Food Science

Is This the Best Time To Drink Coffee?

October 12, 2017

Apparently, a cup of coffee—first thing in the morning—is not the best idea. To avoid nerves and caffeine jitters, that caffeine boost is best relished in the late morning or early afternoon, according to a CNBC report.

The insight comes from registered dietician and author of The Women’s Health Body Clock Diet, Laura Cipullo. In conversation with CNBC, Cipullo recommends moving that early morning java a little later into one’s day. The reason? Upon waking up, your body begins production of cortisol, a hormone that increases blood sugar and speeds up your body’s processes. On average, cortisol levels peak around 9 a.m. She warns against adding caffeine to the natural influx of cortisol already occurring in your body.

This combination, Cipullo says, makes people feel jittery and nervous post-coffee. Instead, she suggests waiting three to four hours after waking up for that first jolt of caffeine. Drinking coffee later in the day could even prevent that mid-afternoon feeling of lethargy we know all too well. To try out this technique, she offers some advice: Start on the weekends, where you can drink your coffee later in the day and don’t have to rush to work. This will slowly acclimate your system to a new register.

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The proposal makes sense. Why mess with hormones? Easier said than done, however. I’ll take this into consideration tomorrow morning when I rub my groggy eyes and reach for my coffee grounds. Will I hold off? Only time will tell.

Does the idea of waiting three hours for coffee make you shudder? Let us know in the comments!

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Valerio is a freelance food writer, editor, researcher and cook. He grew up in his parent's Italian restaurants covered in pizza flour and drinking a Shirley Temple a day. Since, he's worked as a cheesemonger in New York City and a paella instructor in Barcelona. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he's most likely to be found eating shawarma.

1 Comment

jaba14 October 16, 2017
"On average, cortisol levels peak around 9 a.m."

That's dead wrong. Cortisol levels peak 20-30 minutes after awakening.