Coffee is a universal drink enjoyed by many people. It comes in a wide variety of flavors and can have a lot of different ingredients added to it depending on your preference. With the wide range of ingredients that can be added to coffee it has become the ultimate drink for many to enjoy. People drink coffee at night to power them through the hectic all-nighters they need to pull for work or school related reasons. Then they need coffee to power themselves through the morning when they feel like crashing due to the lack of sleep. It happens. Life gets crazy busy and sometimes the occasion calls for coffee. Yet due to the fact that coffee has a lot of caffeine in it, it often begs the question of whether drinking coffee late at night is a smart thing even though you really need it. With the caffeine being a major factor of coffee and the most important reason as to why people love coffee so much this begs the question of whether all times of the day is truly the best time of day for coffee? Or does coffee work the best during certain hours?
Why Does it Matter?
Many people would beg to differ that coffee is never supposed to be a just a certain time. Coffee can be enjoyed any time of the day no matter what the day is. That may be true. Leisurely coffee is the best any time of the day, no matter the weather or what you are doing. Whether you are going to work, hanging out at the beach, catching up on some reading, coffee can be enjoyed at all times! Yet this would work best for those who are drinking coffee not for the caffeine purposes, but rather for the purpose of enjoying it. The time would definitely matter though if you are drinking coffee for the purpose of reaping the most out of the caffeine. If you are hung up on a project, a major final, essay, or something more and need to have caffeine to help you through the day and night then it may be very beneficial for you to research the best times to drink your coffee and the worst times to drink your coffee. That way you know that you are getting most out of the caffeine you are consuming. Choosing to drink caffeine at times that are not the best for you and your body can actually lead to serious consequences and health concerns. Your body can begin to experience a high tolerance towards coffee which is never a good thing. You do not want to build a tolerance to caffeine because then you won’t have many options to keep yourself alert and awake when you need it. In addition, high tolerances to caffeine can also make you less able to sleep. Lack of sleep is so bad for your body. When you do not get enough sleep, you become more tired. Your body is unable to perform necessary functions for your body likes repairing and improving your skin and energy (meaning you are going to have really bad skin). You are also more sensitive to stress with a lack of sleep so your quality of life goes downhill. You are more prone to feeling depressed and lethargic. Overall bad things happen with a lack of sleep. All of this can be avoided if you become informed about the best and worst times to consume your caffeine. Here are some coffee facts and tips that can help guide your understanding of when your caffeine intake is going to help you the best!
Morning is Actually Not the Best
Everyone drinks coffee in the morning. In fact, the morning is the most popular time for people to make their coffee or occupy the coffee shops. Coffee shops are always crazy busy in the rush hour morning as people make their way in to seek good caffeine to power them through their work or school days. The entire American culture is ingrained in the idea of drinking coffee first thing in the morning, but it may come as a shock to you that coffee first thing in the morning may not be the best way to get the most caffeine out of your cup of joe! The science behind it all begins with the production of this human hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for our ability to feel awake and alert. The peak production of cortisol happens around 8-9 am in the morning. This means that as people make their way to grab a cup of caffeine they already do not realize that their body is running on cortisol and is technically caffeinated by choosing to stimulate your body with additional caffeine when it is already at peak cortisol levels, you are actually allowing for those cortisol levels to completely diminish the caffeine that you just drank meaning you bought and drank that cup of coffee for essentially no advantage or benefit. In addition, over time this will cause your body to build a fast tolerance for it and over time the buzz you get from the coffee will eventually diminish. This can actually lead to other harmful effects on your health such as disturbing your circadian rhythm through heightening the amount of cortisol your body makes (in simpler terms your sleep becomes affected as a result).
Take Advantage of Your Dip Levels
Your peak cortisol levels accumulate throughout your day as well! There are specific times that your body actually produces cortisol and the main way to figure out the best time to enjoy your cup of joe is related to understanding what times of the day your body dips in its production of cortisol. Those are the times that you want to take advantage of. Now since everybody’s body is different, these peak cortisol times can differ depending on your own body, but typically through much research scientists have dictated that your peak cortisol levels occur during 8-9 am, 12-1 pm, and 5:30-6:30 pm. With an understanding of these general times you can then figure out that any time that is in between these times would be the best time for you to drink coffee. Through this knowledge you can then effectively create maybe a coffee schedule in which you can determine when you think is the best time that you are able to buy or make your coffee between your work or school schedule (or even as a stay at home parent). By doing this you can ensure that you do not feel jittery or hyper alert after drinking coffee and then crash immediately afterwards. In fact, many people often wonder why they feel so tired a few hours after drinking coffee and what the problem is. They become alarmed that coffee may not work for them and it can be a frustrating situation to feel helpless and tired all day long. I guarantee you that if you take this cortisol schedule into consideration you will feel a lot more energized after your cup of coffee!
If You are an Early Riser
The situation of creating a coffee schedule and understanding how to maximize your coffee can be a little bit harder for some people. Some people do not wake up right at 8 am or 9 am in the morning and the time that they wake up can greatly affect when your body decides to produce cortisol. If you are waking up at noon as opposed to 8 in the morning than the way your body produces cortisol and the times that it does so can end up being different from the typical times mentioned above. In this case for those who wake up a little later and are unsure whether their body has produced cortisol or not, people say that it is best to wait about 3-4 hours after waking up to fully ensure that your body is in a dip in cortisol levels at the moment. So, if you are someone who rises at noon then chooses to have your cup of joe around 3-4 pm. If you are an early riser and you awake way before the first cortisol peak at 8 am-9am, then wait around 11 am to noon to have your first cup of coffee. For some this may make them a bit anxious considering people do not think they can physically function that long after waking up without coffee, but many have never actually tried to wait a bit before buying coffee to find out. Guarantee you, your cortisol peak will have you covered and will give you the energy you need for the next few hours before you can reach for that first cup.
Be Wary of the Time
When figuring out the best time to enjoy the added caffeine, it may also be wise to take into consideration the latest time you should have coffee before it will affect your bedtime. For those of you who are late sleepers and sleep past 9pm then this is not for you, but for those of you that have to sleep early because of work or classes, it may be wise to take this into consideration. Try to stop having coffee past 3 pm. For some of you that is absolutely no problem and for others this may be a very horrible statement to hear, but it is true. If you go to sleep on a strict schedule and you need to be in bed at a reasonable time than it is best that you halt all caffeine (coffee, soda, etc.) after 3 in the afternoon. If you work a little late or you have later classes and this proves to be difficult for you, then the best thing you can do is maybe switch a black tea or green tea. Black tea has half the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee and green tea has about one third of the amount of caffeine as coffee. This way you can still get a bit of a caffeine boost, but it won’t be enough to have you wide-eyed and restless around your bedtime. Another trick you can do is drink water! Water is a great way for you to get some energy without having any threats to your sleep schedule or nighttime routine.
Don’t Be Nervous
With all this talk about lack of sleep, stress, high cortisol levels, and more it may seem as if coffee is trickier than once thought and it may even put you off from ever wanting to consume it ever again! Do not worry! Have no fear at all because coffee still has so many health benefits for you that if you just take this information into consideration and become smarter about the times you choose to drink coffee than all of this can be easily avoided. You basically go the full lowdown and the basics on when to drink coffee and when not to and with this knowledge, you no doubt have what you need to make very good and healthy decisions about your coffee. Don’t cut it out! Just make some lifestyle changes and you can enjoy coffee the right way with all the amazing benefits that it can provide you with.
Coffee Fun Facts
● Kona coffee is a brand of coffee that comes from the state of Hawaii. Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. that commercially grows coffee because of its optimal weather for harvesting beans.
● Coffee drinkers have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers have been able to prove that older patients with higher level of caffeine were more likely to avoid Alzheimer’s. The caffeine from coffee also has a positive effect on type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. It has even been shown to protect against skin cancer in women.
● Dark roast coffees can actually have less caffeine than lighter roasts and this can be due to the fact that the dark roasts are burned more allowing for that caffeine to burn off more quickly.
Just some facts for you to enjoy and realize that coffee doesn’t have to be daunting and scary. The right knowledge can allow you to reap the benefits and fun from coffee with the best health effects for you!