How do you know when it’s time for you to eat, wake up or go to bed? Every one of us has a system in place that regulates this called the circadian clock.
It’s basically a hormonal cycle that releases the appropriate chemicals in your body to help you realize you should do a certain things.
One of these hormones is cortisol. You may have heard about it as the hormone that is released at times of stress. It’s also meant as a trigger to make us alert and awake.
On average, for most people, the cortisol production peaks between 8am and 9am. That means that the body produces the most cortisol between these hours.
What does that have to do with drinking coffee? Well, if you really want to get the most out of your cup of caffeinated brew, you should time the drinking to happen AFTER, not during your peak cortisol production.
Why? This is because of the law of the diminishing results. When you produce cortisol, you are naturally “caffeinating” yourself.
If you add the substance from the coffee, you won’t get an additional boost. Instead the coffee’s boost will be “overriden” by the cortisol one.
If you keep on doing this, you will quickly build up tolerance to caffeine and you will actually end up lessening your kick from coffee even more.
The best time in the day to drink coffee occurs when your cortisol levels start to drop, which for most people is between 9:30am and 11:30am.
Other cortisol peaks typically occur between 12pm and 1pm, and again between 5:30am and 6:30am, and they are always followed by a sudden drop of alertness.
So whether you are a gourmet coffee lover or just an instant coffee user, have this is mind next time your prepare your cup of caffeinated goodness.
Featured photo credit: Leah via flickr.com