Many of us can’t imagine making it through the morning without a cup of coffee. That delicious, smooth hit of energy that helps to winch up those heavy eyelids.
But one expert is warning that in order to get the optimum effects out of our first daily caffeine hit, we should be consuming it between 9:30am and 11:30am.
Steven Miller, a neuroscientist from the Uniformed Services University believes that it’s better to drink coffee when the body’s levels of the hormone cortisol are low, due to the way caffeine affects the hormone.
Cortisol controls our body clock, with levels highest after a person wakes. The hormone level drops again about an hour afterwards.
Those who opt to down their coffee when their cortisol levels are high – usually between 8am and 9am – are building up a tolerance to caffeine, making it ineffective.
“If we are drinking caffeine at a time when your cortisol concentration in the blood is at its peak, you probably should not be drinking it,” Miller wrote on a blog.
“This is because cortisol production is strongly related to your level of alertness and cortisol peaks for your 24 hour rhythm between 8 and 9am on average.
Miller argues that the same principle is applied in pharmacology, where drugs are only prescribed when needed otherwise tolerances develop.