Morning Coffee May Not Be as Beneficial as You Think, Scientists Say

Optimizing Coffee Consumption: Understanding the Best Time for Maximum Alertness

coffee consumption - Many people enjoy starting their day with a cup of coffee, finding it essential for waking up and staying alert. However, according to recent research, the belief that coffee is an effective energy booster in the morning is merely a myth.

Neuroscientist and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, Steven Miller, conducted a study revealing that drinking coffee at the wrong time, such as immediately after waking up, can disrupt the body's cortisol hormone production. Miller explained, "Consuming caffeine too early in the morning signals the body to produce less cortisol, leading to dependence on coffee for energy and focus."

Cortisol, often referred to as the stress hormone, plays a crucial role in keeping our eyes open and alertness levels high. The highest levels of cortisol are typically produced in the morning, between 8 to 9 a.m., and drinking coffee during these peak cortisol production times can diminish its effectiveness.

Experts suggest that the ideal time to consume coffee is when cortisol levels begin to decline, typically between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., and again from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. During these periods, the body may benefit from a boost in alertness provided by caffeine.

Dr. Joe Ojile, a sleep medicine specialist from the Clayton Sleep Institute, noted that the body requires about two hours to fully feel the effects of caffeine. However, the impact of caffeine varies among individuals, with regular coffee drinkers experiencing diminishing returns, while occasional consumers may benefit more from its effects.

The recommended daily caffeine intake is 300 milligrams, equivalent to one cup of coffee per day. It's important to consume coffee only when the body truly needs a boost in alertness. Avoiding coffee in the evening is advisable as it can interfere with brain stimulation and disrupt sleep patterns, leading to difficulty sleeping hours later.(*)


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