At the Wholesale Coffee Company, we think any time of the day is a good time to drink coffee. From kicking off with a cappuccino to unwinding with a decaff at the end of the day, coffee’s a big part of our everyday routine. It turns out, though, that drinking coffee first thing in the morning might not be the best way to enjoy it. Getting the first caffeine kick of the day too early could mean you start to build up a tolerance, so subsequent cups won’t have as much of an effect.
Naturally, we produce a hormone called steroid hormone called cortisol, which helps regulate many of the body’s processes such as the immune response. It also helps the body respond to stress, appearing when we’re either under pressure or afraid. In addition, though, it also helps regular our natural hormonal cycle known as the circadian clock. That’s what tells us to wake up in the morning, and to start winding down at night, so we feel more awake when our cortisol levels are higher first thing in the morning.
Scientists believe that we shouldn’t drink coffee when our cortisol levels are at their highest, partly as caffeine can interfere with the production of the hormone and partly as it’s the time of day when we need the caffeine least. Drinking coffee early can also help you build up a long term tolerance, which is why caffeine fiends have to drink more and more to get their buzz.
The other peak cortisol production times are mid-day and in the evening. Avoiding drinking coffee during these times, and instead focusing on the periods of low cortisol production will help you get the most from the energising effects. Try a cup between 10am and 12pm or 2pm and 5pm for the best results.
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