Is First Thing in the Morning the Best Time for Coffee?

March 5, 2017
What time do you have your first cup of coffee? If you're like most people, it's as soon as you get up. A new study, however, has just revealed an even better time for your first cup of coffee.

Many of us are used to having a coffee as soon as we get up, but is that really the best time for coffee?

A steaming cup of coffee.

What time do you have your first cup of coffee? If you’re like most people, it’s as soon as you get up. You need to get rid of your sleepiness and get a good shot of energy and enthusiasm.

However, this may not be the best time for coffee, according to a new study.

Science, always eager to answer our most ordinary questions, has revealed that your first dose of coffee may not be such a good thing first thing in the morning.

Let’s take a look at their results.

The best time for coffee is later than you think

We know that mornings smell like coffee. We get out of bed, open the window, and see the sunrise and the workday ahead of us. The first thing on our mind is often to get a good shot of caffeine to be able to function a bit better.

We’re sure that the idea of waiting for an hour or two won’t sound like much of a good idea to you.

However, there are actually good reasons why it is a good idea to wait at least two hours after getting up.

Let’s take a look at them.

1. Cortisol levels and coffee

Cortisol levels in the brain.

Steven Miller is a neuropsychologist and an expert in chronopharmacology. This is the science that analyzes the interactions between the different biological rhythms of the human body and medicines.

After publishing some studies on his scientific blog NeuroscienceDC, he explained that having that first cup of coffee right when you get up isn’t as effective as you think.

The reason lies in our circadian rhythms and cortisol.

Our circadian rhythms are what control our sleeping habits and regulate cortisol, the so-called “stress hormone” in charge of keeping us alert.

When we open our eyes to the new day and get up, cortisol starts working by itself.

In fact, just like different research on circadian rhythms explain, the time of day cortisol is most active is between 8 and 9 in the morning.

Read more: 6 Signs of High Cortisol Levels in Your Body

2. Coffee and headaches

A woman with a headache.

Having coffee at this time of day means taking in a stimulant right when you’re naturally reaching a level of alertness.

As Dr. Miller explains, science is clear and decisive: it’s not a good idea to ingest a drug when your body doesn’t need it.

Having coffee when your cortisol levels are a little elevated explains why some people get headaches. They’re overloaded and their bodies sometimes react the opposite way to what we were hoping. They actually feel more anxious and even more tired.

It’s clear, however, that not everyone’s body reacts in the same way. While having coffee first thing in the morning works for certain people, if you wait a little longer then the benefits will be more powerful.

The best time for coffee? Between 9:30 and 11:30 in the morning

A cup of black coffee.

Of course, the best time for coffee all depends on what time you get up. However, whatever the case, it’s best to wait between an hour and a half and two hours after waking up.

That’s when your blood’s cortisol levels have lowered a little, and you have a perfect opening for your caffeine dose.

One of the basic principles of pharmacology is taking medicine when it’s needed. Having coffee when your cortisol levels are at their highest will make you more likely to develop a tolerance to it.

See more: How Much Coffee Should You Have Daily?

In other words, you won’t feel the effects of the coffee.

That means you will feel the need for another cup of coffee after a while. It won’t seem like enough.

In the previously cited article, Dr. Miller tells us there are two ideal times to drink coffee during the day: between 9:30 and 11:30 and between 1:30 and 5:00.

It may be worth giving it a try. After all, it’s quite a wide time range to enjoy our daily dose of coffee in.

Getting up and having a good breakfast of fresh juice with some protein and fiber and then waiting up to two hours to have our dose of caffeine might be the solution, especially for those who get headaches.

You may just suddenly notice yourself much more awake, productive, and energetic and ready to face the day ahead!

Ready to try it out?