How many cups of coffee have you already guzzled this freezing cold Monday morning? If you drank a cup as soon as you rolled out of bed for a jolt of energy on this first day back to work, you may have done yourself a disservice.
For most of us, the peak production of cortisol (the hormone that makes us feel alert and awake) happens three times a day: between 8-9am, 12-1pm, and 5:30-6:30pm. Consuming caffeine when our bodies are “naturally caffeinating” themselves actually diminishes caffeine’s energy-boosting effects and may build a tolerance of the stimulant, according to new research. Yikes!
So when is the best time of day to drink coffee? To reap the maximum benefits of caffeine, try to schedule your coffee breaks after your cortisol levels have dropped, which happens between 9:30-11:30am and 1:30-5:30pm.
However, a note for insomniacs: You may want to curb your caffeine intake after 2pm, says Dr. Michael Breus (aka “The Sleep Doctor”), to help you fall asleep at night.