffee every day for a consistent period. As a result, caffeine is not as successful at fighting adenosine receptors since they’ve gotten used to it. In turn, they learn how to fight back or hold their ground. 

Solution: Reset your tolerance.

The easy solution here is to drink more coffee than usual to achieve that desired energy boost. However, instead of increasing your daily coffee consumption, you should reboot tolerance to caffeine. 

To do so, you need to quit cold turkey for at least a week. This also means you have to prepare yourself for caffeine withdrawal symptoms, including headaches and fatigue. This may not be the answer you want to hear, however, detoxing your body of caffeine is the best thing you can do to start experiencing positive coffee effects again. 

2. Fast Caffeine Metabolism 

You know how there are people that can eat whatever they want and not gain any weight? Many times, this is a result of their genes. It just means they have a very fast metabolism. The same concept applies to caffeine intake. Some people are not sensitive to caffeine and metabolize it very quickly. 

Solution: Drink more coffee. 

This may not be the solution you want to opt for. After all, too much coffee can be back for one’s health. According to the FDA, you should not go over 400mg of caffeine per day. Instead, consider other methods of boosting your energy along with a cup of joe. Things like exercise and healthy eating will help.

3. Too Much Sugar 

If you drink your cups of joe with a lot of sugar, whipped cream, or other sweet syrups, you may be experiencing a sugar rush that leads to a crash. These sugary condiments lead to a fast rise in blood sugar that subsequently makes you feel very tired or sleepy. 

Solution: Cut back on the sweets.

4. Dehydration 

Dehydration occurs when our bodies don’t consume enough water. This can lead to several symptoms, among them dizziness, tiredness, muscle fatigue, and more. To avoid dehydration, we need to consume water every single day. 

While drinking caffeinated beverages doesn’t cause fluid loss, you want to make sure that coffee isn’t the ONLY thing you’re drinking. If your body is dehydrated, it won’t be able to focus on the positive effects of caffeine. In turn, it will shut down on you until you give it what it wants – H2O!  

Solution: Stay hydrated by drinking water alongside your coffee.

5. Change in Coffee Routines

If you have recently switched up your brewing technique or the coffee beans you use, this can be an indicator of coffee that doesn’t wake you up. Some beans have higher caffeine content than others. Also, your brewing technique may be different. Perhaps you want to experiment with different brews and techniques – nothing wrong with that!

Part of the experimentation process is discovering what works for you and what doesn’t. Don’t make any permanent changes if you’re finding that coffee doesn’t wake you up like it used to. 

Solution: Go back to your normal routine or invest in stronger coffee beans. 

The easy solution would be to go back to what you were doing before. However, if you want to mix it up, consider Robusta beans. These beans offer high caffeine content, nearly twice the amount when compared to Arabica beans. 

Final Thoughts 

The good news is there is always a solution to coffee not waking you up. Whether you have a high caffeine tolerance, add too much sugar to your cups, or recently switched your coffee beans or brewing technique, there is hope! 

Understanding the chemistry behind caffeine consumption is the first step. Then you want to maximize the positive effects by using the tips and tricks mentioned above. 

We hope you’ve found the answers you were looking for in this guide and encourage you to make some changes to get that caffeine pick-me-up we all look for back.