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The Perfect Time To Drink Coffee

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Every morning, millions of us around the world - especially us here in the Cafe2U UK office - will wake up with one thing on our mind: coffee.

After a titanic struggle to get out of bed, we will begrudgingly make our way, groggy and zombie-like, to the kitchen, in search of a hit from our favourite pick-me-up to get the day started.

However, what if we told you that this was far from the best time of day to drink coffee?



This line of thinking comes from a hormone our body produces called cortisol, which you may have heard being referred to as the “stress hormone”.

(This is because it is secreted in very high levels during the body’s “fight or flight” response mechanism.)

Now – importantly for this article - this cortisol hormone is also related to your body’s alertness levels during the day.

Between 8am and 9am your body’s cortisol levels are at their peak – which is your body’s natural mechanism to wake you up.

And while you may think that drinking coffee during this period will aid this “waking up” process, scientists now believe that drinking coffee during peak cortisol production times diminishes the impact of caffeine and, furthermore, heightens your body’s tolerance to caffeine in the long run.

Meaning that further down the line your body will need even more caffeine to wake up and stay alert!

When should you drink coffee?

If you want to maximise the effect caffeine has on your body’s alertness levels, then, according to scientists, you should restrict coffee intake until after your body’s cortisol surge – so after 9am in this instance.

In addition, scientists have found that there are other times of the day when your body secretes a large amount of cortisol.

These are between 12am and 1pm and between 5:30pm and 6pm.

So, in conclusion, drinking coffee between these cortisol spikes is recommend if you want to make the most of that famous caffeine jolt.   


At this point in the article, you may be asking:

“Well, what if I wake up at 5am or 6am? Am I OK to have a coffee straight away in that case?”

Well, not exactly.

Scientists pinpoint how cortisol levels increase approximately 50% an hour after you wake up, regardless of the time of day.

So, whatever time of day you rise, whether that be in the ungodly hours of the morning or around noon, just wait an hour before indulging in that cup of Joe!

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