Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. It contains a very popular stimulant called caffeine. Many people grab a cup of caffeinated drink immediately after waking up, while others find it more beneficial to wait a few hours. This article explains when is the best time to drink coffee to maximize its benefits and minimize its side effects.
Most people enjoy a cup… or three, of coffee upon waking or shortly thereafter. However, drinking coffee soon after waking up is thought to reduce its energizing effects, as the stress hormone cortisol is at its peak at this time. Cortisol is a hormone that can improve alertness and concentration. It also regulates your metabolism, immune system response, and blood pressure. The hormone follows a distinct rhythm throughout your sleep, with peak levels 30 to 45 minutes after waking up and slowly decreasing throughout the rest of the day.
The best time to drink coffee
That said, it has been suggested that the best time to drink coffee is mid to early morning when your cortisol levels are lower. For most people who get up around 6:30 am, that time is between 9:30 am and 11:30 am.
Another reason it has been suggested that you should delay your morning coffee is that the caffeine in coffee can raise cortisol levels. Drinking coffee when cortisol levels are high can increase cortisol levels further. High cortisol levels over long periods of time can weaken your immune system and cause health problems. In addition, caffeine-induced increases in cortisol tend to decrease in people who eat normally.
That said, it’s probably safer if you want to drink coffee when you wake up rather than several hours later. But if you’re ready to change your morning coffee habit, you may find that holding off on drinking your coffee for a few hours can give you more energy.
Coffee can improve exercise performance: but when to drink it?
Coffee is known for its ability to promote wakefulness and increase alertness, but this drink is also an effective sports performance booster due to its caffeine content. Also, coffee can be a more economical alternative to caffeinated supplements, like pre-workout powders. Many studies have shown that caffeine can delay exercise fatigue and increase muscle strength and energy. Although there is no significant difference between having your coffee first thing in the morning or several hours later, the effects of coffee caffeine on exercise performance are time dependent.
If you are looking to increase the beneficial effects of coffee on sports performance, it is best to drink it 30-60 minutes before exercise or a sporting event. This is the time it takes for caffeine levels to peak in your body.
The effective dose of caffeine to increase exercise performance is 3-6 mg per kg of body weight. For a 68 kg person, this is equivalent to approximately 200-400 mg of caffeine, or 2-4 cups (475-950 ml) of coffee.
The worst time to drink coffee
The caffeine in coffee can promote wakefulness and boost athletic performance, but it can also cause sleep problems and anxiety in some people.
The stimulating caffeine effects of coffee last 3-5 hours, and depending on individual differences, about half of the total caffeine consumed is in your body after 5 hours. Consuming coffee close to bedtime, such as with dinner, can cause sleep problems.
To avoid the disruptive effects of caffeine on sleep, it is recommended to avoid consuming caffeine at least 6 hours before bedtime.
In addition to sleep problems, caffeine can increase anxiety in some people. If you suffer from anxiety, drinking coffee can make it worse. In this case, you may need to eat more or avoid this drink altogether. You can also try switching to green tea, which contains a third of the caffeine found in coffee.
This drink also provides the amino acid L-theanine, which has relaxing and calming properties.
How much coffee is safe?
Healthy people can consume up to 400 mg of caffeine per day, the equivalent of about 4 cups (950 ml) of coffee.
The recommendation for pregnant and lactating women is 300 mg of caffeine per day, with some studies suggesting that the upper safety is 200 mg per day. These recommendations for safe caffeine use include caffeine from all sources. Other sources of caffeine are tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, and even dark chocolate.
Coffee is a popular drink that is enjoyed around the world. It has been suggested that the best time to drink coffee is mid to early morning when cortisol levels are low. Consuming coffee 30-60 minutes before a workout or sporting event can help delay fatigue and increase muscle strength and power. Remember that the caffeine-enhancing effects of coffee can cause sleep problems if consumed past bedtime, as well as increase anxiety in some people.
Caffeine Confusion of Cortisol Release During Waking Hours in Relation to Caffeine Intake Levels
The Effect of Large Caffeine Ingestion on Endurance Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
The international community of sports nutrition status: caffeine and performance
Effects of Caffeine on Sleep Taken 0, 3, or 6 Hours Before Going to Bed
Safety of Dietary Caffeine: A Comprehensive Review