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.
PS – A new wave of eco-friendly Starbucks stores and how I take my coffee.
(via Forbes, photograph by Heather McCutcheon)
Ooh, for once I’m doing the right thing! Based on our morning schedule, for the past year and a half, I’ve been drinking my coffee after preschool drop off and the gym, right around 9:30/9:45. And I also started having a post-lunch cup, at about 1:30 each afternoon, and never after 2 pm, unless I know I’ll be staying up later than normal, like if we have (rare) Saturday night plans. How I love my coffee!
You’re right on schedule! So do you feel continually energized all day long?
Energized all day long might be a bit of a stretch, but I definitely do not get the same afternoon slump that I used to have…
Who knew it’s better to drink coffee later in the day instead of downing it first thing? I might have to start having a cup around 9:30.
I know, interesting research, right? What time of day do you normally drink your first cup — and how many cups of coffee do you drink in one day?
For a long time, I didn’t drink coffee at all — I was on this hippie kick and living in Portland. But when I moved back to the East Coast, I picked up the habit again and haven’t looked back. Now, I really look forward to it first thing in the morning, so I don’t know if I could really wait until 9:30! Perhaps a second cup then? I know, it kind of defeats the purpose. 🙂 Coincidentally, this is coffee week on my blog too, so I’m definitely going to mention this research in the upcoming recipe post! xoxo
Wait, hippies don’t drink coffee? I thought they were all about that cold-pressed, indie-branded brew?!
Now knowing that you have a sweet little espresso machine, I can understand your hesitation to give up your AM cup. But maybe time your second cup more strategically? How many cups of coffee do you normally drink a day?
And of course, I’d be beyond flattered if you mentioned this post on your blog 🙂
Ha! It’s true, some of them are, but the new thing seems to be a focus on green juice, kombucha, and tea — at least when I was living there.
I don’t drink a ton of coffee, but I may have two small cups each day, so I’ll totally try timing the second one to be later in the morning. For some reason, if I drink coffee any time after lunch I feel really weird.
I wonder that all the time- sometimes I get up and drink coffee right away and still feel tired. Probably because I need to drink it after 9:30! 😮
Haha.. thanks for the great tips!
Love your blog!
Yes, try waiting and see what happens! How much sleep do you get each night?