When is the best time to drink coffee? Science tells us how to get the most out of our breaks

By Kate Hassett

When is the best time to drink coffee? Science tells us how to get the most out of our breaks
A new study offers insights into when we should be taking our coffee breaks in order to maximise productivity.

Whilst it might be frowned upon to leave the office only a few hours after getting in, science has revealed that your mid-morning cravings are working for you – not against you.

A study, led by Emily Hunter, PhD, and Cindy Wu, PhD, at Baylor University, surveyed 95 employees who were asked to record their daily feelings of wellbeing, as well as their break activities during work days.

What the study found, was that the more time that had passed, since the beginning of the workday, the less useful a break was – regardless of the duration.

Researchers revealed that taking breaks earlier in the day was more likely to reinvigorate the body, giving it a kick before it fades too far down an unmotivated path.

Basically, the more time that had passed since the beginning of your workday, the less useful a break actually was.

Studies have shown that remaining sedentary during the day not only impacts your health in a negative way, long term, but it also effects your creativity and productivity.

To get the most out of your breaks, the study suggests taking it closer to the start of the work day – instead of waiting as long as possible before going for lunch.

Given that many of us skip breaks more often than not, maximising the small amount of time we do have, is integral to productivity and continued mental wellbeing in the workplace.

Findings suggested that doing something enjoyable – whether that be talking with friends or even getting ahead on satisfying work, could be even more restorative than simply flicking through your phone.

Employees who took more effective breaks, which consisted of doing things they preferred, earlier in the day – reported fewer symptoms like headaches, eyestrain and lower back pain.

So next time your ducking out for your morning coffee before most of the staff are getting into the groove of the workday, just cite productivity and silence the naysayers.



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