Coffee prevents tiredness and improves mental and physical performance. Caffeine dilates the blood vessels in the brain, thus stimulating blood circulation and fighting mild depression. At the same time, caffeine stimulates metabolism and increases resistance in exercise; after drinking coffee, the muscles don’t get tired so quickly, and the burning of fats is more intense, as they transform into energy faster. Coffee also stimulates the digestive tract.
At what time to drink the first cup of coffee?
Most of us are used to drinking coffee right after waking up. However, scientists tell us that it is better to wait for some time, until the level of cortisol in the body drops. According to researchers, we should wait at least two hours after waking up. Here are the reasons:
Circadian rhythms and cortisol
Steven Miller, neuropsychologist and expert in chronopharmacology (a science that analyzes the interactions between drugs and the different biological rhythms of the human body) informs that the habit of drinking a cup of coffee immediately after waking up is not as effective as we are tempted to believe.
Circadian rhythms control our sleep-wake cycle and regulate the level of cortisol, the stress hormone that keeps us awake. Immediately after awakening, cortisol starts to work by itself, without any stimulation. Studies of circadian rhythms have shown that cortisol is the most active between 8 and 9 am, so drinking coffee immediately after waking up doesn’t always have the expected effects.
Coffee, headaches and fatigue
Have you had a cup of coffee, but the fatigue doesn’t go away? According to Dr. Miller, drinking coffee while the level of cortisol is slightly high is the cause of headaches in some of us. It is not good to take a remedy when our body doesn’t need it. This is also the case for coffee consumed immediately after waking up. The body is overloaded, and has an opposite reaction to what is expected: we feel more agitated and even more tired.
The best time to drink coffee
First of all, it has to be taken into consideration that each body reacts differently. Some people might feel good when they drink coffee as they wake up, while for others it is the best if they wait a little before drinking the first cup.
It is generally recommended to wait between an hour and a half and two hours after waking up. This is when the level of cortisol decreases and we need a dose of caffeine.
- In an article published on the blog NeuroscienceDC, Steven Miller claims that there are two ideal intervals for drinking coffee: between 9:30 and 11:30 am and between 13:30 and 17:00 pm.
Get up, have a healthy breakfast rich in protein and fiber, and drink a glass of fresh juice. Wait for two hours and then take your caffeine dose.