When Is the Best Time to Drink Coffee

You may have asked in the past, the best time to drink coffee. Coffee has been proven to have a lot of benefits to the body.  Some of these benefits include reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and heart diseases. Other benefits are from the stimulating effect of caffeine which is one of its major constituents.

Best time to drink coffee
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It achieves this by piling the body with natural antioxidants gotten from essential oils, soothing stress-related inflammations, improving DNA, the performance of enzymes that manages glucose and insulin functions.

Hence, most studies are of the opinion that coffee drinkers live longer than non-coffee drinkers on average. So, if you rely on coffee to help you start your day, not to worry you are not the only one in the world.

Drinking a cup of joe in the morning might be like the perfect time to have some energy boost, however, you may have been blunting this effect. This is because it may increase your tolerance of caffeine which is not productive as most people believe. 

Recent studies have shown that the time during the day when you drink coffee can either boost or lower coffee benefits. Sometimes taking it at a certain time in the day can endanger your health. In this article, we will try to answer this question and many more. Let’s begin, shall we?

If you prefer learning by video, this article is also explained here.

Is Drinking Coffee in the Morning Ideal?

Even though everyone is different, yet we are all influenced by a 24-hour biological cycle. Yes, this biological cycle is known as the circadian rhythm otherwise called the circadian clock.

Basically, these rhythms are prescheduled (automatic process) into us by genetic factors. However, our lifestyle and habit can alter this clock and its functions.

The main factor that controls our biological clock is daylight (sunlight). When it is daybreak, you feel alive, awake and alert. A reverse is when the weather is cloudy, we feel lazy and slow.

The circadian rhythm also regulates hunger, sleep and other functions like the production of hormones that regulates the body’s functions. One example of these hormones is cortisol.

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Cortisol also is known as the stress hormone is released when you wake up in the morning. Its production is regulated by the circadian clock, although this varies in different people.

Cortisol levels increase when you have a rise in adrenaline or stress. It manipulates lots of biological activities including waking and giving you alertness.

The thing is. We all have a natural boost in cortisol levels during the day but with a peak production between 8 am and 9 am for many of us daily. What this means is that most people have their first cup of coffee when their body is naturally caffeinating.

Caffeine consumption during this period is mostly wasted. Why? Because your body is already at its peak and alertness even when you are not feeling it. When you take coffee between 8 am and 9 am, your body absorbs it even when it is not needed and hence, develops a condition called caffeine tolerance. 

Studies have shown that it is best to drink coffee when there is a reduction in cortisol levels in the body. Caffeine increases cortisol production when taken during cortisol peak.  They both respond to stress. 

When there is increased caffeine tolerance, it leads to elevated levels of cortisol that can alter your circadian rhythm. It has adverse effects on your body and health generally. As you can already guess, this is too much stress to the body and results in fatigue.

The bad side is that you will need more amounts of coffee to accomplish the same little effect. For this reason, drinking coffee between 8 am and 9 am is the least effective period.

What About Early Risers?

If you usually wake up early enough way before 8 am, you need to know this too. When you wake up before 8 am, there is still a natural mechanism known as cortisol arousal response. It comes into play and you can experience an increase in the production of cortisol by 50%.

Drinking coffee before sunrise may help you wake up or be at alert, it is not still a very good time to have caffeine. Waiting till the perfect time during the day will do you better.

Cortisol Peak in The Afternoon

Apart from the morning cortisol peak that occurs between 8 am and 9 am, there are afternoon peaks that occur around 12 pm and 1 pm. Then again between 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm but smaller this time.

Like earlier discussed, caffeine intake during these times will be energy wasted. What this means is that even though your cup of joe will be rewarding and delicious, it will build your tolerance. This will just be for a small gain.  

Coffee Intake in The Evening and Its Effect on Your Sleep

Caffeine consumption at night is not recommended. It can affect the quality of sleep you ought to have in the night. Some people do not agree that coffee, when taken late at night, affects the body negatively.

Notwithstanding, there are several effects it has on your body and sleep, here are some of them:

Drinking coffee before sleep or 6hours before can keep you awake for about one hour. It is hard to experience deep or an uninterrupted sleep with some amounts of caffeine in the body. You may not know it is affecting you, but it is

Also, drinking coffee at late night hours can delay the production of melatonin. This hormone is regulated by circadian rhythm and regulates your sleep and arousal. 

We cannot categorically say the exact time you should take a break from coffee at night. We can suggest that you be caffeine clean from 5 pm or even earlier.

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When Is the Best Time to Drink Coffee?

Video: This Is the Best Time of Day to Drink Coffee

This video will let you know more about the ideal time to drink your cup of coffee every day.

The perfect time to consume caffeine is right after increased levels of cortisol (cortisol peak). This means that periods between 9 am and 11:30 am in the mornings and 1 pm and 5 pm in the afternoons is safe.

The periods between the natural boost in cortisol levels are perfect times where caffeine jump will be most useful or productive. You will maintain alertness rather than crashing in between caffeine peaks. With this understanding, you can time coffee breaks between those safe hours.

After 6 pm, you can avoid a crash when you drink coffee but be reminded that it will affect your sleep and rest at night.

Exceptions and Balance

While we have already established the fact that cortisol levels spike immediately you wake up, there is a natural balance. When your arousal time is always later than 9 am, the circadian clock makes changes to your body to suits your daily habits.

For example, cortisol levels will be increased if you always wake up in the evening because you work all through the night. So, if your arousal time is always later than usual, your biological clock makes the necessary adjustments to put up with this time.

It is good you always assume that cortisol levels are at its peak when you wake up. So, you wait for some time before getting your cup of joe.

When You Can’t-Wait

Sometimes, it can become so unbearable waiting until after 9 am to have a ‘coffee time’ for that desired boost. You can consider other brewing options so that you can have a cup with less concentration of caffeine.

If you must have caffeinated coffee, then maybe AeroPress coffee or cold brew methods will help. They both have lesser caffeine content. Other options are tea with less caffeine like black tea.

But if you want to dare to go the non-caffeine way, then there is always decaf coffee.

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Now you know the perfect time to drink coffee every day. For people who live in countries where they experience sunlight throughout the day and a no-light night, you can do some estimate.

The most important message here is that you should not take coffee immediately you wake up (caffeine is not needed). 

Again, the late morning period (9 am to 11:30 am) and early afternoon periods (1 pm and 5 pm) is the perfect time to consume caffeine for a lot of people.

Anytime outside these ranges, could be detrimental to your health and good sleep.