Coffee is one of the world’s most popular drinks, you will find a glimpse to the infographic at CoffeeAble. It is estimated that over 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed yearly. Before we even look at the best time to drink coffee, is coffee really beneficial to your body? A big YES! Coffee has been scientifically proven to be of great value to our bodies. Consuming coffee:
- Reduces the risks of diabetes type 2 according to researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH)
- Lowers your risk of Parkinson disease as well as help control movement in Parkinson’s patients- Research Institute of McGill University’s Health Centre
- Reduces the risks of liver cancer by almost 50%-Research from Milan's Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri
- Lowers incidences of liver cirrhosis for alcohol consumers by 22%- Research studied at Kaisser Permanente Medical Care Program, California, USA
- Moderate drinking of coffee can protect you against heart failure- Research was done at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Harvard School of Public Health.
There are other benefits such as uplifting your moods, keeping you awake and alert, increasing the anti-oxidants in your body as well as boosting enzyme efficiency responsible for regulating glucose and insulin in your body.
So back to our question, when is the best time to drink your coffee?
There is no standard strict time for everyone as every individual is different. The only similarity is that we are all guided by a hormone called Cortisol which is responsible for our being awake and alert. This hormone is controlled by our internal ‘body clock’ called circadian clock.
Cortisol is often referred to as the ‘Stress Hormone’ because it is released when our body senses danger. For proper functioning of the body, a standard amount of Cortisol should be maintained at all times. Too much is unhealthy and so is too less.
So when you take the coffee when your Cortisol level is low, it fuels your body up rather you become alert. On the contrary, if you take a coffee when your Cortisol level is high, it becomes unhealthy. “Drinking coffee when your SCN is already releasing plenty of Cortisol limits its positive effects because you're already "wired up," says Steven L. Miller, a neuroscientist and a Postdoctoral researcher at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. So the best time to drink coffee is when your Cortisol levels are low.
How do we determine when cortisol levels are low?
Let’s look at the peak first. For an average person who is up at 6.30am, the Cortisol is at its peak between:
8 and 9am
Noon and 1pm
5.30pm and 6.30pm
For early risers and night owls, you go back three hours for each of those timings.
So the best times to have your coffee is as below when your Cortisol levels are low:
|Wake up time||Coffee Time||Cortisol Time||Coffee Time||Cortisol Time||Sleep Time|
So the traditional “coffee breaks” actually put into consideration the best timings to have coffee. So, instead of grabbing your morning coffee when you wake up or when dashing out of the house to catch the 7.30am bus, how about getting to the office, reading the newspaper and your emails then taking your coffee during the normal coffee break.
Besides drinking coffee at the proper time, knowing how much to take is equally important in tapping the very most of coffee’s health benefits. It is recommended that you take between 4 to 6 cups of coffee every day to reap the benefits.
Now that we’ve learned of the appropriate time to take coffee, at what time should one stop taking coffee?
Let’s base our conclusion on a research published by the National Institutes of Health. It states that caffeine could have an impact on one’s sleep; therefore, it should be consumed at least six hours before bedtime. Therefore what time to stop will depend on what time you go to bed. If you sleep at 10pm then your last cup of coffee should be at 4pm. You should know by now that sleep deprivation could lead to serious health problems as well as coffee dependency.
In short, drink your coffee late in the morning and in the afternoon when your body needs it most and you will live longer. Don’t forget to stop six hours before bedtime.