Many people wake up, immediately grab a cup of coffee and continue the caffeine habit throughout the day to stay alert, but is there evidence that indicates the best time to truly get a burst from the java?
Neuroscience PhD student Steven Miller explains that our cortisol levels are at their highest between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., and also spike between noon and 1 p.m. and between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. If we drink coffee during those times, we risk developing a tolerance to the caffeine, necessitating more coffee, according to MSN.
Cortisol is a stress hormone that’s related to alertness.
Fast Company notes that a University of Sheffield study has shown that you have the most cortisol between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.
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If you have a cup of coffee during that time, it could end up being just a waste. Miller explains, “ … you are drinking caffeine at a time when you are already approaching your maximal level of alertness naturally. One of the key principles of pharmacology is use a drug when it is needed (although I’m sure some scientists might argue that caffeine is always needed). Otherwise, we can develop tolerance to a drug administered at the same dose. In other words, the same cup of morning coffee will become less effective.”
So when is the best time to enjoy that cup of java? Miller reportedly advises the best time to have coffee is between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and to try to keep it under a cup an hour.