Google veterans give 5 tips on how to drink coffee to be more productive

By Shannon Sweeney — / Death Wish Coffee Blog

How to drink coffee to be more productive

Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky are most well-known for their design work at Google and YouTube, and now, the pair is releasing a time-management book that you'll likely start to see in book stores all over. The book, "Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day," comes out later this month, but CNBC got an early look.

Photo source: @edwingold on Instagram

Two former employees of two giant tech companies are likely to have pretty good advice on time management, becoming more efficient, and so on and so forth. But let's get down to what really matters here — coffee. 

Us coffee addicts might be drinking our coffee wrong, according to Knapp and Zeratsky. Why? We drink it at the wrong time. 

While Knapp and Zeratsky were spending countless hours designing Gmail or scrolling through endless social media updates, they drank as much coffee as they possibly could. Sounds like the rest of us. 

But when they just made a few changes to their coffee-drinking routines, they saw crazy benefits. Here's what they suggest to be more productive: 

1. Wait until you're fully awake to caffeinate

When you wake up, your body releases high levels of cortisol, which probably explains why we feel so stressed in the mornings. Most people's cortisol level are highest between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. When cortisol levels are high, caffeine doesn't do much to help your body.

Solution? Don't have coffee until 9:30 a.m.

"Caffeine is powerful stuff, and because it has a direct effect on your energy level, you should drink it with intention rather than on autopilot," the duo writes.

2. Have that second cup before it's too late

A lot of people's energy level crashes after lunch because of adenosine build-ups in our brains. Reminder: Caffeine blocks adenosine receptors in our brains to help us stay awake. Knapp and Zeratsky suggest drinking a second cup of coffee 30 minutes prior to eating lunch to avoid the caffeine crash. I'll take any reason to drink a second cup of coffee.

Photo source: CNBC, "Make Time" by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky

3. Take a coffee nap

If you haven't heard of the coffee nap by now, boy are you missing out. Once you hit a lull in your day, drink some coffee and immediately take a 15-minute nap.

"The caffeine takes a while to be absorbed into your bloodstream and reach the brain," they write. "When you wake up, the receptors are clear [of adenosine] and the caffeine has just shown up. You're fresh, recharged, and ready to go."

4. Drink tea or espresso in the afternoon

To keep your energy levels more consistent throughout the day, try drinking espresso or green tea instead of a big ole' cup of joe. Because drinks like green tea have a lower dose of caffeine, it can keep you awake without making you crash. 

5. Time your last drink

The half-life of caffeine is about 5 hours, so if you have a cup of coffee around 4 p.m., you may have trouble falling asleep between 9 and 10 p.m. Everyone's caffeine sensitivity is different, though, so you have to test and see when you should make your "'last call for caffeine,'" they write. 

Related: Science says you should serve coffee in every meeting


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