Do you start you day with a coffee?
I know that I often do, but research suggests the best time to drink coffee isn’t first thing in the morning.
While it may seem that a cup of strong coffee first thing in the morning is the best way to get yourself going, in fact waiting until later may be better.
Scientists have worked out that the best time to get a daily hit of caffeine is on average between 9.30am and 11.30am.
This is due to the way caffeine interacts with a key hormone – called cortisol – which helps to regulate the body’s own internal clock and promotes alertness.
Cortisol levels are naturally high shortly after waking up and can remain high for up to an hour afterwards – with the average peak being between 8am and 9am.
Steven Miller, a neuroscientist at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, argues it is better to then drink caffeine after this peak as it promotes cortisol production.
The folks at I Love Coffee produced the following infographic that helps explain this:
The bottom line:
“Your coffee will probably be the most effective if you enjoy it between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., when your cortisol levels are dropping before the next spike,” Miller wrote in his blog.
You can build up a tolerance to caffeine if you always drink a cup of coffee when your cortisol levels are naturally high, Miller explained.
“One of the key principles of pharmacology is use a drug when it is needed,” he wrote.
“Otherwise, we can develop tolerance to a drug administered at the same dose.
“In other words, the same cup of morning coffee will become less effective and this is probably why I need a shot of espresso in mine now.”
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