Research shows that drinking coffee as soon as you wake is not a good idea.
If coffee is your go-to drink to kick-start your day you might want to think rethink that cuppa. Research has shown that there are actually good times and bad times to have coffee. And in the morning between 8 am and 9 am is a bad time.
Our bodies release a hormone called cortisol, often called the stress hormone because it’s secreted in high levels during your body’s ‘fight or fight’ response. This hormone regulates your body’s internal clock (called the circadian rhythm) and affects your alertness levels through the day. The more cortisol in your system, the more alert you feel.
Research has shown that cortisol levels are naturally high around the time you wake up, and peak between 8 and 9 am. Which means your body already has its own mechanism to wake you up and make you alert. So you’re probably thinking that drinking your cup of joe is only going to help your get more alert, right? You’d be wrong.
A study by Steven Miller, a neuroscientist at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Maryland, US, has found that to get the maximum benefits from caffeine you should drink coffee after 9.30 am, when cortisol levels are low. That’s because caffeine interferes with cortisol production. Over time your body will start producing less cortisol and rely more and more on the caffeine to increase alertness. Also, having coffee at the peak cortisol time undermines the caffeine’s effect, which means soon you’ll need to drink much more coffee to get that same buzz and stay wake!
Cortisol also peaks between 12 and 1 pm, and between 5.30 and 6.30 pm. So your best bet is to drink coffee outside these timings if you want to get the most out of your cuppa joe.