If you’re like most people, you love to have a hot cup of coffee as soon as you roll out of bed. But if you’re looking to maximize the effects of your morning cuppa joe, you might want to wait a while, science says.
It turns out, the best time for your coffee fix is one hour after you wake up. This is because your body’s production of cortisol has one of its three peaks by this time, according to researchers. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone because our bodies received an influx of it when we feel tension in a situation. But perhaps cortisol would be better known as the “alertness hormone” because when we’re under stress, it creates the alert feeling which determines our “fight or flight” response.
So why wait an hour?
You want to wait an hour after you wait up because delivering a jolt of caffeine when your body is in peak cortisol-making mode will train your body to produce less cortisol, which could negatively affect your body’s ability to naturally regulate biological rhythms. This misplaced dose of caffeine can even work against cortisol’s already efficient alertness properties — meaning your coffee isn’t really doing much for you — and it can even cause you to develop a tolerance for coffee, making it hard to get that same alert feeling without drinking even more.
So when should I drink coffee?
The best time to drink morning coffee is at least 60 minutes after you wake up. If you drink coffee throughout the day, try to avoid doing so when the body is in other peak cortisol production times. These typically happen between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. and 5:50 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Plan your cups outside of these time frames to avoid the effects of an afternoon coffee crash. Here are some other mistakes you might be making with your coffee.
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