Is there anything better than a smell of a fresh cup of coffee? I doubt it. For most people coffee isn’t just a drink, it’s more than that. It’s a helpful tool to boost our mood, to energize us and to even socialize. The number of local coffee shops is increasing each day and the process of making coffee is art itself.

The tempting thought and smell of a cup of coffee could be a valid reason for someone to get out of the bed and start the day. It’s a guilty pleasure that helps you get through the day. But when is exactly the best time of day to enjoy your caffeine boost? Turns out there are specific periods of the day you should drink your coffee. Stay with us and find out what’s the secret timeline in the next few lines.

The Short History of Coffee

Caffeine is a psychoactive drug that is the most often used in the entire world. It helps you to wake up and to stay focused on tasks. Most people get their caffeine fix from coffee.

There are many legends of coffee’s origin but no one knows for sure how and when it was discovered. One of those legends is associated with an Ethiopian plateau and the goat keeper known as Kaldi. Kaldi realized that his goats were more energetic after they ate the berries from a certain tree. He then told about his discovery to the local abbot who made a drink with those berries to test their effect. The abbot realized the energizing berries kept him wide awake during the long hours of an evening praying and soon the word of this magic berries started to spread across the globe. Eventually, coffee came to Europe in the 17th century. And since that moment the development of coffee has never been the same.

Science Time

The human brain is a complex structure responsible for our behaviour and our activities of the body. One of the specific parts of it is called The Suprachiasmatic nucleus or shorten SCN. This structure of the brain regulates our circadian rhythms through the stress hormone called cortisol. Meaning, cortisol is released depending on your circadian rhythms. A circadian rhythm is a 24-hour pattern that determinates your body temperature, sleeping schedule, hunger and other metabolic activities. This hormone is called stress hormone since its highest concentration are present when you’re under stress or when the body’s flooded with adrenaline. As a result, cortisol wakes you up and keeps you alert. For most people, a daily peak of the cortisol boost is between 8 am and 9 am, meaning that your body will be naturally active without having a cup of coffee. Drinking coffee during this period will make your body stressed more than its natural level of tolerance and you’ll only make more harm to your body.

Is It Time for Coffee Yet?

So when exactly is the best time of day to enjoy your coffee? Avoid drinking coffee the moment you wake up. The fact that you’re awake means that your natural level of cortisol is already starting to increase. Therefore, it’s advisable to have your cup of coffee between 9.30 am and 11.30 am. The cortisol levels are at their second daily peak between 12 pm to 1 pm. This means it’s not recommendable to drink your coffee while you’re having your lunch. Why? Simply put, you’re stressing your body because it’s at its natural level of tolerance of producing cortisol. During these periods of the day having your caffeine intake may be wasted even though it’s still delicious. There’s a possibility you build up your tolerance and eventually, you’ll need more caffeine just to get you through the day. Also, try to avoid drinking coffee after 6 pm and in the evening. Having coffee during this period of the day may affect your sleeping habits at night since coffee stays in your stomach for up to 12 hours. This may cause insomnia, fatigue and anxiety. 

More than Just a Pleasure

Most researches based on coffee consumptions show that coffee doesn’t harm your health. Actually, it’s shown that there are some health benefits of coffee. Turns out that people who drink more coffee are healthier than those who drink it little or not at all.

  • Coffee and Cancer – Various reviews have shown that daily drinking coffee can reduce your chances of having some types of cancer. People who have at least three cups a day have 18% fewer chances of cancer risk. 
  • Long Live Coffee and You – Some of the studies have shown that those people who drink coffee are associated with mortality and reduced risk from death.  
  • Alzheimer’s and dementia – Some smaller studies have shown that coffee drinkers have lower chances to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and dementia in general.
  • Depression – Having one cup of coffee during a week can lower your chances of becoming depressed by 15%. Having two to three cups of coffee daily can lower your chances of becoming depressed by 20%. Related to that, one more study suggests that coffee consumers had 45% fewer chances of dying from suicide.
  • Diabetes – There’s a study that suggests that people who drink coffee have a lower risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. Those who are heavy drinkers and have four or more cups of coffee daily have 50% fewer chances of developing this type of diabetes.
  • Stroke – In one study conducted in Japan, it was shown that if you drink green tea and coffee you have fewer chances of developing cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and stroke.

It’s good to hear that coffee has various health benefits, but you should remember to drink coffee in moderation. Bear in mind that too much caffeine intake can cause anxiety, excess belly fat or insomnia. And nobody wants that.

Socializing

If you’re a true coffee lover you’ll agree that coffee is more than just a pleasure. It’s more than just getting you enough energy to get out of your bed. Coffee is a great socializing tool as well. Historically speaking, coffee houses were associated with social gatherings. These were places where people would gather to exchange their philosophical, historical or political views. Places which provided an opportunity for people to make interaction with others and to make a connection with people of their community. Coffee gatherings still play a role in encouraging and creating social networks. There’s a Turkish saying that goes something like this “A cup of coffee starts the friendship of 40 years”. Coffee gatherings help people of their community to influence one another. Those gatherings also help people to get and spread information, to stay in touch with their surroundings and happenings.

Coffee is regularly used in the workplace as well. In some countries, it might be treated as a part of the culture of the workplace. More workplaces have an established break for a coffee. These coffee breaks may help workers to relieve the stress and to form a support group with co-workers. Coffee breaks offer not just social interaction with the employees, but also space for them to share their opinions related to work or even some personal frustrations.

More Coffee Benefits

What’s the right way to consume coffee? There are some tips to benefit more from caffeine intakes.

  • Drinking coffee can boost your metabolism and provide you with tooth decay protection. If you add sugar, milk or some syrup you won’t be able to expect these benefits.
  • Coffee contains antioxidants but bear in mind that this shouldn’t be your only source of antioxidants. If you’re not sure what antioxidants are – they’re our sources of fighting against diseases and boosting the immune system. Although coffee is rich with antioxidants, it should be balanced with vegetables, fresh fruits and protein which also contain antioxidants.
  • Coffee intake can stimulate the production of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. This neurotransmitter has a positive impact on you making you feel happy and smarter.

A Quick Reminder

Let’s have a quick reminder on coffee consumption, its effects and suggestions when is the best time during the day to drink it.

  • 8 am or before that – not so advisable
  • Between 8 am and 9 am – not advisable at all
  • Between 9 am and 11.30 am – that will work
  • Between 12 pm and 1 pm – not so advisable
  • Between 1 pm and 5 pm – that will work 
  • After 5 pm – not so advisable

Coffee is rich in hormone cortisol that makes you active, and neurotransmitter dopamine that makes you feel happy. Be careful to avoid drinking coffee during the day (when your levels of cortisol are at their peak) in order to prevent building tolerance on your caffeine consumption.

If you’re a night owl and you’re more productive working late during night time, having a cup of coffee might seem like a good idea and as a solution to make you more productive if you’re struggling. But, remember that caffeine levels can stay in your body for up to 12 hours which will keep you awake till the sunrise. Instead, it might be a better idea to have a quick energy nap which will refresh you and give you enough energy to continue with your tasks.

Summary

Coffee is the second most popular drink (after water) in the world. More than 400 billion cups are being consumed during a year. Coffee drinking is connected to many cultural values around the world. It provides an opportunity for friends and family to gather and connect. In some cultures a saying “let’s have a cup of coffee” usually means an invitation to have a conversation and a need to connect with others.

True coffee lovers adore the taste of it, but they also enjoy having a quick boost of energy and productivity when needed with the right timing (note to yourself: levels of cortisol that change). If you’re struggling to get out of the bed on a rainy day or start your busy schedule coffee’s there to help you out. And that’s not all. As you can see, coffee can increase your ability to study and can improve your intelligence. As with every nice thing in life, it’s always smart to have balance so remember to drink your coffee in moderation.

Health & Fitness