If you wake up sluggish and groggy, the first thing you probably do is reach for a cup of coffee. For many Americans, drinking coffee first thing in the morning has become a daily ritual. We opt for coffee because, thanks to its caffeine content, you may instantly begin to feel awake. But after a few hours, you may find yourself feeling tired and sluggish once again – which makes you reach for yet another cup.
Although coffee is a stimulant and can help give us a boost of energy, the time of the day you drink it plays a crucial role in how long that energy lasts. And, unfortunately, having coffee first thing is the morning is the wrong way to drink it.
Morning coffee doesn’t provide all-day energy
Scientists and researchers have found that the worst time of the day to drink coffee is first thing in the morning. If you’re in disbelief, let us explain a bit more…
When you wake up, your levels of cortisol – the stress hormone that initiates fight or flight response – are at their highest. If you consume coffee when cortisol is at its peak, the caffeine actually interrupts your body’s cortisol production process. As a result, the body makes less of it. Aside from being the stress hormone, cortisol is also released as a response to low glucose. With low cortisol levels, your body then relies on extra caffeine for energy.
Additionally, routinely consuming coffee in the morning increases our tolerance to the caffeinated beverage, so you may find you need more and more just to feel somewhat awake.
So when is the best time of the day to drink coffee in order to get a boost of energy? Researchers suggest the best time for enjoying your favorite drink and really reaping its benefits is between 10 am and noon and between 2 pm and 5 pm.
So if you’ve been noticing that you are consuming way more caffeine just to feel awake, you may want to reconsider when you’re drinking your coffee and try aligning it with the time when cortisol levels are lower to really feel the effect. Instead of coffee, start your morning off with whole foods – such as whole grains and eggs – that can naturally boost energy and keep you fuller, longer.
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