Turns out that first-thing caffeine hit isn’t doing much for you [Photo: unsplash.com via Pexels]
Nothing quite beats that first-thing caffeine fix. Just one sip and the sluggish, sleepy you is replaced with a fresh-faced keen bean who’s chomping at the bit to get to work. Well sort of.
For many of us the thought of even opening our eyes without a coffee hit is way too much effort but according to recent research that treasured early morning espresso to give your brain a boost is actually a bit of a myth and we shouldn’t really be drinking coffee between 8 and 9am. Wait, what?
Research gathered by Ph.D candidate Steven Miller at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda and reported by Metro reveals that that the human body is on something called the circadian clock: a sort of 24-hour hormone cycle that is generally regulated by sunlight.
At around 8 or 9 a.m., the day’s first dose of cortisol - a stress-related hormone that makes us feel alert and awake, in a similar way to caffeine – is released, then again between noon and 1 p.m., and then once more between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.
That means if you’re chugging a cup of coffee at around that time, the stimulation of the caffeine is diminished, because cortisol is already pumping through your system.
Can’t function without your first-thing coffee hit? It could all be a myth [Photo: www.pexels.com]
What’s more caffeine is thought to increase cortisol production, which can further disrupt the circadian rhythm. Oh and ordering that flat white on the way to work could even lead to an increased tolerance of caffeine, which can dull the effects long term.
So when is the best time to knock back a coffee? Metro suggests the best time to sip on a Starbucks is between 9.30am and 11.30am, and between 1.30pm and 5pm because its around this time that your cortisol levels dip, which means that supping a cappuccino then won’t interfere with your circadian clock.
Well at least that means your caffeine fix will still work when you hit the 4 O Clock flop!