This Is the Best Time of Day for You to Maximize the Benefit From Coffee

This Is the Best Time of Day for You to Maximize the Benefit From Coffee
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Coffee is probably the world's most popular psychoactive drug — and with sleep deprivation becoming a constant fixture of modern employment, it's no surprise business has boomed in recent years.

But if you want to get the maximum boost from daily your cup of joe (or, God forbid, 5-Hour Energy), we've got a shocking surprise for you: You probably shouldn't gulp it down right when you wake up.

In fact, according to the Washington Post, drinking coffee early in the morning is terrible for your circadian rhythm, the natural cycle of wakefulness and sleepiness your body goes through each and every day. That's when levels of stress hormone cortisol, which helps you feel awake and energized, are highest.

By drinking coffee right after waking up, you're training your body to rely on caffeine rather than cortisol. It's counterproductive: Not only does it ensure sleepiness in the absence of a caffeine influx, your body builds tolerance to the caffeine over time, making it less effective. 

Source: YouTube

According to the Post, the best time to drink coffee is when cortisol production in the body plummets, which is usually between 10 a.m. and noon and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

One thing you should definitely, absolutely not do is drink coffee shortly before bedtime — it resets your circadian rhythm, according to NPR. University of Colorado, Boulder sleep specialist and circadian psychologist Kenneth Wright told the news agency his research found caffeine taken three hours before bedtime delayed the production of sleep hormone melatonin by up to 40 minutes. 

So you might end up looking like this guy...

You've been warned.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

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