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Why You're Drinking Coffee at the Wrong Time

If you read my blogs regularly, you'll know that I'm a constant coffee drinker. I'm always fueling. My passion for coffee is mostly a love for the process and taste, but I'd be lying if I said the caffeine wasn't a contributor. 

Recently, I've been figuring out ways to get the most out of each sip. I've read a couple articles (1,2) about the best times to drink coffee, according to science. To sum up the post by "I Love Coffee", your body tells you what to do (ie- eat, sleep, wake, etc) according to your circadian clock. It's basically your body's natural rhythm.

During this rhythm, your body produces cortisol and peaks at certain points. This can be described as your body naturally caffeinating itself. 

According to the articles, our natural cortisol levels are peaking right around 8am, and drop between 9:30-11:30. This is based on national averages. Many different factors affect cortisol, including diet, hydration, and sleep times.

 

The articles go on to say that you should drink coffee AFTER your natural cortisol levels start to drop.

 

This works because if you give your body coffee when it's not necessarily needed, you will build a high tolerance to it, and the buzz will not be as great.

 

In order to figure out (roughly) when your cortisol levels are dropping and peaking, go a day without coffee. (Of course, only a serious cortisol test will tell you your actual levels.) Make sure you wake up at the same time as usual, eat as normal, and stay hydrated. Keep a log of the way you feel throughout the day. The times when you start to feel like you're coming down are the appropriate times to drink coffee from thereon out.

 

Or you could just play it safe and drink coffee all day, every day.