When is The Best Time to Drink Coffee in the AM?
Coffee and cortisol in the a.m. may not be a sexy combination, but it’s still a good way to start your day. Cortisol is a stress hormone that regulates your body’s metabolism, blood pressure, and immune system. Too much cortisol can have negative effects on your health and weight, affecting your energy levels and overall quality of life.
Get on the Right Coffee Schedule
It’s important to drink coffee on the right schedule. And in some cases, drinking it on an empty stomach can do more harm than good, like causing an influx in stomach acid which can lead to heartburn and indigestion, bloating, and nausea. So while caffeine is a commonly used morning stimulant, the benefits of consuming it on an empty stomach can be limited. This is also why timing of coffee consumption is important. Caffeine binds itself to Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP which is the energy source our cells use to function. ATP is also responsible for “tipping the scales” into sleepiness and builds up in our bodies throughout the day. Caffeine binds itself to ATP and buffers the effect it has on our system.
The best time to drink your cup of Joe is around 9:30 am or 45 minutes to an hour after waking up when cortisol concentration is at its peak. Note – you want to avoid drinking it too soon after waking as cortisol also serves as a wake promoter, so you’re practically “cutting in line” of the body’s natural waking up process.
The Effects of Caffeine on the Body in the AM
Caffeine stimulates your adrenals, which are responsible for producing cortisol. When your adrenals are under pressure, cortisol is produced to help your body fight the stress. “So consuming caffeine before your body has the opportunity to fully wake up on its own could cause unwanted cortisol release” says Thomas L. Hinton – Sleep Performance Coach and CEO of Circadian Health and Performance. This increase in cortisol can cause issues with ovulation along with weight and hormonal imbalance which leads to difficulty controlling mood.
Since coffee is a stimulant, it’s a good idea to take some time off before brewing your first cup. Not only will this give your adrenals a break, it will also ensure that you get the most benefit from caffeine.
Allow Your Body to Wake Up Before Your First Cup
Depending on your own body’s chemistry, you may need to wait a few hours before you can benefit from caffeine. This time period allows your body to adjust to the caffeine. In addition, it will also help you avoid a mid-afternoon slump. This “slump” happens because caffeine binds itself to Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP which is the energy source our cells use to function.
ATP is responsible for “tipping the scales” into sleepiness and builds up in our bodies throughout the day. Caffeine binds itself to this energy source and suppresses the effect it has on us all the while ATP continues to build up. As caffeine works its way out of our system, we hit the mid-day “crash” because now ATP is able to fulfill what it was designed to do – to make us sleepy.