There is no one definitive answer to the question: "When is the best time of day to drink coffee?". However, there are a few things to consider when choosing the best time for you.
Morning, noon, and afternoon are all popular times to drink coffee. In this blog post, we will explore what experts have to say about drinking coffee at these different times. It might help you decide when to have your cup of Joe.
The caffeine kick
Coffee & Cortisol
Are you one of those people who need caffeine to properly wake up and start your day?
While there are many benefits to drinking coffee in general, i.e. it kickstarts your metabolism and leaves you feeling energized and motivated for the day to come, you might want to reconsider having it first thing after waking up.
Our body produces many hormones; one of them is cortisol. This particular hormone influences our sleep-wake cycle, digestion and immune system.
Cortisol levels vary throughout the day: they peak 30–45 minutes after rising and slowly decline throughout the rest of the day to enable us to drift off to sleep easily in the evening.
Because cortisol levels are high in the morning, caffeine will lose its energizing effect. It increases cortisol levels even more which can leave you feeling anxious and stressed.
That being said, most early morning coffee-lovers will be so used to their early morning caffeine hit that they won't have a caffeine-induced increase in cortisol anymore. Yet, they can still feel a strong craving for coffee in the morning.
Where does that craving come from?
Coffee & Adenosine
Have you ever heard of adenosine? It's an organic compound produced by our brains. It is responsible for making us sleepy when it binds to specific receptors in nerve cells. It also dilates blood vessels to ensure our brain gets more oxygen when we sleep.
Caffeine has a similar structure as adenosine and sometimes tricks nerve cells into thinking it is adenosine. When caffeine binds with a nerve cell, it doesn't have that same sleepy effect. It does quite the opposite: it makes us more active and an "awake" feeling.
After a while, we develop a dependency on caffeine in the early hours of the morning to get that feeling of being awake.
So when should you best drink coffee?
What Science Says
It's best to have your coffee when cortisol and adenosine levels are low.
For most, this will be an hour or two after waking up and again in the afternoon. If you wake up at 8 am, having your first coffee between 10 am and noon, and/or between 2 pm and 5 pm, would be ideal.
Give it a try!
You might have to switch up your morning routine a bit, but after a few days, you will feel a noticeable change: your coffee will have more effect: you will feel the caffeine kick in and experience more energy.
Let us know how it goes!