Some of us are all-day coffee drinkers, some of us are one-cup-and-done kind of people, and some of us are the 3 PM get-me-through-the-afternoon kind of caffeine fiend.
It’s safe to say there are many different opinions on when is the best time of the day to ingest that sweet, sweet brown nectar. Studies have now found: it all depends on when you wake up and go to sleep, also known as your circadian rhythm.
Depending on what time you drink it, coffee can either work with or against your natural biological clock. This has to do with the level of cortisol in your body. (Science-y, we get it. Just hang in there) Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is released naturally by the brain during the day.
For the average person (someone who wakes up at 6:30 AM) cortisol levels are highest at:
- 8 – 9 AM
- 12 – 1 PM
- 5:30 – 6:30 PM
(If you normally wake up earlier or later than 6:30 AM, simply adjust the aforementioned times by the number of hour(s) your wake up time differs.)
Drinking coffee during these times can be combative to your natural rhythms because you are already naturally awake. And although your cortisol levels dip in the afternoon (from 1-5) it is not recommended to drink coffee during this time because caffeine stays in your system for 12 hours, which can lead to insomnia, further disrupting your biological clock.
So, with all this being said, what time is the best to drink coffee? The answer for the average person (the 6:30 AM riser): Between 9:30 and 11:30 AM.