According to Lifehacker, caffeine might be exacerbating stressful interview situations rather than providing an extra boost of brain power for an impressive performance. Understanding how caffeine affects the brain may cause you to forgo the stimulant next time.
Your brain produces adenosine as a by-product of activity, and receptors in your nervous system monitor your adenosine levels. Your body will feel sleepy when adenosine levels rise. Caffeine blocks the receptors from recognizing high adenosine levels. Rather than falling asleep, your body keeps going. However, in contrast to actually getting wired, your body simply fails to apply any breaks.
Whether using caffeine will be beneficial in an interview situation depends on your physical make up and the type of interview you are undergoing. Lifehacker reports that caffeine may speed up your automatic responses and help with recall to some extent; however, if you are hoping for an effect on your cognitive functioning, caffeine may be detrimental. If you are undergoing testing that requires in depth thinking, you might want to avoid the caffeine. If you still want to go the caffeine route, here are some key pieces of information:
- Small, frequent amounts are most effective in supporting wakefulness. Sugar can enhance caffeine’s effect. Other factors can affect your body’s response to caffeine including your tolerance level, menstrual cycles, and nicotine use.
- Heavy intake can result in withdrawal symptoms. Bear this in mind if you decide to forgo the coffee. Withdrawal symptoms are seen within 12 to 24 hours of caffeine consumption and can last between two and nine days.
- There are good and bad sources of caffeine. Healthier options than coffee or candy include gum or green tea.
- Effectively, caffeine can boost your speed but may involve a sacrifice in quality. According to Lifehacker, it is beneficial for automatic-type tasks and can make such tasks more efficient but it will not improve abstract thinking.
Consider your caffeine intake when you next attend an interview. If you suspect it might add to your stress and make you fidgety, it may actually be affecting your cognitive thinking skills too.
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