The best time to drink coffee, according to science

Author: Samson   Date Posted:15 October 2014 

Can you start a day without a cup of coffee? Probably not and we don’t blame you, especially since there is nothing better than the first cup of the day.

But what if we told you that drinking coffee right after you get up not only diminishes its effects but actually reduces the effectiveness of subsequent cups throughout the day? For most coffee lovers this would be blasphemy, the words of a madman, or at least someone who doesn’t understand the importance of the first cup of the day. But this isn’t crazy talk, in fact it isn’t even a theory but rather a result that came from serious testing and hard science, specifically the work of Steven Miller Ph.D of the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesada, Maryland.

In order to understand this it is important that we get our heads around our circadian clocks, which is the hormonal cycle that controls how tired or awake we are feeling. Part of its responsibilities is controlling our cortisol production, which is a hormone that makes us feel more alert/awake.

We produce cortisol during several periods of the day and naturally it is then that we feel most naturally awake. If we consume coffee during the peak-periods of cortisol production the coffee doesn’t work nearly as well as it would during other times throughout the day. Additionally, as mentioned above, it also helps builds up your tolerance for caffeine thereby decreasing the overall effectiveness of later cups.

When do we have some of our peak cortisol production? You guessed it, right after we wake up. If you wake up between 6 and 8 AM, your cortisol production won’t slow down until around 9:30 AM and will start up again two hours later, not finishing for another two hours after that either. Same pattern for the rest of the afternoon too.

What this means is that the time to get the most bang for your morning coffee drinking buck is to drink it between 9:30 and 11:30 AM, which for many people is far later than they would normally have their first cup of liquid gold.

Thankfully, scientists have been somewhat lenient in their coffee drinking recommendations, offering the compromise of waiting at least one hour after rising to enjoy your first cup of coffee.

This is still a difficult recommendation to take on board, especially since part of the appeal of having a Blue Pod coffee machine is the ability to have premium Italian coffee whenever you want it by just placing one of our coffee pods into the machine and pushing the button. Do these scientists have any idea how tempting it is to have Italian coffee heaven just a button away?

Also, what happens if you are someone who wakes up even earlier than 6 AM? Does that mean you get a free pass and can drink it as soon as you get up? Unfortunately no it doesn’t as your body starts producing Cortisol as soon as you wake up and it is better to wait an hour before your first cup than drinking it straight away.

In the past these scientific recommendations would really mess up people’s coffee drinking habits, especially since making coffee was once a slow, arduous process and trying to find the time to prepare your first cup was already a complicated battle filled with time management and compromise.

Thankfully, with Blue Pod’s range of both home and office coffee pod machines, having a coffee whenever you want one requires no planning or cleanup whatsoever thereby giving you the freedom to decide when you want to drink your coffee as opposed to letting the coffee decide when it wants you to drink it.

When it comes down to it, there is nothing wrong with coffee later in the day or a coffee right after you get up. Whatever you do, make sure to enjoy it as coffee truly is one of life’s greatest pleasures.




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