The Pilot's Blog

When is the best time to drink coffee?

Many coffee drinkers roll out of bed and get their daily dose of Joe as soon as they can.  Coffee affects our bodies in so many ways that there may actually be an ideal time to drink it.  While all of us have different reactions to caffeine, all of our bodies are guided by a 24-hour hormonal cycle called the circadian clock.  It tells you when it is time to wake up, eat, sleep, and do a variety of other activities.

At a certain point in the rhythm, one of the hormones that is produced is called cortisol.  This hormone makes us feel alert and awake. The production of cortisol usually peaks between 8:00 a.m., and 9:00 a.m.  This means that our bodies are caffeinating themselves.

Steven Miller, a neuroscientist, at the Services University of the Health Sciences in Maryland thinks it has to do with the way the cortisol hormone interacts with caffeine.  When your cortisol levels are high and you have a shot of caffeine, it is suppressed because you are already feeling a natural jolt.  This can lead to increased tolerance of the stimulant.  This means some people may need an extra shot to get through their morning.

If you find yourself needing more than your normal amount of caffeine, try drinking your coffee between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., that way the caffeine won’t be suppressed from your body’s natural caffeinated jolt.  You’ll get more bang for your caffeinated buck!

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