I don’t know about you, but I used to wake up in the morning and immediately reach for some coffee. Turns out, I had been drinking coffee all wrong! Well, not drinking it wrong, but at the wrong time. I’ve learned there are specific times for coffee, and it’s not first thing in the morning. #coffeetime. To find out more, keep reading this week’s blog post.
So what is all this about specific coffee times? Well, like most of society, I had been programmed to think that drinking a coffee right away was the ticket if i woke up tired. You know what I learned? Society is WRONG. Let’s follow science - such as YouTube science channel ASAP Science - which, among other sources, tells us that the best time to drink coffee or any other caffeinated beverage is when our brains most efficiently use the caffeine, and that is not first thing in the morning. Actually, drinking coffee shortly after waking in effect minimizes the caffeine’s effectiveness and causes your body to build up a tolerance to it faster. This is due to the fact that our natural alertness is regulated in part by the hormone named cortisol - one of the key hormones in our sleep-awake cycle - and the human body tends to naturally produce high levels of cortisol in the morning, thus helping us be alert and awake. Conversely, the body's natural production of cortisol tapers off at night, helping one feel tired and ready for sleep. So, when you drink coffee first thing in the morning as your body is increasing its production of cortisol, the caffeine interferes with that production process and your body starts to produce less of it, when you need it most. Over time, your body substitutes cortisol for caffeine and gradually becomes dependent on caffeine, rather than its naturally-produced cortisol. If you find yourself drinking coffee first thing in the morning yet still can’t wake up, that may be your body's way of telling you that its natural cortisol production process has been interfered with by the caffeine intake.
For most people, drinking coffee between 6 am- 9 am is the worst time. Get on with it? When’s the best time? Before getting to that, bear in mind that the optimal time to take in caffeine (coffee!) is when natural cortisol levels are low, but that cortisol levels are high at three separate times during the day, not just in the early morning. According to a 2009 study done by the University of Sheffield and Royal Hallamshire Hospital in the UK, coffee or any form of caffeine is best consumed between 9:30 am – 11:30 am, and 1:30 pm – 5 pm, when our cortisol levels are naturally low. They’re low again in the evening, but it's assumed most people like to get a good night’s sleep, so best not have coffee then unless you’re about to pull an all-nighter at work. ;)
So there you have it, #coffeetime is not when you might have previously thought. If you’d like to learn more about Bristol coffee or coffee in general, keep reading our blog, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, or Pinterest. And remember, #coffeetime is always Bristol time, so go buy some Bristol coffee why don’t you?