The best time of day to drink coffee, according to science

Lifestyle | 13 May |

Attention, please! All the coffee lovers here, please rise up your hand! You know what my hand is risen too, as I am also in the coffee lovers’ tribe!! For most of us, coffee is more than just a drink. It boosts our spirits, energizes us and instantly uplifts our mood.

Well, the good news is that these are not yet another feelings of coffee lovers. They are science-backed facts and are true to every word. And yes! Conditions do apply. Confused? Move ahead!

Coffee – A Proven Health Booster

Researches proved that a cup of coffee can work magic in lifting up one’s energy levels and mood. This is because every single cup of coffee is loaded with anti-oxidants and vitamins that make us feel active. Essentially coffee contains many useful components that aid in improving our health as discussed below:

• 2-Ethylphenol: This chemical which imparts aroma to coffee is responsible for keeping us active and alert after consumption of coffee.

• 3,5 Dicaffeoylquinic acid: Offering protection from neuron damage, this anti-oxidant present in coffee does a great charm in keeping neurons active and healthy.

• Trigonelline: This is a form of vitamin B3 and fights with the cavity causing and tooth decaying bacteria in our mouth.

• Niacin: This is Vitamin B3, which is cell-rejuvenating and prevents dementia, skin problems, and diarrhea.

Health Benefits of Coffee

With so many useful components, no wonder that a cup of coffee is an elixir for some of the health problems. When taken in the right limit and in the right way, science proved that coffee can help in keeping life-threatening diseases at a bay too.

Coffee cuts down the risk of cancer by 20 percent.

Two to four cups of coffee per day reduces the chances of type-2 diabetes by 30 percent to 42 percent. This is because coffee regulates enzymes that regulate insulin and glucose.

Coffee improves blood flow and keeps your skin looking young and active.

Anti-oxidants present in coffee are 600% more than compared to fruits.

Coffee boosts metabolism in regular exercise doers by 3-11 percent thereby contributing to better burning of fat.

Limited consumption of dark blend coffee is good for heart health and is proven to prevent coronary heart disorders too.

Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, two deadly neuro diseases, can also be prevented by regular consumption of coffee.

Consumption of coffee boosts adrenaline levels and makes us feel energetic and active instantly.

Coffee’s earthy aroma triggers stress decreasing hormones in human brain and de-stresses instantly.

Coffee brings down the hormones that cause depression. In women, the risk of depression came down by 20% due to regular consumption of coffee.

Coffee can also make people happier; it is proven that suicidal tendencies reduced in people who have a habit of consuming coffee.

The Science Behind the Best Time to Drink Coffee

Okay, until now we have seen the health benefits of coffee. So I am sure you feel like jumping out of your seat right now and go grab a cup of coffee! But before that, check whether now is the right time to indulge in a cup of coffee or not. Puzzled if there is a right time to drink coffee? Yes, there is. To understand why there is a right time to drink coffee, let us gain more understanding of how the natural clock in the human body works.

Circadian Rhythm and Cortisol Levels

As we all know, our brain is pretty complex in structure and controls many intricate activities of our body, in a very efficient way. The Suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), one of the parts of the brain, controls the production and release of stress hormone or cortisol. This is the hormone that is responsible for our sleep patterns and alertness. This cortisol is also responsible for running and maintaining circadian rhythm or the 24-hour pattern that decides our body functionalities such as sleep, hunger, and other metabolic activities.

The circadian cycle varies with sleeping habits of individuals and thus cortisol level varies too, as explained below.

For a person who sleeps at 10 -10.30 PM and wakes up at 6.30 AM, the cortisol levels are at their peak at:

8 to 9 A.M

12 Noon to 1 P.M, and

5:30 to 6:30 P.M

This means the human body is active at this time even without the need for caffeine.

For late owls, assuming that they wake up at 10 A.M, the peak times of cortisol will be the above timings with three hours added to each one.

For early birds, who prefer to wake up before 4 A.M, this is just the other way round. Just three hours back for each one.

When Not to Drink Coffee?

According to chronopharmacology, a branch of neuroscience that studies the effects of drugs on the human body’s biological rhythm, you should never drink coffee when your cortisol levels are at their peak. This is because when cortisol is at its peak, your body is already at its active state. And when you are adding caffeine at the same time, it means your body is getting stressed beyond its natural tolerance levels.

Thus, when you take coffee at these timings, your body will not be benefitted from caffeine; instead, you are doing more harm than good to your body.

To brief down:

Never drink coffee, as soon as you wake up because the fact that you are up from sleep implies that your cortisol levels are gradually increasing. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism proves this.

Never drink coffee with your breakfast at 8 AM – 9.30 AM; otherwise, you are stressing out your body.

Never drink coffee with your lunch at 12Noon to 1.30 P.M; again you are dumping more stress by adding on to the existing cortisol levels.

Never drink coffee in the evening after 4 PM because coffee stays in your stomach for 12 hours and consuming coffee at this time will affect your sleep patterns at night. Besides, drinking coffee during evening hours will cause insomnia, excess belly fat, anxiety, and extreme fatigue.

Then, when is the best time to drink coffee?

Yes, now if you look at the above ‘Strictly No Caffeine’ timings, you could arrive at an inference easily. The best time to drink coffee is from 9.30 AM to 11.30 A.M. During this ‘two-hour window’, as it is popularly termed as, you can safely drink up to 8-ounces of coffee, as per science.

Tips to Benefit More from Coffee

As we have seen so far, coffee offers many benefits when taken the right way at the right time. Now that we are clear with the right time for consuming coffee, let us gain some idea about the right way to consume coffee.

You attain maximum benefits of boosted metabolism or enhanced blood circulation and tooth decay protection from coffee, only when you take it in the form of black coffee. If the coffee contains milk, sugar or syrup as taste enhancers, you may not benefit much from coffee as expected.

Drinking coffee on an empty stomach as soon as you are out of bed is bad from the viewpoint of cortisol levels. Another point to note is consuming coffee on empty stomach irritates your intestinal layers and may trigger acidity and heartburn.

Though coffee is rich in anti-oxidants, one should very well remember that it should never be the only source of anti-oxidants for their body. Everyone’s diet should essentially be a balanced one, including fruits, nuts, vegetables, cereals and good sources of protein.

The benefits that you attain from coffee differ with the type of coffee you consume as the amount of caffeine varies with each one; Drip coffee is the best form of caffeine as it contains the highest amount of caffeine (115-175 mg) compared to instant coffee (65-100 mg) and decaf either brewed or instant (2-4 mg).

If you have habits that are injurious to your health, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, or drugs intake, you can happily forget all the benefits of coffee that we have discussed so far, as your body can never absorb the good from caffeine when you are dumping bad from the other side!

To attain the best of coffee, preferably use organic and pesticide-free coffee beans and powder. This way you are safe from the side effects of pesticides because the coffee plant is one on the list of crops that are heavily sprayed with pesticides.

Like any other food, coffee should be consumed in limit and as per standards. Excess of caffeine might cause damage to your body in the long run.

While coffee can protect your mouth from decay-causing bacteria, remember to rinse your mouth after you drink sweetened coffee or milk-coffee to avoid staining of teeth. After all, once you attain all the health benefits of coffee, you want to give that big broad smile, don’t you?

What Did We Learn So Far?

A cup of coffee and high cortisol levels are a bad combination. Check your body’s circadian rhythm and then indulge in your cup of aromatic and hot coffee next time. Drink coffee wisely and live longer!

 

Donna Jones is a copywriter and content writer who specializes in building online communities, email marketing campaigns, and sales pages. Donna focuses on helping people to understand how to better drive traffic, develop relationships and earn revenue online. Her writing skills may be confirmed independently American Heroes Coffee.

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